Historic Salisbury Foundation: House on the move

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, July 10, 2012

As Historic Salisbury Foundation celebrates its 40th anniversary year, it’s fun to look back to the moving spectacle that was the Gillespie-Crawford House. This picture was taken by a Post photographer July 29, 1976, as the house moved past the intersection of Church and Innes streets just steps from the Salisbury Post. The sign on the back of the house says, “In Salisbury, N.C., old houses never die, they just keep rolling along.” The foundation, helped by the McCrary Brothers movers, orchestrated the 1869 house’s trip across Salisbury. The house originally sat at 515 E. Innes St., a property that was purchased by Wendy’s Old-Fashioned Hamburgers and is home to a Wendy’s restaurant today. The house was set to be razed, until the foundation stepped in with a plan to move it to a lot at 402 S. Fulton St. Wendy’s donated the house to the foundation. A move that was supposed to take two days ran into complications and took four days instead. Along the way, it attracted hundreds of curious onlookers and required the services of Duke Power, Southern Bell, the city of Salisbury and even Southern Railway, which had to reschedule trains to help city police deal with detoured traffic. Some folks even set up lemonade and other drink stands to serve the spectators. The foundation finally sold the house toward the end of 1982, and it remains a handsome home at the corner of South Fulton and West Horah streets. It’s known for its 1875 fountain out front.