Editor’s note: This story is part of a twice-monthly series on the condition, history and demolition or repair status of abandoned homes in Young County.
A nearly decimated home sits silently at 613 Lincoln St., waiting for restoration or demolition. Most likely demolition.
The exterior of the canary-yellow 1940s residence looks bleak as wind gently coaxes the screen door back and forth into the house. A giant dead tree branch leans over the carport leading to the rear of the home, which was damaged by a fire in February 2010. Scared by the noise of footsteps, a healthy looking orange tabby cat, probably someone’s pet, trots away from the home into the surrounding tall grass. Inside the peacefully quiet structure are remnants of a life lived years ago — wadded up articles of clothing on the floor, calendars on the wall, a couple of lonely toys.
The residents left right after the fire — proven as such by the hanging calendar and old envelopes dated February 2010. According to The Graham Leader archives, the owners of the home have passed away — one in 2003 and the other in 2008. One of their children was left with the home and could not be contacted for comment.
Now, soot and smoke damage leave outlines on the wall in the living room where a cross and sconces once hung. There are artificial flowers scattered on the floor, an empty entertainment center pulled near the center of the room and a mattress leaning on the wall.
A chandelier featuring lamp shades doesn’t move even though wind has easy access into the home. To the left are two bedrooms full of old clothing. The walls in these rooms are also black from smoke damage. Resting on a bookshelf in the center bedroom are rows of blackened books and pencils and plastic boxes that melted. The bulk of the damage stems from what appears to be the den, or master bedroom, and the kitchen.
Remaining insulation in the kitchen ceiling dangles above the kitchen sink next to cabinets full of old, unopened canned goods. Access to the master bedroom is completely restricted due to the collapsed roof and ceiling. Charred black beams provide unique shadows over the interior of the room, which features a stand-alone piano, its keys blistered and unplayable from the licks of previous flames.
Overall, the house itself isn’t shaky or unstable, but broken wooden boards dangling from the ceiling don’t inspire confidence in its structural integrity.
Read more in Sunday's Graham Leader.