Monday, May 12, 2008

Monett Times: Part of roof, chimneys blown off a Ritchey Mansion

An update on the damage to the Ritchey Mansion was featured in an article posted today on the Monett Times website:

According to historian and journalist Kay Hively, damage across the community was extensive. Building debris was widely strewn, and downed power lines were scattered across yards and streets.

Hively's son Russ, and Russ's wife Sabra, are caretakers of the Civil War landmark, the Ritchey Mansion, in Newtonia. He reported a large part of the roof on the west end was torn off, exposing the upstairs to the elements. "Many windows were broken, with glass strewn everywhere," Kay Hively stated.

"The west porch where the cooling unit sat was damaged and the wires, cables or whatever is needed to run that thing were twisted and turned so there will be twists and turns inside the house from that. Both chimneys--west and east side--are knocked off," she continued.

The barn behind the mansion used to store equipment was badly damaged. It appeared only about two trees left on the grounds were intact.

"Our biggest issue is to get a cover over the missing roof to protect against the rain due in here early in the week. Every construction worker in the area is busy so I don't know how we'll get that work done. The trusses in the entire roof are twisted so I know we'll be looking at a total new roof after we just got one put on two or three years ago....huge amount of money for us. But we'll bring the old girl back. She has withstood a tremendous amount of abuse but she's not giving up."

(Kay Hively photo)

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