It has been a year since the Pamlico Rose Institute for Sustainable Communities purchased 219 E. 3rd Street in Washington, NC and re-named it Rose Haven, the future re-integration home for women Veterans. It has been since the late summer/early fall of 2017 that Pamlico Rose first started to work on the house. This spring marks the start of the healing garden concept which includes plans to rehab the barn as a multipurpose support building. Pamlico Rose has now tied the three elements together – the house, the garden, and the barn – into a Center of Healing that will serve women Veterans as well as the community of Washington.
Much has happened since we first began ripping out plaster, walls, and ceilings to bare the original “bones” of the house. Evidence of these efforts are often hidden from a sauntering passerby or the window of a passing car. Our old house, like many relics of the past, was rescued from dying a slow death after sitting for over 125 years in the searing heat of summers past, battered by hurricanes and dreary winter rains. Who could fault an old house submitting to the vegetation slowly climbing up its weather-beaten wooden siding, or allowing the growth to wind through the walls and broken windows, and succumb finally to the inexorable march of indifference and neglect? Our efforts to wrestle the house away from the clutches of overgrown trees, shrubs, and prickly vines that seem to crawl to the heavens using unsuspecting trees are more visible to longer glances that reveal greater progress – at least, going from a “Dark Shadows” visage to one offering views to the back of the property provides greater resonance. Our passage through this resurrection of house and barn, and the birth of a healing garden is not a quick one, but it is a satisfying path and certainly not one of least resistance.
We are starting this blog, Our Old House, to chronicle our efforts starting at the one-year mark with much done, but still much to do. In this space, over the next few months, we will invite you along with us as we rehab buildings and build healing landscapes to rehab souls. We will illustrate our efforts through a multimedia mix of narrative, photos, and video, and will feature it on our Facebook and Instagram accounts, webpage, and even our YouTube channel. In other words, you won’t have to miss out on our postings. We will introduce you to those who work to make our vision a reality – the businesses, organizations, and committed individuals in our community and beyond who make a difference in our mission and progress. We will offer insights on the importance of historical preservation and rehabilitation, while recounting the history of those who lived in what is now Rose Haven. In Our Old House, we will also explore how Rose Haven, the barn, and garden will work in concert with a program promoting resilience to advance recovery for the future residents, women Veterans, as well as act as a catalyst for other local Veteran populations.
In other words, Our Old House will be like HGTV on social and community “steroids.” It will narrate the repair and fortification of the old bones of a house and barn. It will also feature how history and rehab can help lay the foundation of continued recovery, and rehabilitation from substance abuse and PTSD of Veterans, ultimately growing a stronger and sustainable community. Too much to cover? Tune in and find out.
As in all travelogues, we need to start our story somewhere in time and place. In the next few days, our story will begin, both as a look back, and then in real time. A good time and place to start this journey is now and at 219 E. 3rd Street, Washington, NC, our Rose Haven.
Thanks for tagging along.
Robert Greene Sands, Pamlico Rose CEO