A small team descended upon the Mote-Morris House this week with vehicles, brushes, hoses and a very careful plan to improve the cherished piece of Leesburg history.
The goal was to delicately wash the 121-year-old, wood-sided home at 1195 Magnolia Street without damaging the fragile wood siding and other features. Mote-Morris currently is undergoing a full assessment to determine all the fixes needed to restore some of its former glory.
“I like way the house was so well constructed – it originally was built with $9,000 and includes a wonderful tower and matching wood floors on the first and second levels,” said Glorianne Fahs, president of the Leesburg Heritage Society, who provides tours of the Mote-Morris House and is helping to raise money for the refurbishing.
Fahs and other tour guides used donations collected during the past four years to pay $1,000 of this week’s cleaning cost. The City of Leesburg funded another $500.
A crew from the Leesburg-based business No Pressure Inc. house washing service used a mechanical lift, a citrus-based cleaning solution and hoses to clean the exterior of the building without high-pressure sprayers. Work was completed in a couple of days.
The next step for Leesburg and the Heritage Society is to determine how to keep Mote-Morris maintained for several more decades. The majestic home likely will need roof and window repairs and other costly improvements.
To help pay for those repairs, the Heritage Society will host a fundraising kick-off reception at Mote-Morris from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Nov. 15. All donations are tax deductible.
Fahs also is helping Mote-Morris with donated proceeds from a new history book - “Images of America – Leesburg” – that she co-authored with Bob Grenier. The book features pictures and stories of Leesburg’s colorful past as a growing economic hub and residential community.
Books can be purchased at the Leesburg Heritage Museum, 111 S. Sixth St. in downtown Leesburg. For more information, e-mail Fahs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mote-Morris is available to rent for weddings, meetings and other activities. For more information, contact the City of Leesburg at (352) 728-9885.
Leesburg is a progressive city of more than 20,000 residents in northwest Lake County. The city government serves twice as many people with its electric, gas, water, wastewater and fiber-optic public utilities. Leesburg also is a central hub for commerce, attracting 50,000 people to work each weekday.