EDENTON – A local restoration project will soon have its story told on television.
Bill and Jeannie Taylor and the restoration project of their 1902 Train Depot will be aired on the television show, “Cheap Old Houses” next week on Discovery+ and again at 9:30 p.m. Monday Aug. 30 on HGTV.
The Taylors moved to Edenton in 2018 from Mississippi when Bill took a new position with Nucor Steel.
The couple was looking at housing online while they were still in Mississippi. One day, they visited Edenton, and the next morning they made an offer on the train depot.
The restoration project then began.
Jeannie said that this wasn’t their first rodeo, and they had completed another house before this one. The only difference is they still had young children and had to move faster on the first project.
“I have enjoyed being able to take our time with this project,” she added.
The Taylors started an Instagram account showing the restoration of the train depot.
According to Jeannie, the producers of the show reached out to the couple through their Instagram account showing interest in featuring the restoration.
At first they had to make sure they met all of the criteria for the show, including the amount they paid for the property, and they were completing all of the work as property owners. They did meet the qualifications.
“It has been a process. We had several virtual meetings with the production team. Everything started around March 2020,” said Jeannie.
With only a few weeks before filming, the Taylors say it was a mad rush to complete several projects. There were only a few rooms that were completely restored at that point.
“The filming was wonderful. The entire team was really nice. These people truly care about restoration. It was also a learning experience for us. I got to learn a lot of things that go on behind the scenes. The show is special. It promotes preservation and not just flipping,” said Jeannie.
The Taylors have worked with the depot’s original design, keeping little features such as the ticket windows and knobs for old electrical wiring in place to show off the building’s history.
The walls and ceilings consist of bead board that was hidden behind drywall and drop ceilings.
To complete the look of the home, the Taylors have visited other train depots throughout the region.
The 1902 segregated train depot served those from all walks of life for the Suffolk & Carolina Railway, Virginia and Carolina Coast Railway and the Norfolk Southern Railway before being converted into a residence.
For a while, it served as the home for St. George’s Orthodox Church.
“The train depot is a special place. We love the history of the building. It once was an operating segregated train depot. We respect the history of it,” said Jeannie.
According to Jeannie, there are some unique characteristics of the train depot, including the chimney in a passenger room, the ticket master door and the Indian pottery and little war souvenirs found outside the home.
When asked if they would ever consider doing another project like this, Jeannie replied never say never.
The show can be streamed on available release date through Discovery+ or can be watched the night it debuts on the local HGTV network.
Thadd White is Group Editor of the Bertie Ledger-Advance, Chowan Herald, Perquimans Weekly, The Enterprise & Eastern North Carolina Living. He can be reached via email at [email protected]