EASTON — The Neeley family announced the Galloway mansion could be moved to the barge at Easton Point Tuesday, Sept. 24, or Wednesday, Sept 25.
“After consultation with engineers and the barge owners, we have decided to swap out the model of barge that will be carrying the house on to Queenstown for one that is better suited to the unique characteristics of the house and the route,” the Neeley family, owners of the mansion, wrote on the eastonhousemove.com website. “Unfortunately, we will have to wait until early next week (either Tuesday September 24 or Wednesday September 25) until it arrives at Easton Point.
“Until then, the house will remain at the end of Port St, sitting off to the side so that the Marina and dock facilities can remain open,” the company wrote. “We will update the site with exact timing for next week’s reschedule final leg as soon as the arrival time is finalized.”
Galloway mansion move through Easton has captured the imaginations of hundreds of people who stayed up all night camped out on the Easton Parkway and followed its progress on the internet.
The plan, in a nutshell, is to move a 255-year-old historic manor house from Chapel Road, crossing U.S. Route 50, down the Easton Parkway to Port Street and load it onto a barge where it would be floated to Queenstown and become a private family home.
The move started Monday, Sept. 9, and by Wednesday, Sept. 18, after crossing the Route 50 median strip, moving through traffic lights and stopping for the moving of power lines, the house was sitting on wheels near the bulkhead at Easton Point.
A Northstar barge with an accompanying tugboat, Northstar Integrity, was in position in the Tred Avon River for the move.
Much of Wednesday was spent trying to adjust the barge with the taking in and letting out of river water to achieve the proper ballast. At one point, the barge began to list, then was righted.
Expert House Movers and the Galloway mansion owners, the Christian Neeley family, decided to call engineering experts to re-evaluate the transfer.
The experts arrived on Thursday. By about 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the barge and tugboat pulled out of Easton Point and left without the house.
It was determined the barge was not going to work and another barge needed to be brought in.
In the meantime, the old manor house has been moved to a small, grassy park near the boat ramp parking lot and roped off.
The bulkhead area near Pep-Up that has been prepared for a ramp to move the building onto the barge also is full of lumber and equipment, and roped off.
Boaters, watermen and customers of the Easton Point Marina should be able to conduct business as usual. The Galloway mansion weighs about 400 tons, according to officials.
After it is loaded onto the barge, the old manor house will be floated to its new home at Cheston on Wye, near Wye Island, to become the home of the Neeley family.
The moving of the Galloway mansion has become a media sensation, with photographers, videographers and ordinary citizens using cameras and cellphones to recordi its movements.
“Gallowaying” has been called the “hep” new pastime in Easton on Facebook. A live video feed at Easton Point has been posted on YouTube, sponsored by the Hertridge Automotive Family of Dealerships. More than 1,100 people watched it Wednesday and Thursday.
For the latest information, the Neeley family’s website about the Galloway mansion is eastonhousemove.com.