Centuries-old Brentwood property on path to restoration

Storm impacts historic home restoration project
Owen-Primm House
Posted at 4:06 PM, May 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-11 06:37:32-04

BRENTWOOD, Tenn. (WTVF) — The new owner of the Owen-Primm House is taking steps to restore the property.

With development running rampant, buildings are being torn down left and right. However, Brentwood residents fought to save one historic property.

“'It’s just like walking through Narnia at the end of the day,” Providence Builder Group’s William Barron said, “It’s beautiful.”

The barn on Moore's Lane is a staple in the Brentwood community.

"Back in the day I’ve been told that there was a large field behind this where a herd of donkey used to roam, and so people would get up every morning and say, 'Hey the donkeys have moved,' or 'Have you seen the donkeys lately?'" said Barron.

The barn might look like it's on its last legs, but Barron said they’re about to give it a breath of new life.

"Restoring it to its old glory," Barron said.

Sadly, Mother Nature decided to throw a wrench in their plans. A tree fell on the historic barn during a storm several weeks ago. It's still hanging on due to some of the stabilization work.

"If they hadn’t have done that, the whole thing would have just fell," said property owner Bobbi Clemens.

Clemens moved to Williamson County from California a couple of years ago.

The preservation project is a way to give back to the community she has grown to love.

"I just wanted to help maintain a part of history here," Clemens said.

Also on the property is a building where enslaved people lived in the 1800s.

"It’s a unique architecture because it’s one central chimney and then two cabins on either side," said Clemens.

1800's slave quarters
1800's slave quarters at the Owen-Primm property in Brentwood, Tennessee.

The Owen family built the original cabin 216 years ago. It was moved off the cellar a couple of weeks before the storm hit.

"That tree over there is where the log house used to be," Clemens said.

The Primm House next to it was not damaged. To have an idea on what would need to be done there, they called out a structural engineer who told them the foundation is rock solid.

"They had actually taken a corner of the porch and made a bathroom, cause there was no indoor plumbing," said Clemens.

They hope the preservation project will be finished in a couple of years.

"I hope someone that moves in will realize it for the beautiful historical property that it is and keep it up," Clemens said.

The owner said they're currently in a long permitting process with the City of Brentwood. Then, they're ready to start the next phase of work.