If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
By Troy Treasure
Tim Hercules used to drive to and from his job teaching music at South Shelby in the mid-2010s.
Living at 110 Circle Drive in Shelbina, every day he would observe the house at 308 South Center Street.
Hercules experienced emotions ranging from sadness to excitement, mostly the latter. Tim was asked Saturday if he’s a person who likes a challenge.
“That’s an understatement of the year,” he replied, “or, in this case, three and half years.”
Hercules and Kim Dodd of rural Shelbina purchased “This Old Shelbina House” in November 2017. The pair has been friends for a long time and worked together in community theater.
“You were going to buy it,” Kim said while gesturing toward and addressing Tim. “I figured I was going to be coerced into helping you, anyway.”
They shared a laugh.
“I’d be like, ‘Hey, Kim, come on over. We’re doing something.’ She’d ask, ‘What are we doing?’ Tim said.
“I’ll tell you when you get here.”
Dodd and Hercules are unsure exactly how old the structure on Center Street is. They were told by an abstract office it was pre-1890.
Dodd and Hercules had worked on previous restoration projects. This one presented their biggest task to date. Tim described the house as “unlivable.” There was water damage. Some walls had been partially ripped. They had to replace six of the floor joints.
However, the building was not in danger of collapse.
“Structurally, the house was in good shape,” Kim said.
“It had good bones,” Hercules added. “We added some walls where some walls were taken out and added some different sizes to bathrooms to make it more functional.”
Since beginning work, descendants of previous owners have stopped by to see the progress – and express memories.
“The Kendrick family owned this house in the 1950s and their grandchildren are still around,” Dodd said. “They are really appreciating seeing the house they grew up in as grandpa and grandma’s house being brought back to life and loved.
“Bill Kendrick, Don Kendrick. I know it was their grandparents,” Kim continued. “The youngest grandchild is named Susan Gerke.
“She came in and it was like this little kid came to visit us. It was awesome,” Dodd added. “She said, ‘Oh, it’s the back porch. It’s where grandma used to keep the fruitcake at Christmas time because there wasn’t room in the refrigerator.”
“She was really giddy,” Hercules said.
Mrs. Gerke posted on the project’s Facebook page Feb. 3.
“I’ve so enjoyed watching you completely renovate granny and granddad’s house,” she wrote. “You’ve done an amazing job of keeping the old and adding the new. Thank you for bringing this house back to life.”
In October 2020, Don Kendrick posted the following:
“Several years ago when I would drive by my grandparents’ house, I just wanted to cry because (of) how bad it looked. They always took pride in how it looked,” Kendrick stated.
“Now I am sure they are looking down and are so happy that you all have made it more beautiful than ever,” he continued. “Now when I drive by, I want to cry with joy because of what it looks like now.”
Dodd and Hercules both indicated while a lot of sweat equity has been put forth, the restoration has been fun. They have been aided by volunteers. For the most part, work has taken place on weekends and summers.
Kim compared Tim’s passion for the project to what he now does as a faculty member at Battle High School in Columbia.
“He’s a master of that,” she said. “He’s an amazing teacher.
“No, I’m not exaggerating. It’s amazing to watch him teach.”
Editor’s Note: Additional photographs of ‘This Old Shelbina House’ may be viewed on Facebook.