When we purchased the Bush House in December of 2011 it was looking downright dismal, but we jumped right in and began the necessary repairs to prevent further deterioration; a new roof and a new foundation were at the top of the list. We knew we were in for a major renovation and that there would certainly be surprises along the way, but we confidently moved forward knowing that the beloved Bush House could live on for another hundred years - with strong support from the community and a historically-sensitive renovation, the building could once again serve its community well.
When we took ownership, the Bush House had sat neglected for over 10 years and was in need of significant updates inside and out before it could reopen. Our construction plan was intricate, but our business plan was simple; begin a historic renovation to restore the Bush House to the thriving community business, employer, and gathering spot that everyone remembered, and reopen it for food, lodging, and events. With lots of encouragement from Bush House supporters everywhere, the renovation continued in earnest, and within just a couple of months the project was well underway. From day one we have been encouraged by the regular flow of excited visitors who drive up to Index or send us an email to check on our progress - not a day goes by that someone doesn't pull up to take a photo or ask us "How much longer?"
Legal Challenges Cause Delays & Expense
The Bush House renovation is MUCH more than a building remodel... it is a project that celebrates the past and the future. It is a community undertaking that provides local jobs and stability for the Town of Index both now and in the future, and our hope is that it will continue be a favorite destination for the thousands of people who are excitedly watching our progress and eagerly awaiting it's reopening.
The original Bush House structure was built in 1898 and had sat vacant through a decade of mountain winters, but the building's framework was still solid, and the greater Index community had an intense desire to see the Bush House fully functioning and serving its purposes again. With these essential components in place the renovation was off to a solid start. We installed new windows in the 1st floor - in their original locations - and placed new, custom-milled siding and roof shingles in place to provide protection from the elements.
One surprise that we hadn't counted on was a legal attack which began in early 2012, just months after the renovations began. The neighboring residence, which had once been joined to the hotel property, had been sold off in 2007 and was now privately owned. Through muddled paperwork, or oversight, or both, there was no recorded easement to properly address the Bush House Inn's drainfield, which was installed in the front yard of the residence when the properties were under a single owner. For 4 years we have attempted to resolve the issue through mediation, a mutually-acceptable easement, a fence, compensation, or an alternate drainfield... to date all efforts to resolve the issue have been unsuccessful. This distraction is both costly and time-consuming. We'll continue to push forward through the challenges, and are looking forward to the day that the project is complete, the legal struggle is resolved, and we can have you over for dinner. In the meantime we encourage you to stay informed. Here are some records and documents related to the lawsuit.
Court Opinion - Aug 2014
Easement Signed by the Courts