A moving experience
Bob and Chris Wells of rural Cambridge have lived on the family farm for the last thirty years and will continue to live on the same ground but just in a different location.
On Thursday, July 16, the Wells moved their three bedroom house from its former location, 12022 N. 850th Avenue to its new location, 12020 N. 850th Ave.
"We hired the same moving company that Bob Jeffries used when he relocated a home in Cambridge," Chris stated. "Goodwin House Moving out of Washington, Iowa."
Goodwin House Moving is a fifth generation moving company started by Bill Goodwin in 1930 and is now run by Rick Goodwin. They move approximately 80 to 90 structures a year.
A few good reasons to move or raise a structure might include replacing a failing foundation, turning a ranch into a split-level or turning a one-story house into a two-story house. Moving a house can save 10-15 full-grown trees.
"We've been thinking about relocating the house for the last three or four years," Chris stated. "Last November the family farm (317 acres) was sold and we purchased 10 acres of the farm on the southwest corner of the property so we could move the house. Moving the house will increase its value and we already have a lot of blood, sweat and tears in the house which we've called home for over 30 years. We just couldn't walk from that part of our life."
Bob's brother and wife, Steve and Mary Wells, purchased another 20 acres where their house is located. The Wells are the children of the late Bill and Edith Wells. They have another brother, Dick, and a sister, Kathy Lindquist of Galva.
Three members of the Goodwin House Moving Company arrived Monday, July 6, according to Chris. The house was taken to the new location Thursday, July 9, but night came too fast and it couldn't be placed on the new foundation.
"They really wanted to get it moved Thursday because another storm was scheduled to arrive Thursday night or Friday and they were afraid it was going to get too muddy and with all the rain we've gotten today (Friday) we'll have to wait and see when it can be placed on the foundation," she stated. "They said it usually takes a week to move the house and another one to two weeks to get it ready to move back into."
Mud already seemed to be a slight problem, it caused the movers to relocate large wooden mats under the tires during parts of the move on Thursday.
"Our part of the move, was pretty easy," she stated. "All we had to do is take the things off the walls and place the breakable items on the floor. We didn't have to take anything out of the house other than clearing everything out of the basement".
Before the house was moved, Bob and Chris put down a new foundation.
"We didn't have to drill a well," she stated. "Previously, an old school house was located on that corner and in 1965 the old school house was moved to the family farm and is used today as a workshop. We were pleasantly surprised to find out the old well is still good after having the well tested."
While the house is being moved, Bob and Chris are living in a fifth-wheel trailer, lent to them by some friends.
"We have all the conveniences of home," she concluded. "We've even hooked up our land line, internet and television."
Editor’s Note: On Saturday, July 11, Goodwins slid the house over its new foundation and on Monday, July 13, they set it down.
“It looks really strange in a different setting,” stated Chris. “But with a lot of work I think it will work well for us.”