Wednesday, April 25, 2018
News Roundup

Seven years after being floated up Tampa Bay, Ruskin mansion is fully restored

RUSKIN

On an otherwise unremarkable Tuesday in September 2006, drivers on the Sunshine Skyway Bridge saw something so strange floating up Tampa Bay, many of them pulled over to look. A big, old, Victorian-style blue house — three stories, 5,000 square feet, weighing 220 tons — was headed up the bay on top of a barge pushed by a tugboat.

The house was Lamb Manor, the 1910 home of Asa Lamb, a Mississippi banker who settled in Palmetto. The home had fallen into disrepair in the 2000s, and a developer wanted the land for a condo tower. At the same time, a wealthy Winter Haven couple with some empty land in Ruskin were looking for their next big project.

When they arranged Lamb Manor's audacious bay-crossing, George and Nancy Corbett thought it would take them a year or two, maybe three, to restore the home. It took 71/2 years, and today they will open the doors to their finished home that overlooks the Little Manatee River. They'll also welcome back some of the people who helped them along the way.

The house looks considerably different than it did 2006. It's no longer blue, although what to call the current color is a subject of debate. George says green. Nancy says yellow. They've settled on "celery."

The Corbetts, both 66, added a new first floor, making it a four-story, 7,500-square foot home. Inside are 25 rooms, five fireplaces, and design flourishes both classic and modern. Perhaps no piece of furniture better captures the dichotomy than an 1800s oak armoire in the kitchen. Inside it? The refrigerator.

"Nobody likes to look at a fridge," Nancy Corbett explained as she opened, then closed the armoire's doors Friday afternoon.

George Corbett worked in real estate, among other things, and he and Nancy have been restoring homes since they married in 1976. Their first was a 2,400-square-foot house in Homestead, and Lamb Manor is their seventh.

The Corbetts split their time between Ruskin and Lake Toxaway, N.C., where they own and operate a retreat for Baptist ministers. When not at either home, they are often on the road antiquing. They have a 26-foot RV, and they've filled it and emptied it multiple times in the last seven years with decorative items for the house.

"We like old things," Nancy said.

All told, restoring Lamb Manor cost the Corbetts about $1.9 million, they said, although that does not include how much they spent to move it. (George is still honoring a deal he made with the movers in 2006 not to disclose the price, however it was rumored then to have cost $250,000.)

"It's not about the money," George said. "This is what we like to do." They've enjoyed meeting all the people over the years, the workers who helped move the home, the carpenters who could work the old wood, the lady who made all the drapes after Nancy told her, "I'd like it to be very Gone with the Wind."

"A lot of people have hobbies," Nancy said. "This is ours.

     
   
Comments

Dade City may add code enforcement magistrate

DADE CITY — The city is poised to put more teeth into its code enforcement by setting up a system to handle major problem cases.Dade City Commissioners on Tuesday approved on first reading an ordinance that allows the city manager to place certain co...
Updated: 15 minutes ago
The case for the Bucs and NFL draft prospect Derwin James

The case for the Bucs and NFL draft prospect Derwin James

The best weapon against the NFL's evolving offenses, Texas A&M's Jimbo Fisher said, is a defender who can do it all — someone who can cover a tight end, shadow a receiver or blitz the backfield."The way the game is played now on defense," Fishe...
Updated: 20 minutes ago
Two hospitalized after crash on Bayside Bridge

Two hospitalized after crash on Bayside Bridge

CLEARWATER — Two Brandon men were hospitalized Tuesday night after they lost control of their car and crashed into trees on the south end of the Bayside Bridge, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.At 8:15 p.m., 19-year-old Coi Jenkins was driving...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Seminole Heights murder suspect to undergo psychological exam

Seminole Heights murder suspect to undergo psychological exam

TAMPA — A judge appointed a psychologist Wednesday to determine if the man accused of four Seminole Heights murders is mentally ill.Hillsborough Circuit Judge Mark Wolfe approved a request from attorneys for Howell Emanuel Donaldson III to have Dr. R...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Hernando School Board okays second district-wide survey to evaluate superintendent

Hernando School Board okays second district-wide survey to evaluate superintendent

BROOKSVILLE — A second district-wide survey to evaluate the performance of Superintendent Lori Romano soon will go out to about 3,000 Hernando County School District employees, giving them a chance to weigh in on the job she is doing.The instrument, ...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Memorials, crisis counselors at Lakewood, day after student dies in crash

Memorials, crisis counselors at Lakewood, day after student dies in crash

ST. PETERSBURG — Memorials are building and crisis counselors were at Lakewood High School on Wednesday morning, a day after a student was killed and two others seriously injured in a crash Tuesday afternoon.The fatal crash occurred just before 2 p.m...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Carlton: The zoo is changing, but don’t worry. The meerkats are on it.

Carlton: The zoo is changing, but don’t worry. The meerkats are on it.

The other day I stopped to check on some progress. And got to see a meerkat, too.Progress in Tampa these days usually refers to the development of Vinikville — excuse me, Water Street Tampa — along the south edge of downtown.Or what will allegedly be...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Meet the man who wrote ‘Conjunction Junction’ and other ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ songs that stick in your head

Meet the man who wrote ‘Conjunction Junction’ and other ‘Schoolhouse Rock!’ songs that stick in your head

Anyone whose childhood began in or after the early 1970s probably knows at least one or two Schoolhouse Rock! songs, the ones that taught children multiplication tables, civics lessons and basic grammar. In fact, reading that sentence probably has yo...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Hit parade? More of a pitching parade for Land O’Lakes

Hit parade? More of a pitching parade for Land O’Lakes

LAND O'LAKES — Heading into the final week of the regular season, the Land O'Lakes High School baseball pitchers have compiled a team earned-run average of 1.37, a stunningly good number."It's funny, because that might be our batting average at...
Updated: 2 hours ago
Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Who will the Bucs take with the No. 7 pick?

Rick Stroud answers your NFL draft questions in this mailbag segment, including who the Bucs might take with the seventh overall pick, which running backs they might be looking at, whether Taven Bryan could slip to them in the second r...
Updated: 3 hours ago