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Historic Rutledge Home transformed into Airbnb by local family

By Cindy Jo Ayers
“My heart skipped a beat the first time I saw it”, said Sue Livesay when she drove by the old Rutledge house near downtown Trenton. The windows were boarded up, all the paint was peeling and the yard was a jungle. Even in its poor condition it wasn’t hard to convince her husband, Terry Livesay, a local home builder, that the 1920’s bungalow was worth saving. Fortunately the previous owner had begun the demo work on the interior and graciously sold it to the Livesays to complete the project. Two years of renovation has turned the home into a wonderful guest house and local vacation rental.
The two bedroom frame home still has the original wood floors and bead board ceilings and the same feel it did when it belonged to the Rutledge family. “We tried to bring it back to the way it would have looked in the 1940’s, and still update to a modern kitchen and bath.” remarked Sue. “It was important to us to preserve the history of the home because it was one of the earliest ones still standing in Trenton. I have a passion for redeeming old things.” Sue also owns The Dairyman’s Daughter and hosts an annual barn sale and vintage market on their property just south of Trenton. She loves the thrill of the hunt for cast offs that have a history and can be refurbished. This project is one of her most ambitious and was a joy to complete. “Sometimes I just drive by it so I can look at it,” Sue said. “The difference is really remarkable from where we began to what we have now. I hope that we have honored the Rutledge family by the work that was done on their home.”
The home sits on a wooded lot near downtown in a quiet, friendly neighborhood. Many local residents have stopped by during the renovation to give encouragement and see the progress. The home is available to rent on Airbnb. The proximity to all the area springs makes it a very popular destination. Renters have also said how much they enjoy the small town atmosphere and the ability to walk to downtown restaurants. The home was a diamond in the rough whose shine has been restored.