Couple restoring house to restore selves

Staff writer

John Branson is looking for ways to give back to a town that has given him so much. After a friend’s passing, John and his wife, Trisha, bought a house in Florence to remodel and use as a getaway from their hectic lives in Wichita.

John, a pastor, said that after a long week it is good for his soul to get away to a town less busy.

“There’s something about Florence where the moment you get within city limits, it’s like you stepped back in time to a Mayberry-like town with people knowing everyone and spending evenings sitting on the porch,” he said. “That’s something you don’t get in Wichita.”

The house, located near 4th and Doyle Sts., is a two story farm house that John said will have to be redone from top to bottom.

Someone kicked in both front and back doors, leaving the house open to animal inhabitants, windows were broken, and electrical lines were stolen.

Trisha hopes to give each room its own cabin feel.

“She has it all planned out,” John said. “We’re going to have a frog bathroom.”

Since the beginning of August, the bathroom is the only room completed in the three-bed one-bathroom house. The biggest challenge was getting the animal smell out of the house since it had been left open for so long.

The Bransons only have a few days each week to work on the house because of their full time jobs in Wichita.

“We’ve redone several houses,” John said. “It’s something we love to do but it takes time.”

John said he is most excited about reconnecting with old friends and being back in the community.

“Right now we’re restoring the house, but when we’re done it will restore us,” he said.

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