History on the move in Monroe

History is on the move in Monroe, Ga., but it doesn’t have that far to go – just a plot or so over. As soon as they manage to get everything in place, the historic Wright-Henson House fronting S. Broad Street in Monroe at 211 Boulevard (next to the Methodist Church) will be moved in its entirety to a plot just behind it at 257 Boulevard. The plot has been prepared and is ready for the move, which hasn’t gone quite as planned, but is still in the preparation stages.

Historic Wright-Henson house undergoes preparation for its move to a plot behind it at 257 Boulevard. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

According to witness on site of the planned move last week, several of the wheels that had been rigged under the home in preparation for the move blew out under the reported 250-ton weight of the two-story historic home. Repairs were underway over the Thanksgiving weekend for another attempt in the coming days.

According to Monroe Museum historian Steve Brown, the Wright-Henson House was built by William Cicero Wright and his wife, Sallie Snow Wright, sometime before 1900 where it still currently stands between the Monroe First United Methodist Church at 400 S. Broad St. and John’s Supermarket at 416 S. Broad St.

“The home initially had a one-story porch, as seen in the photo, under the portico. The porch was removed in the mid-1900s. The Wright’s daughter, Florence, married Charles Henson Sr., Henson Garment Manufacturing Company owner, producing Red Fox garments. Mr. and Mrs. Henson occupied the house after the Wrights. Charles Henson Sr. died in 1965, and his wife Florence died in 1993,” Brown said. “Around this time, the Monroe First United Methodist Church purchased the house. The Church recently sold the house with the understanding that it would be moved to provide space for future expansion of their campus.”

Historic Wright-Wright Henson House, Monroe, Ga. Photo credit: Monroe Museum
Charles Henson Sr. & Jr.  Photo credit: Monroe Museum

Last year, Monroe resident James ‘Rick’ Holder applied for a zoning amendment for property he owns at 257 Boulevard to have the home moved from its present location to his property. This was approved by the city, with encouragement from church officials who stated that the intent was to then develop the vacated property into a neighborhood park. In his application, Holder noted that the benefits would not only be the neighborhood park that would be built and maintained by the church, but also the preservation of a historic home.

“A historic home with unique design detail would be saved from falling into disrepair and being condemned,” he noted in the application. “The spirit of the City’s Historic District Regulations and Guidelines would be served by protecting and preserving a historic structure that is unique in design. The entire structure would be saved from future demolition and kept intact in its original neighborhood. The opportunity to maintain the historical integrity of an entire structure is a highly valued proposition in preservation.”

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