Historic Shed is an offshoot of Preservation Resource, Inc., a historic preservation consulting company. Under the PRI umbrella, we have worked on a variety of historic building projects, including the Tampa Interstate Study project in Ybor City. More recently, we began a project near our Historic Shed shop in Brooksville at the Chinsegut Hill Manor House.
The Chinsegut Hill Manor House is set atop one of the highest elevations in Florida.
Settled in the 1840s, the Chinsegut Hill Manor House property has links to many important eras in history including: the initial development of Florida during the pioneer years; the development of a Florida slave plantation and its transformation after the Civil War; the US labor movement including women’s and children’s labor regulations; women’s suffrage; early 1900 literature; the Russian Revolution; the Great Depression and the Civilian Conservation Corp; and the early years of University of South Florida development. Details on its development and history can be found at the Friends of Chinsegut Hill website.
Historic postcard showing Chinsegut Hill Manor House c. 1910 when owned by Raymond and Margaret Robins, prominent social activists. The house saw many guests during the Robins' ownership, including Helen Keller, Thomas Edison, and Jane Addams.
We began our involvement in the Manor House renovation when a locally formed non-profit, Friends of Chinsegut Hill, managed to convince the Hernando County Board of County Commissioners that the building could and should be saved for public use, and secured grants through the Florida Division of Historical Resources for the planning and stabilization of the building. Through the first grant, PRI was hired to prepare a Historic Structures Report, documenting the building's past development, current condition, and planning for its future.
Investigations of the house revealed some serious foundation issues. PRI, along with a local house moving company, Atlas, LLC, made the necessary foundation repairs. Then the Florida legislature secured $1.5 million in funding for the full rehabilitation of the house. PRI was brought on board as the building contractor.
Chinsegut Hill during foundation repair. The heavy timber framing made supporting the walls difficult during sill replacement.
To kick off the project, we constructed a small shed to hold the project permits and store small tools. The 3'x3' shed was placed near a family cemetery on the property and has architectural elements that complement the main house.
The shed has a wide overhang and wood shingles.
The renovation work at the house will take many months. Current work is focusing on the building exterior, repairing siding and windows, replacing columns and rebuilding the two story porch where needed. Interior repairs will include lots of plaster work and bringing the existing interior trim back to life.
Beautiful camillas in bloom at the house during renovations.
Two small historic cabins are located near the manor house. Both date from the 1930s when a CCC camp was established on the extensive property. The cabins will hopefully be brought back to life once the main house renovation is complete.
A CCC era wash house remains on the Chinsegut Hill property
CCC era cabin on the Chinsegut Hill property.