WDAY: The News Leader

Published July 30, 2012, 09:19 PM

Flood house in the metro ends up on a TV show in Great Britain

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Dozens of flood houses in Fargo-Moorhead have found new homes or been demolished, but none has ended up on a TV Show in Great Britain - until now.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Fargo, ND (WDAY TV) -- Dozens of flood houses in Fargo-Moorhead have found new homes or been demolished, but none has ended up on a TV Show in Great Britain - until now.

In the early 1900's, north of Georgetown in rural Clay County, a beautiful, huge Victorian went up on the prairie. It served the Finney and Askegard families for decades. That house is headed down the highway Tuesday, and a world audience is soon to hear all about it.

TV Show Producer Tom Ranson is a little far from home.

Tom Ranson – ‘Massive Moves’ Show: “They just don’t do this in the UK, so it’s not something we see in the UK at all.”

The Brit is part of a crew from England taping a segment for the show ‘Massive Move.’ The subject - the Finney-Askegard house in rural Georgetown; on the Red River, and recently on Clay County's flood buyout list.

Tom Ranson: "I guess what is so good about this house is that it’s so pretty. You know, it’s an old Victorian house. We met the old owner.”

The old Victorian has been on the prairie here since 1905, a bustling farmstead back then. In fact, boats used to stop there on the Red River to load grain.

Suzanne Moe – New Owner of Home: "This was a century home. They received an award for it for being in the family for over 130 years."

When Suzanne and Allen Moe of Wadena, Minnesota saw the home listed on the Clay County's buyout list, their jaws dropped.

Suzanne Moe: "I was like, ‘oh my gosh, that can't be really for sale is it?’"

Ironically the film crew from the UK was able to meet the previous owner of this old Victorian whose ancestors built it when they came over from Norway. There hasn’t been a drop of water in the basement of the house despite being next to the Red River.

Allen Moe - New owner of home: "My dad said several times that if these walls could talk, boy could they tell stories. One of the owners said they used to have dances in the attic when they were kids."

It was what they wanted for a chunk of land they recently bought near Lake Park.

Suzanne Moe: "Just to see it torn down would be heartbreaking."

So for $500 this rich piece of history is theirs. They do, however, have to get it moved.

Suzanne Moe: "I will be really glad when it’s over moved and set down on a foundation."

Today, Anderson Building Movers got timbers and rollers and beams under the 90 ton house. It was slow, measured work. The family watched as the house slowly slid its way to tonight's resting spot in preparation for the move tomorrow – a new location and a family of five that cannot wait to call it home.

Back in the day, neighbors told us the big farm house even served as a school for farm families briefly after the neighboring one room school burned down.

Those house movers have spent the last five days prepping the home for tomorrow's 60 mile trip. The home will travel the backroads from north of Georgetown to rural Lake Park. It has been a challenge because the house weighs 90 tons, and it is solid.

The crew usually moved one story homes, but this old Victorian, say the movers, is a new one for them. The risks are many.

Travis Thomsen - Anderson Building Movers: "Oh gosh, cracking – which you don’t want. The sheer weight - back in these days, you used oak and not pine. So everything weighs a lot more when it is an old house."

The move starts Tuesday at sunrise.