That night I phoned the house mover to track down the owner. In yet another lucky break, she was a nice, preservation-minded woman who'd bought the house to save it from a bank that wanted to build a drive-through in its place. She agreed to sell it to us for $15,000, plus guide us in the house-moving process, which she'd been through when she moved another old house to her own property.
Our luck ran out the minute we handed her the check. The structural movers broke the news that the house would have to be sawn in half if we wanted it to go anywhere at all. Apparently, you can't always transport a 3,900-square-foot house intact. Sharon and I watched anxiously as the home we were trying to hold together got hacked in two. Opting to slice off the top floor and have it rebuilt later was another bleak concession.