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WATCH: Historic mansion from 1764 moved 50 miles by barge to new location

PortandTerminal.com, September 27, 2019

A historic home that has sat on a dock in Easton, Maryland for several days was finally loaded onto a barge Wednesday to begin its 50-mile voyage to Queenstown.  

EASTON, MD – The mansion had been located in Easton, Maryland since it was constructed in 1764 for the newly married William Nicols and Henrietta Maria Chamberlaine Nicols, according to a website dedicated to the move.

Its new owner, Christian Neeley, who bought it for approximately $500,000, decided that he wanted to restore it and give it to his parents to use as a retirement home. The only problem was that the home was located 50 miles (83 km) away from the rural location he wanted to relocate the home to.

“In order to keep this amazing piece of American history and architecture from succumbing to these forces, we decided to do the seemingly unthinkable – pick the whole house up, brick chimneys and all, drive it six miles through the town of Easton, load it on a barge, and then float it 50 miles through the Chesapeake Bay to its new home in Queenstown, Maryland. There, it will be restored to the original Georgian masterpiece that was once proudly called ‘Galloway.'” 

The solution was to jack it up, move it to the water and transport it 50 miles by barge to its new location. Easier said than done.

The logistics of moving the house by road down to the waterfront were daunting.

The planning, which took two years, bogged down by the complex scheduling and approvals for things like road closures. And after years of planning, it took four nights to go six miles through the town — slow, careful going.

“You have no idea (how difficult the planning was) — there was Delmarva (power company), Eastern Utilities, Verizon, Atlantic broadband who all had to agree to take their lines down. And then there were the traffic signals that had to come down,” said Pat Neely who organized the move.

At 4:30 a.m. Wednesday the move from land to bay began, with Expert House Movers inching the structure onto the barge, letting out ballast to account for the immense weight.

The house was then moved by water 50 km where the process was put into reverse as the home was finally delivered to its new location.

The Neeley’s plan on keeping the house in the family for generations, a place to come home to.


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