Many people have a set of specific qualifications in mind when they set out to find a place to live. Potential home buyers want a certain number of bedrooms or bathrooms, a certain location and have any number of deal-breaking preferences.
For many, an apartment or a house is where it’s at. Those who are a little more adventurous might opt for a mobile home or camper so they can travel.
But it takes a very handy person to see an old building that is not a house and think, “Yes, that would make a cool home,” and actually have the skills to execute their vision.
You’ve probably seen churches that have been renovated and turned into living spaces. The high ceilings, beautiful windows and architecture give the resulting homes a distinctive quality.
Joe Keough from Parkman, Ohio, has a knack for seeing possibility, and he has a skill set to back it up. He and his wife, Dorrie, are the owners of a small brick building that has been used as a post office for around 170 years.
The building, old as it is, needs regular upkeep and care, care that the Keoughs were convinced the postal service was not delivering.
“This is a very difficult topic for me for a number of reasons,” Dorrie Keough said, according to the Geauga County Maple Leaf. “As the landlord of the post office building, it’s gotten to the point that we can no longer lease that building to the post office department.”
Since 2000, the lease had been agreed upon a month at a time, but after the Keoughs suspected neglect and someone turned the heat so low that the pipes burst and flooded the building, they wanted the post office out.
But what to do with the ancient building once its former tenants were gone? Well, Joe Keough went to work stripping down the old post office and building it back up.
“This was always a gathering spot for the people that lived in Parkman and the surrounding communities,” Keough told WKYC.
“After the demolition, I was thinking ‘what have I gotten myself into?’ It was pretty much every day Dorrie and I were over here doing something, whether it was framing the windows or painting, putting the floor in or the ceiling.
“When we tore the floor up, under the floor joists, we found a jawbone of a cow! Who knows how it got there?”
When he was done, the place was a cozy, laid-back living space that they started advertising as a rental. “The Old Postal Cottage, built in the 1840s, was the Parkman post office until mid 2018,” the Airbnb page says.
“It was completely renovated, and it is now a tiny house, located within an Amish community in Northeast Ohio. It has a private entrance, and is a cozy space, perfect for a getaway in the country, with access to all major roads and an easy commute to Cleveland, Youngstown, Akron, and many tourist attractions.”
“We have the personal satisfaction of one, saving a historic building,” Keough explained. “Two, provide something that people enjoy and that brings us a lot of joy.”
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