NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A piece of history in downtown Norfolk is no more after Sunday night’s storm took down a massive oak tree.
The staff, volunteers and collections at the Hunter House in downtown Norfolk are all fine, but the tree has to be removed completely before it is safe to enter the building.
The Hunter House is a historic museum located in the Freemason district.
“We are the only house museum in Norfolk of our kind, a Victorian house museum, we turn 125 this year, only one family has ever lived here, as we have the entire collection of the Hunter family,’ said Museum Experience Coordinator Raven Hudson.
The Hunter House offers tours, and special events like tea parties, too. However, they are forced to close because of the damage.
“This is definitely our home and we are devastated by this, to lose a tree, the Hunter’s, Eloise Hunter is what made this house a museum and she loved the garden,” Hudson said. “We are really lucky it didn’t puncture through because where it’s hitting is in the archival space, most of the things that belong to the Hunters is in that area, so it could have been much worse.”
The tree has to be removed completely and the roof needs to be inspected for leaks. According to Hudson, It will live on as mulch in the garden.
“I look at it and I’m very thankful because it could have been so much worse.”
Of course, the coordinators say safety is their top priority. They hope to open once again for tours on Wednesday, August 14.