Moving McCombs' log house now affordable

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Jessie Burchette
The cost of moving the log house owned by the the late Rep. Eugene McCombs has been slashed to an affordable price.
McCombs’ family has offered the house to the county for placement at Dan Nicholas Park, but initial estimates of moving the house approached $100,000.
Don Bringle, parks director, said the cost has been cut to $33,000, excluding park staff labor.
The major cost of paying utility companies to raise or move lines for the trip from Faith to the park will be cut out. The roofs and chimneys will be taken off or down to a level that can be easily transported under existing utility lines.
Bringle said the slate roof will be removed and replaced with either the green metal type used on other park buildings or a slate-look material.
McCombs built the house in part from logs taken from a 150-year-old barn.
All of the costs will be paid through private donations.
In other matters, the board:
– Agreed to solicit $11,000 in donations to put cameras on top of Dunn’s Mountain to allow visitors to the Web site to check out the view from the mountain.
Bringle cited several other changes in the works for the park, which continues to attract more visitors.
More than $11,000 will be spent to improve the road to the top of the mountain.
Dunn’s Mountain will be open additional weekends during the winter and spring months. The park will be open the second and third weekends in January and February. In April and May, the park will be open Wednesday through Sunday.
– Heard that Parks and Recreation will seek a $5,000 grant to help promote the Simple Living Festival planned for the last Saturday in April. The festival, previously held as Earth Day, combines environmental and heritage events with demonstrations.
– Agreed to seek applicants for three seats on the Parks and Recreation Commission. The terms of Paul Brown, Dave Morris and Pat Masters expire Dec 31.
Bringle noted that applications are available at the park’s office or on the county Web site.
– Heard Renita Ritchie’s report on the work of the Therapeutic Recreation program, formerly Special Population.
Ritchie, who has directed the program for 23 years, mixed the history of how the program and staff have grown with the impact it has in helping people.
– Heard the “Spook Train” at Dan Nicholas park will run through Saturday.
– Learned Rowan 4-Hers will host a horse clinic at the Ellis Park Events Center on Nov. 15.
– Reviewed pictures showing flooding at Sloan Park, which got 22 inches of rain over the past six weeks.
– Heard from Bob Pendergrass, supervisor of the Nature Center at Dan Nicholas Park, who reported on the “no trace” camping event at Eagle Point. Pendergrass and commission member Jack Kepley said the 100 Boy Scouts hiked 3.5 miles to a site where they camped. When they left, there was no trace.
Kepley, a longtime official with the Scouts, marveled at having a park where Scouts could carry out a no-trace camp-out. He added that he hiked the 3.5 miles in, but got cart transportation out.