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Jackson’s Gailbreath House To Be Restored With State Help

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Jackson’s Gailbreath House To Be Restored With State Help

Downtown Gainesboro’s William M. Gailbreath house will be restored and turned into a bed and breakfast, thanks to a state grant.

Owner Sean Zearfoss said he purchased the home, hoping to make it an attraction that will bring more visitors to town and boost the local economy. He said the Folk Victorian structure was built around 1900 and is one of the last historically intact buildings in downtown Gainesboro.

“I’ve always been passionate about history, about community, about culture,” Zearfoss said. “And, you know, historic structures are part of our built history and, you know, once those things are gone, you can’t bring them back.”

Zearfoss received a $67,000 Tennessee Historic Development Grant, designed to help preserve older buildings. He said repairing the building’s foundation and kitchen are the top priorities. He said the building is a reflection of over 100 years of Gainesboro history and he intends to preserve as much of the original structure as possible.

Zearfoss said he hopes to be hosting visitors by early 2025.

“The house is actually pretty sound,” Zearfoss said. “But it was still on the original pier system from 1900 with some slight modifications, but it still had the original system there. The inside, you know, there had been, over the 120-plus years, there had been kind of a major erosion issue on one side of the home.”

He said the erosion sunk part of the foundation into the ground, so repairing that area and adding new flooring is likely to begin any day now. He said the building still has its original windows, which require repair, but will not be replaced. He said other cosmetic projects will be involved as well, like adding the first fresh coat of paint the building has seen in some 50 years.

“I really kind of fell in love with the community,” Zearfoss said. “Gainesboro is just a beautiful little town kind of tucked up there in northern middle Tennessee, and yeah, I had been wanting a historical property for a long time.”

He said Gailbreath was a teacher and pastor in Gainesboro, and he is excited to be able to keep the story of one of Gainesboro’s prominent historical figures intact.

“It’s the stories, it’s the structure, it’s the community, the culture,” Zearfoss. “I mean, these historic structures all kind of play a part in that. So yeah, it was important for me to see this place preserved. You know, it’s obviously fun for me. It’s a challenge, but I see this as a fun project.”

He said he was excited to have the state support and funding from the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development to turn his passion project into a beneficial piece of downtown Gainesboro.


The post Jackson’s Gailbreath House To Be Restored With State Help appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.