Magic, community and a little bit of politics. Howey Mansion.

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The day I went back to Howey Mansion it was raining and the house had a scent of incense (Which I later found out was from a controlled burn.)

I set out to find out a little about the house, both its past and its future.

Where my first visit was built on pent up excitement and an anxious need to catalog every step in my mind for later visitation, my second trip was like taking a deep breath before stepping into a warm bath. There’s an energy to the house that is warm and inviting, like being welcomed back from a long trip by loved ones. The community out reach that is headed by Jackie Nemchik-Cheatham has the aspirations of both returning to the roots and renewal.

For all of the mystique and charm the home holds there seems to be a bit of political madness that is wrapped up in the house.

Marval Zona, who is the current owner of the house, took a reverse mortgage on the property in 2005 then later took a reverse of the reverse mortgage in 2006.  Which in my previous post I claimed was mostly a scam, can have beneficial  outcomes if done right, Nemchik said.

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Unfortunately in this case it was not.

There could be fraud involved and there has been an investigation in which Zona has decided not to prosecute.

The house’s title, while still in Zona’s name, is currently under the jurisdiction of Foreclosure Solutions inc. leaving the house in this strange no-mans-land of political and paper-work-ridden mess that is difficult to untangle. One thing at this moment is for sure though, “if they (Foreclosure solutions) didn’t step in, the house would be gone- back to the bank,” Nemchik said.

Fortunately Nemchik has a history in mortgage, investment banking and being a broker, which will undoubtedly be the playing hand in the financial battle the mansion is currently going though. While she doesn’t have a lot of experience in engineering or carpentry, Nemchik is calling for experts in the community who love the house to help with the restorations.

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“People love this house for all kinds of reasons, the same reasons I came here and couldn’t leave,” Nemchik said.

The plans for the future seem bright. With a focus on not just the house and how to make it sustainable financially, environmentally and spiritually but to return it to the community as a place to come together and learn from one another. The possibilities are endless, Nemchik has plans for the house to be a place for artists, students and residents for projects, community/ private events and learning opportunities.

“it should be win-win for the artists, the community and the people running it,” she said.

Everything from upcoming fundraisers, plans for photo shoots, artist, student involvements,  a community garden and bringing in locally grown produce for event dinners is in the works. Really making this not just the product of one entity for one cause but a project that weaves the entire area together for a common goal.

“It has to be done with love and these people do love it,” Nemchik said.

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There are several other groups out there  who have been trying to restore the building. Friends of Howey being the most notable and Hoping for Help in Howey being the most recent. Although many people think they have the key to save Howey Mansion, it’s Nemchiks belief that it should be a community effort where all parties come together for a common goal.

Currently there is a fundraiser being organized though an event for Mothers day (which is May 11th)  to bring to the locals out to the property to try and get involved and see the property through new eyes.

If you want to find out more or see how you can get involved please contact William J. Howey Mansion Community Restoration  Project Facebook page, which I have included the link for.

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