Greenville home to be featured on HGTV

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 29, 2004

The rest of America will get a little taste of Greenville history Sunday night when the home of Garry and Ramona Martin will be featured on television.

The Home and Garden Television Network (HGTV) will feature their home on the show &uot;If These Walls Could Talk.&uot;

The show takes homes, preferably from the pre-1920’s area, with interesting stories and showcases them.

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The Martin’s home, which was begun in 1865, was perfect for the show.

When the Martins viewed the house they knew that it was right for them.

&uot;We got as far as the front door and there was just a feeling,&uot; said Martin. &uot;We just knew that we had to have it.&uot;

Martin even found a tie to her life in the house.

&uot;We were up in the attic and I found a picture of the building at Maxwell that I was born in,&uot; said Martin. &uot;There were just a lot of things about the house that made us feel at home.&uot;

Many interesting characters rested their heads at the home. Most of the more colorful characters came when the house was owned by Stewart Washburn. Washburn was a well-known architect who was credited with founding the City of Bolling.

Washburn had a nephew named Bryant that was a movie star. Often he would entertain his nephew and others in the house.

&uot;We found a lot of old letters from him to his nephew,&uot; said Martin. &uot;They entertained a lot of people in the house that came down to hunt and others who just came to relax.&uot;

Martin said people from all different walks of life came to visit.

&uot;A lot of famous people and movie stars came to Greenville to visit,&uot; said Martin.

&uot;There were also a lot of notorious people from Chicago that stayed in the house.&uot;

While renovating the house Mr. Martin happened upon a lot of interesting finds himself.

&uot;When I was up in the attic I found a lot of old magazines and things like that,&uot; said Martin. &uot;There was even an old six pack of Billy Beer.&uot;

The construction of a staircase in the house yielded one of the most interesting finds of all.

&uot;When we were cutting a hole for the staircase we had to take out some of the insulation,&uot; said Martin. &uot;When we did that we found three cigar boxes worth of old silver coins. There were silver dollars dating from 1880 to about 1963.&uot;

The find created quite a stir around the neighborhood.

&uot;There were rumors that we had found a million dollars in the house,&uot; said Martin. &uot;People were asking us about it. We ended up with about three boxes of coins.&uot;

One of the Martins grandchildren even made a discovery in the yard.

&uot;She was digging out there and kept finding bricks,&uot; said Martin. &uot;She dug and dug and found what used to be a brick walkway.&uot;

Along with the coins and other items the Martins found a lot of interesting literature.

&uot;We found magazines for everything,&uot; said Martin. &uot;Old catalogues, pottery magazines and architectural magazines.&uot;

The Martins even found old newspapers from the 1920’s and World War II era Montgomery Advertisers.

With all of the history in the house Annie Crenshaw thought that it would be perfect for the show.

She contacted HGTV and proposed the home for a feature. The show agreed to come and filmed the home on April Fool’s Day.

The Martins said the experience was great, but tiring.

&uot;All of the people were so nice,&uot; said Martin. They were great and we enjoyed having them. They were there from about 7 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. though so we were worn out when they left.&uot;

The show aired early much to the Martin’s surprise.

&uot;We had people come up to us and say they had seen the show,&uot; said Martin. &uot;No one had ever told us about it. It took us by surprise.&uot;

The Martin’s and everyone else in Greenville will get another chance to see the show when it airs Sunday night at 9 p.m.

For all natives of Butler County and the entire area it will be a must see to get a look into the past and present of Butler County.