I’m delighted you found my website and hope you’ll stop by often. Warm hospitality and good cooking are hallmarks of the South, and as I’ll explore in future posts, the two are intertwined in the story of Rachel’s Trammell-House Sweets.
It all began in 1998. Douglas and I had toured and admired countless historic homes and were ready for our own fixer-upper. We were old-house hunting when we spied an 1887 Queen Anne in May of that year and immediately fell in love. But . . . there was no “for sale” sign. I wondered aloud “if a little lady lived there and would sell it to us.”
In a serendipitous twist of fate, a neighbor next door spotted us; we’d met years earlier at his father’s antiques shop in North Carolina. To our astonishment, when we mentioned that we were looking to buy a historic house and were smitten with this one, he said that it was about to be sold and gave us the owner’s phone number.
A phone call and a day later, we met the owner to look at buying the house. Her exact words as she unlocked the door: “I believe in signs. When you called me yesterday, I had accepted an offer to sell, but had not mailed it, as I wanted someone to restore the house and wasn’t sure about that buyer.”
Clearly, we were meant to live in the Trammell House!
It wasn’t a typical Victorian with lots of gingerbread trim and the front porch oddly butted into the front bay. Architectural details were obscured under white paint. But we knew it could shine once again.
We opened the front door . . . and saw this. Sometime in the 1920s or ’30s, the house was subdivided into three apartments – two downstairs and one upstairs. The center hall and staircase were partitioned, door openings closed, and ceilings dropped. The original newel post stood as a sentinel to former grandeur. We had a burning desire to know . . . were the handrails buried behind that plaster wall?
Sadly, we discovered most of the balustrade had been taken out. But a section remained upstairs and we duplicated it to restore the front hall and staircase.
The cozy kitchen in the upstairs apartment.
Our goal was to return the house to its original footprint and the former kitchen is once again a bedroom.
As for that stove you saw upstairs? It’s a 1949 Roper that we installed in our new kitchen. It was here that the idea for Rachel’s Trammell-House Sweets began.
In future posts, we’ll look at more before and after pictures. Don’t you just love to see those?