When Ashely and David Johnson purchased their 1910 dutch colonial in downtown Southern Pines in 2017, they embarked on a mission to restore the home to its former glory.
For the past two years, the Johnsons have spent their days digging up more than a century’s worth of history and putting it all back together, piece by piece. And yes, their five children have been excellent helpers throughout the whole process.
“Our goal going in was to restore it rather than remodel, which for us means bringing it back to what it was in 1910 — or what it possibly could have been,” Ashley said.
Ashley’s love of restoring houses stems from her childhood. She recalls fixing up a home built in 1906 with her family and rewiring electricity with her father. David worked as a carpenter before he enlisted in the military and, according to Ashley, has an “insane eye for detail.”
David is currently in the process of building cabinets for the kitchen that match the time period, and together Ashely and David are working to restore the home’s original hardwood floors.
Prior to the Johnsons purchasing the 1910 dutch colonial, it was the victim of some interesting trends throughout the years that were once considered “upgrades.” Needless to say, Ashley and David have ripped up many layers of linoleum and removed wood paneling that once covered the walls.
Historical accuracy is important to Ashley and David. In fact, it’s so important that the couple has combed through historical records to ensure that their restorations are true to the time period.
From replicating the home’s original trim, to scouring antique shops and Facebook marketplace for parts, Ashley and David are ensuring that the house is as true to its original form as possible.
There are certain modern amenities that are necessary — you know like functioning appliances and electrical outlets. Ashley found a store in Colorado that makes appliances that resemble old-timey ice boxes, and they recently installed push-button light switches throughout the entire house to fit the whole “early 20th century” vibe.
The Johnsons are taking the restoration one room and one project at a time. David said he hopes that they’re finished with the whole thing by 2024 when he retires from the Army. Until then, the Johnsons are embracing the balance of restoring the home and raising their children — a challenge that they say is definitely worth it.
We just love to see history brought back, ” David said. “If we wipe out old historic homes and all that they were built upon, then we’re basically wiping away history.”
Intrigued? Ashley and David are keeping the public updated on Instagram. Follow @1910_revolution to track their progress.