When Carla and her husband, Tom, bought the Sublett-Miller house in Danville, Virginia via an auction on the front lawn fifteen years ago they immediately thought, “what the hell have we done?”
Thank God they thought that afterward and never looked back. They have valiantly and humorously stuck with it through thick and thin. I believe the humorously part is what has made them stay with it.
When we first arrived at the house on Saturday, Wendy and I thought, lets go to the front door. Well the front gate was shut tight with a chain or something. We went to the side door. That door had a sign that said the doorbell was broken so we should use the security code to get in. Hmmmm.
I then private messaged Carla via Facebook saying……I am at side door. Then I knocked. My knock on that solid wood door sounded like an infant knocking. But the door immediately opened. Before us stood a petite woman with dark hair, not Morticia Addams like I quietly hoped. I was almost tempted to kiss her arm a few times like Gomez, but that might not have gone over well. Should have had Wendy standing there with her hair over the front of her face with sunglasses on her head like Cousin Itt.
But within the first five minutes of talking I believe the F-bomb had been unleashed, not naming names, but we all immediately felt at ease with each other. It was like we were lifelong friends and seeing her new house for the first time. This blog series about their over the top beautiful home will have many entries, but tonight I want to focus on items they have found inside, or discovered through outside sources.
I have a friend in Louisburg, NC., Dorothy Cooper, that owns a historic house and through their restoration work they have found many items. Old playing marbles behind a wall, a hair broach hidden behind a wall, many pieces of china in the trash pit behind the house. So I was immediately thinking that Carla and Tom must have found a bunch of stuff in a house of this size!
Nope, only a shoe and a postcard. I saw the postcard. It was so faded we couldn’t make out anything on it.
Carla has taken it upon herself to make sure everyone knows she wants everything associated with this house and the people that lived in it. Locals in Danville know of her quest and one day she got a very special call. “I have something pertaining to E.H.Miller that you may want for your house.” (E.H.Miller was the first Miller to live in the house.)
“What is it?” Carla asked.
“His Masonic Lodge ceremonial uniform and Bible.”
These items date back to the late 1800’s/early 1900’s more than likely. It is his hat (I am sure there is a fancier name for it), his cummerbund, and a family Bible. As a history fanatic, this excites me greatly and I don’t own the house!!!! I want to leaf through every page to see anything underlined, any words written, etc.
After learning of how Carla and Tom attained most of the exquisite furnishings in the house via auctions and their shrewd business skills it wouldn’t surprise me if Carla pretended like she didn’t really want it. I can picture her saying, Not exactly what I am looking for, eh, but I guess I will take it.
In reality Carla TREASURES this suitcase with his items so much so that she keeps it near the front door so when people stop by asking to see it, she has it handy.
This is the epitome of a family that treasures history! It shows in every inch of the house that they have touched! It shows in the way they have tried to bring this house back to the early Sublett-Miller days! It shows in them opening up their home to people like me so I can share it with 121,000 followers!
Thank you Carla and Tom!!!