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Historic home moved by barge

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WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, NC (WWAY) -- The Palmgren-O'Quinn house traveled up the Intracoastal Waterway at Wrightsville Beach from Harbor Island by barge Wednesday afternoon.

The barge carried the 120-ton house to an empty lot on Pelican Drive, where the house will sit for the night.

Thursday morning, the house will be transported from Pelican Drive to West Salisbury Street to Historic Square. There, it will become home to the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

The two-story structure was built in 1946 on South Channel Drive. Robert O'Quinn lived in the home, but put it up for sale in 2012. According to the North Carolina Coastal Federation, it worked with the O'Quinn's, the new home owners and Wrightsville Beach to secure the donation of the house to save it from demolition.

The Coastal Federation said the only practical way to move the house was by a 90 by 50-foot barge. The journey was about four miles long and took about forty-five minutes. According to the captain, the barge traveled between five and eight miles per hour.

Ted Wilgis, of the Coastal Federation, said Coastal Federation member donations and fundraising paid for the $1.2 million price tag of the project. He says that sum includes the $500,000-$600,000 value of the donated home, as well as moving and renovation costs. Wilgis expects the home to be open to the public by Christmas.

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