With Congressman Rick Boucher and state senator Roscoe Reynolds on hand, the foundation celebrated the completion of renovations on the first two floors of the historic Carter Home.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude for each one of you for attending today on this momentous occasion. This is truly something we have looked forward to for many, many years,” said Carter Home Foundation President Elizabeth Huff. “The foundation is very proud of what we have accomplished so far.”
After years of hard work and dedication, the first two floors of the five-story building have been restored and exude elegance. Built in 1845 and named after local coal baron George L. Carter, the Carter Home has been opened for weddings, reunions, meetings and other events for several months.
Boucher was impressed by his first look at the renovated mansion. He said it could be used in future years to host various events and performances, noting that it also had space available for tourism-related businesses.
“As a centerpiece for downtown Hillsville, this structure itself helps contribute to the vital economy of Hillsville and Carroll County. But it is going to be much more than a contributing feature in the years ahead,” Boucher said. “The foundation has just done a great job and I want to say thank you and congratulations.”
Boucher thanked Evelyn Botschen for leading the restoration effort and everyone who worked so hard to make the renovation a success. It is something the Hillsville community can take great pride in, Boucher said, and something that will benefit all of Carroll County.
The Congressman noted that electrical work inside the home cost about $100,000. That was in additional to a federal appropriation of $200,000 several years ago. Much more money will need to be raised to complete renovations on the top three floors of the home.
“We are only about halfway there. The total renovation cost is estimated to be about $600,000 and we still have about $300,000 to raise in order to add to that. So I rather suspect one of the reasons I was invited today to take part in this ribbon cutting is because Evelyn and Elizabeth very soon are going to ask me for some additional money,” Boucher said. “I will do my best to provide it because I can’t imagine a better investment that could be made in the economic future in this area, preserving this great cultural resource and historic resource.”
Boucher said he would be happy to help take further steps to completely renovate the home. An elevator needs to be replaced or repaired, and the top three floors still need much work.
“So what we are doing is cutting a ribbon to celebrate the progress so far and the fact that the house is fully functional on these additional floors, and to commemorate the great progress and community efforts that has led to this success,” Boucher said. “There is still work to be done and I want to work with the foundation for completion hopefully in just a year or two.”
Carroll County Board of Supervisors Vice-Chairman Dr. Tom Littrell noted that the Carter Home was in danger of being destroyed several years ago. He thanked the Hale-Wilkinson-Carter Home Foundation for its work to preserve the home next to the historic Carroll County Courthouse.
“It certainly makes for a centerpiece for the historic town of Hillsville. It’s so nice to see all the friendly faces that worked so hard and so diligently to come this far and get these first two floors completed,” Littrell said. “I know they will continue to work to finish up the home.”
Hillsville Mayor Bill Tate told Boucher and Reynolds they were welcome back in Hillsville anytime, especially if they were bringing money. He said the town is pleased with the work that’s been done on the Carter Home.
“The foundation has done an extremely good job. This building is 155 years old. I had to ask how old it was, but it was built in 1845 and there is a lot of history in this building,” Tate said. “I would like to thank the Carroll County Board of Supervisors and the Carter Foundation for having this (ceremony).”
As President of the foundation, Huff expressed thanks to Boucher, Carroll County, the Town of Hillsville and the Botschen family for all of their hard work and assistance. She looks forward to the day when the restorations are completely finished.
“There is still much restoration work to be completed on the home, but through the help of new grants, donations, special events and the support of many people, we hope to finish this restoration in a couple of years,” Huff said.