About nine years ago, Linda Cooper began buying and fixing up old houses.
Her motivation at first was to help each of her children to "get a better house" than they could have otherwise afforded. A former bartender, she is now her "own boss."
She makes her living by purchasing and restoring homes for resale. Her current residence at 20 W. Compton St. is about the 13th place she has renovated.
All her hard work on this particular home, built in the early 1900s, has earned her the honor of having her house featured in the Meridian-Forest Historic District Home Tour. Five locations in downtown Brazil, just north of U.S. 40, will be included in the tour.
In only eight months, the house has been transformed into a beautiful home for Cooper and her 16-year-old grandson, Brandon Jones. She says she "tried to keep the downstairs as original as (she) could," but parts of the drywall, wiring, flooring and ceiling have all been redone. The woodwork has been stripped, the kitchen cabinets have been painted and more cabinets have been installed.
The house has all new windows and Cooper has even turned the attic into a livable second story, which Brandon calls "his apartment." Her nephews and brother have done a great deal of the work and her sister, Janice Cramer, she says "really helps me out a lot. She"s wonderful."
When Cooper decided to move into town from her former home on S.R. 340, she could have found a place that would have required a lot less effort, but she feels that this one "has more character." She talks about seeing the house for the first time and thinking, "I love that house. I have to have it."
Cooper is also nearing completion of another project, a house on Walnut Street that she will be putting up for sale in the near future. "I like doing houses," she explains. "It keeps me out of trouble. It keeps me from having a nervous breakdown."
Moore Funeral Home, owned by Rob and Vanita Moore, and the homes of Todd and Angela Jacoby, Stephen and Jan Stapp and Greg and Kathy Comp will also be part the Meridian-Forest Historic District Home Tour. Refreshments will be served on the lawn of Robert and Jodi Shepard.
Tickets are available at Page's Food Store and Lynn's Pharmacy or from Veda Bussing, 448-8595, or Jan Stapp, 442-1423.