House on the move

Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Thursday morning, residents of Cassville may have seen something strange driving down Main Street — a house. Tilton & Sons, Inc., along with a police escort and local utility companies came together to move a house through town. Jordan Privett/

Roads cleared to make room for home transport

Many things can be seen driving down the street of a small town, from horse-drawn buggies to classic cars, but it was a surprise for some residents to see something unusual making its way down Main Street on Thursday — a house.

Betty Tilton, part owner of Tilton & Sons, Inc., said her husband and sons were the people driving the trucks and getting everything in place for the home to travel from St. Edwards Catholic Church to a new resting place northeast of Cassville on Highway 248.

According to Betty Tilton, part owner of Tilton & Sons, Inc., the law requires the company to contact local utility providers to assist with moving lines out of the way of anything more than 16 feet tall that is being moved. The help was needed Thursday morning, as a large house was moved down Main Street. Jordan Privett/

“The first thing you have to do when you want to move something like that is to apply for a state permit,” she said. “The state looks at the route, and after they approve it, you have to have all the linemen from all the utility companies involved.”

According to Tilton, those utility companies are responsible for their own lines, because the Tilton & Sons company does not touch any T.V., phone, internet or electrical lines.

“On this move, nothing really had to be touched because everything just went very smooth,” Tilton said. “There is a scoop on the front of the building, and most of the lines just went right up the scoop and over the house.

“With the scoop there, we generally don’t have to have anybody riding on top of the building.”

Tilton said Tilton & Sons has moved much larger things than that house on Thursday.

“There are risks with everything when moving large items, we can’t put men out there that haven’t done this kind of thing before,” she said. “My husband and three sons were there, and we have done this numerous times.”

According to Tilton, the company has been in business since the 1970s.

“When my husband’s father died from cancer, my husband took over the company,” she said. “We have been doing this ever since, and the boys all grew up in the business.”

Tilton said the company always has to have a state permit to move anything on a state highway, unless they will be moving on a county road, then county permits are required. Also, if the item is less than 16 feet high, utility companies are not required to be involved.

“We have never had any trouble with moving anything,” Tilton said. “We have the proper insurance in case of an issue, but the guys are really good at what they do and watch out for things.”

Tilton said the company has moved everything from houses to steam engines and fuel cars to a rock church in Springfield that was built in the 1920s.

“We can also raise houses so that people can put in a new foundation, and move them a bit so that a basement can be built,” Tilton said.

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