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Newborn couple salvages historic barn/home

Staff Photos: Erin Evans. Tim and Andie Hogan reconstructed this barn from the wood of a 100-year-old barn that stood behind the Pitts Building in Newborn and designed and hand painted it themselves.

Staff Photos: Erin Evans. Tim and Andie Hogan reconstructed this barn from the wood of a 100-year-old barn that stood behind the Pitts Building in Newborn and designed and hand painted it themselves.

NEWBORN -- There's a treasure tucked away in the small town of Newborn. It's easy to miss if you're not looking, but just past the caution light on the left is a restored Victorian home and behind it sits a brightly painted barn.

It's the residence of Andi and Tim Hogan, and they spent three years making it their dream home. The Hogans, who previously lived in Rockdale County, bought the property in 2006 and set about meticulously restoring the house, which they believe was built in the late 1800s.

"It was built before they started keeping (real estate) records in the county, and that was 1905," Tim Hogan said.

"We always wanted to buy an old house and restore it, one that wasn't a money pit," his wife Andi added.

Though they hired contractors to do the roofing and a few other tasks, the Hogans did the majority of the work themselves, from painting to plumbing. Andi Hogan even took a class to learn how to create stained glass so she could replace the home's transom windows with her own artwork. A stained glass door on the second floor, leading out to the roof to what the Hogans believe was once a widow's walk, is Andie's crowning achievement. She cut, ground, painted and placed all the glass herself, a tedious process that took six weeks to complete.

But the Hogans weren't content to just restore a house. Their neighbor owned a 100-year-old barn that sat behind the Pitts Building, an old cotton warehouse and general store. Town officials asked that the barn be torn down or repaired, as it had become dilapidated. The neighbor told the Hogans if they took down the barn, the wood was all theirs.

Though the exterior wood was too worn to reuse, they did preserve loads of the heart-pine wood interior. From it they built a new barn from scratch that now sits behind their home. It has become a sort of artists' workshop for the couple: Andie does her stained glass there, and Tim makes guitars, a hobby he took up after finishing the house and barn, and which he hopes will become his "retirement job" in a few years. He even made a guitar from the leftover barn wood and a few pieces of furniture as well.

The couple opted to paint the barn a traditional red, but, "We just decided it needed to be something different," Tim Hogan said. So, they put their creative minds together to come up with the design: An American flag on one side; a rooster at sunrise on the front doors; and a Coca-Cola sign on the other side, using vivid blues, greens and reds.

The Hogans "declared victory," as Tim puts it, in spring of 2009, when the house and barn were completed. A project they thought would take one year had turned into three.

But it was worth it.

"We plan on being here for a long while," Tim Hogan said.