Renovating the past


By Kelsey Gerhardt - [email protected]



Kelsey Gerhardt|Daily News Shawanee resident Andy Frost put more than 300 man-hours into renovating his childhood playhouse. This antique has a long local history worth repeating.


Many people wish to have a part of their childhood with them throughout their adult life. For some it could be eating chicken nuggets for lunch every day or not having the responsibility of paying bills, but one local man is able to have his childhood fort in his backyard.

Andy Frost moved a wooden dollhouse to his home in Shawanee, Tennessee. in March 2014 with the help of his friend Joey Price. The dollhouse is more than 100 years old and originally belonged to Maurine Allen Malone Susong of Middlesboro who was born in 1902.

The dollhouse was moved to Middlesboro’s Exeter Avenue in 1975 to become the Frost Family’s playhouse. Andy’s father renovated the dollhouse in the late 1970s and he and his siblings spent many days playing in the antique miniature.

“We played in it and camped out in it and it was always a part of our life. Sometimes we would stay in it for a week at a time and man, it’s pretty awesome to have it here with me. I like to just sit here and look at it because it sure brings back a lot of memories,” said Frost.

Susong passed away in February 2009, but her memory is kept alive thanks to more than 300 man-hours and intricate details that went into renovations of her original dollhouse.

“The most fun part was the face, the awnings and the door. I wanted to keep it looking the same and not change a lot because, well that’s what it looked like then and that’s how I remember it, too,” said Frost.

The working door opens to the interior which consists of a miniature fireplace, wooden floors, tongue-and-groove wainscoting and fabric drapes to cover the window. Frost added a brick foundation to keep the doll house level and has plans to add a new roof.

Frost is a locomotive mechanic for CSX Transportation in Corbin.

He and his girlfriend Deb Johnson enjoy riding motorcycles and working on renovations. They have spent the past 15 years working on renovating the second oldest home in Shawanee where they live together with Frost’s son Peyton.

“That dollhouse is staying right there. I’m going to live here the rest of my life and maybe someday I’d like to see some of my own grandkids playing around in it. That would be pretty neat,” said Frost.

Reach Kelsey Gerhardt at 606-302-9093 or on Twitter @kgerhardtmbdn.

Kelsey Gerhardt|Daily News Shawanee resident Andy Frost put more than 300 man-hours into renovating his childhood playhouse. This antique has a long local history worth repeating.
http://middlesborodailynews.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/web1_DollHouse.jpgKelsey Gerhardt|Daily News Shawanee resident Andy Frost put more than 300 man-hours into renovating his childhood playhouse. This antique has a long local history worth repeating.

By Kelsey Gerhardt

[email protected]

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