Massive tree falls on historic home

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SPRING HOPE — Steve Brumfield left his home on Nash Street and went to work as usual Wednesday morning. Fifteen minutes later, he received a call from the Spring Hope Police Department saying a tree had fallen on his house around 8:45 a.m.

“I had just left,” Brumfield said. “The kids were gone. My better half was gone.”

Brumfield bought the historic 108-year-old Manning-Marshbourne House three years ago. The house, which is in the Spring Hope historic district, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is described by the register as “integral to the architectural fabric of Nash Street.” He had worked to restore it over time and was proud of the work he put into its renovation.

“I bought it in shambles. It was covered up in ivy. You couldn’t see the house,” Brumfield said. “I bought it, cleaned it up and had restored it almost all the way. I have worked my tail off on it.”

The tree, which stood in his neighbor’s yard, was estimated to be about 250 years old and is possibly the oldest tree in Nash County.

“It shook five houses down,” said Brumfield. “They came out, freaking out, because they thought it was an earthquake.”

Brumfield hopes to rebuild his home, but knows that he has a great deal of work ahead of him.

“It destroyed that first room up front, and the front porch, and a little bit of foundation issues, but there’s minor damages throughout the house,” Brumfield said. “I can’t do anything until the tree service gets the tree out of my bedroom and out of my driveway. I can’t even have a contractor come.”

Due to the tree’s size, Brumfield is working to secure a crane service to help with its removal.

“Nobody has a saw that big. Nobody,” Brumfield said. “You can buy a 60-inch chainsaw, and it’s not even going to get halfway through that tree.”

Brumfield’s neighbors and town residents stopped to look at the damage and offer encouragement and support.

“I’m sorry to see that, man, as much work as you put into that house” one driver said as he slowed his car along Nash Street. “Let me know if you need anything.”