Saturday, May 10, 2014

Rental Property - Tub O'possums

My sister and I inherited a cute little rental house in Chicopee Village in Gainesville, Georgia. It has a really interesting history:

In 1927, the Johnson and Johnson company built the Chicopee textile plant on the site of the Hall County Farm and Convict camp. Along with the one story textile plant, about 200 brick homes were constructed. There were 3, 4 and 5 room homes for the employees and larger houses for the management personnel. The village had a school, a community store, a post office, a barbershop and a drugstore. Employees were issued script (coins) that could be used at the community store and the canteen at the plant.

My parents met while working at the Chicopee plant. My father was a machinist and my mother, a secretary. My father would find excuses to go into the office to see my mother. The first time he asked her out, she turned him down. He joined the camera club to get to know her. She finally relented and went out with him. After they married, they lived in their little 4 room house in the village. After they moved out, they kept the place as a rental property (which we inherited).

Jump back to the present...

When our prior tenants moved out, there was work to be done to get ready for new renters. We did what we could ourselves, but the bathroom needed work that was beyond our abilities. Our new tenant's father was a contractor so we struck an agreement to have him do the bathroom repairs in exchange for a couple of months' rent.

I was in Florida for Shrimp Fest while the bathroom repairs were going on. I got a call from Scott, the contractor-father. My immediate thought was, "Oh no...  Here we go... What now?" With a house this old, every repair uncovers another can of worms.

Scott said that when he was taking the tub out, he raised it up a bit and saw eyes looking back at him. He said, and I quote, "I dropped the bathtub, screamed like a girl, ran out and closed the door." He wanted to know what I wanted him to do. He said he thought the critter was an o'possum. He refused to do any more work until I did something about the critter.

I called my brother-in-law who was a science teacher. He took a trap over and retrieved 7 baby opossums from under the tub. He wasn't able to capture the mama opossum.

My brother-in-law and my niece had fun with the little fellows.

Once the tub was removed, they could see that there was a huge hole in the floor where the plumbing had been routed, giving the opossums an opening to come in and make their home under the tub. They had lined their little home with lots of leaves and sticks.

Scott, the contractor did a good job of closing in the hole around the new plumbing to prevent future opossum squatters.

The bathroom is finished now, complete with new tub, surround and sink, and most importantly is now an opossum free zone!

The baby opossums were deemed to be old enough to survive on their own so they were set free (I'm not sure where.)

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