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Hey, at least the truck didn't catch on fire...

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  • Hey, at least the truck didn't catch on fire...

    (Click above for picture! It's neat)

    House-move causes big stir

    Equipment breaks down

    Harold A. Gushue Jr.

    After the drive train on the main truck pulling the house broke, it, and the house, had to be pulled by cables attached to two other trucks. (T&G Staff//BETTY JENEWIN)
    Enlarge photo


    CHARLTON- A truck moving a house lost its drive train yesterday, which resulted in it being winched up Stafford Street to Stafford Heights Apartments before it was chained to other trucks to be towed.

    The mishap put a glitch in plans to move the house in about eight hours from 5 Brookfield Road to its new location about two and a half miles up Stafford Street to 250 Stafford St., a five-acre lot. The progress of the main portion of the house was measured in inches instead of feet until it got past the apartments.

    A truck from Rochester Truck Repair of New Hampshire connected a steel cable from its winch to the front of the truck carrying the house. Donald Gagnon of Rochester Truck Repair then slowly winched the truck and house up to just beyond Stafford Heights Apartments. Mr. Gagnon said he was there after being called by Brian Payne, owner of Payne Building Movers of Center Strafford, N.H. "He called me to back him up in case something happened," Mr. Gagnon said. "It's going to be a long day," he said just before 1 p.m. The move started about 5:30 a.m. and went from Brookfield Road west onto Route 20 and then onto Stafford Street by Ted's Charlton City Package Store.

    As the truck inched its way up the hill, workers kept kicking six-inch beams behind the rear wheels of the truck with the house to prevent it from rolling backward.

    John P. Grudzien of Auburn bought the house for $1 from Ware-based Country Bank for Savings. The bank plans to build a branch bank at the location of the house and the former St. Joseph's Church rectory. The 20-room house measures 62 feet by 32 feet and a portion of it was cut off on the length and it was moved in two pieces on two trucks.

    As the larger portion was being winched, a truck with the smaller section waited at the bottom of Stafford Street and Brookfield Road.

    As the major portion of the house stopped just after the apartments, Mr. Payne said he would hook two of his trucks together to pull the one with the house. "It's going all the way," he said, indicating the house would be moved to its new location. Ultimately, there was the wrecker in front, followed by two Payne trucks pulling the truck with the house.

    Mr. Payne said that while he has had minor problems before, this is the first time since 1974 he has had a major equipment breakdown.

    The house was once owned by Roger M. Grimwade, former president of Charlton Woolen Co. It was built in 1884 by F. A. Eastman, according to William O. Hultgren, president of Charlton Historical Society. Mr. Hultgren said it was later bought by Fred Taylor, who, with another man, owned the forerunner of Charlton Woolen Co.

    Mr. Hultgren said it was remodeled in 1934 by Briggs Stewart, a Worcester architect. Mr. Hultgren said the home was originally sort of Queen Anne in style and when it was remodeled it was done in the Colonial Revival style.

    By 3:30 p.m., the larger house section was at 93 Stafford St., while the smaller section, about 10 feet by 30 feet with a porch, was behind the first by about a quarter-mile. Mr. Payne, as he rested under the truck in the shade, said then he expected the move would take a few hours to complete.

    The move cost merchants in the Charlton City area a loss of business. Thaddeus K. Mroczkowski, owner of Ted's Charlton City Package Store and Ted's Citgo, on opposite sides of Route 20, said he received a letter from Massachusetts Electric Co. stating power could be off from 5:30 to 8:30 a.m. In reality, he said, power was shut off at 5:45 a.m. and not restored until 11:15 a.m., more than five hours. He said he cut his vacation short because of the move. He said attempts to find a generator were unsuccessful. He said he called the moving company, which he understood was supposed to contact him about a generator. Mr. Mroczkowski said he lost "a substantial amount of money" between the two businesses. "I was a wreck this morning," he said.

    Matt Gagner, owner of Advantage Enterprise of Charlton, a tree company, said work began on the route two weeks ago. He said some trees were removed along the side of the road, but no ornamental trees were removed from private property. He said a crew was at work until 8:30 p.m. Friday night on "last minute" work and work they were doing yesterday was "last second" work, trimming back branches where needed.

    Police said late yesterday that the house was expected to be at its new site around 8 p.m. yesterday.
    Last edited by Dalmatian90; 07-27-2003, 06:21 PM.
    IACOJ Canine Officer

  • #2

    So, when you respond up the street and come up behind the house with your lights and siren on, does the house pull over??
    Never use Force! Get a Bigger Hammer.
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    • #3
      Ah the power of the winch.

      Don (Hulk)Gagnon is well equipped and well trained for the job.Quite a lot of freight there,but as you can see no match for the big Int.(on right).Bet that was a costly move.T.C.


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