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Sawyers are living a dream

Sawyers are living a dream
Sawyers are living a dream
Cheryl and Scott Sawyer and their child, Jakob, 6, in front of their Victorian home on North Capitol Avenue in Corydon. Cheryl has had her eye on the house since she was a little girl. (Photo by Randy West)

When Cheryl Sawyer was a little girl, her family, which was from New Albany, used to hop in the family car and drive around the countryside for fun. One town they visited often was Corydon. Cheryl’s favorite house was Leonard and Mary Humphrey’s pretty Victorian two-story with the nice front porch just south of Big Indian Creek. It was across the street from Cedar Glade and other big houses on North Capitol Avenue.
Fast forward to 2003. Cheryl is a bank manager in Clarksville. She and her husband, artist/landscape designer Scott Sawyer, have a child, Jakob, 5, and live in New Albany. Cheryl’s mother, Sharon White, called one day. She had noticed by accident that ‘Your house (in Corydon) is for sale.’ Cheryl was surprised. Her mom encouraged her to, ‘Go look inside, go be nosey.’
Cheryl and Scott, who lived in New Albany, were not interested in buying a house then, but they thought, well, they both love Victorian houses, and Scott, a fly fisherman, had always wanted to live near water, and, well, it wouldn’t hurt to take a look. The ‘For sale’ sign had been up about a month.
The Sawyers and their curly-haired, blue-eyed son, Jakob, then 5, had dinner at Magdalena’s Restaurant and went to the house. Mary Humphrey showed Cheryl and Scott around while Jakob watched cartoons on TV. Mary and Jakob bonded immediately, and Scott and Cheryl bonded with the house, which was built in 1899. They loved it.
Leonard, who died in 1996, and his friend, Jim Caughey, had spent countless hours restoring the Victorian beauty. The downstairs rooms are large with 11-foot ceilings. It has five bedrooms and a small kitchen. A winding oak stairway almost flows into the foyer off the front room.
The foyer is now owned by the Sawyers’ cats: Nico, a contented tortoise shell, and a large grey male cat named Party Hat.
Party Hat is another story.
It seems that not long ago, Jakob had a dream. He dreamed that he owned a boy cat named Party Hat. A week later, he found a large grey male cat at his babysitter’s. ‘It had just dropped out of the clear blue sky,’ Cheryl said, and he looked exactly like the cat Jakob had dreamed about. Party Hat is now part of the Sawyer family.
Life has been like that for the Sawyer family.
Scott was impressed with the attic, an ‘architectural masterpiece where everything came together.’ He could see a studio or loft there. Scott likes to cook, so he’s already thinking about expanding the small kitchen. In fact, they could see a lot of neat things happening at Mary’s house, even a space where Jakob could ride his scooter. That night, Scott and Cheryl talked it over.
‘Wouldn’t it be nice if … ‘
‘Well, if you think we can do it … ‘
They made an offer the next day.
‘When we tell people where we moved to, they know exactly where it is,’ Cheryl said.
‘It was meant to be.’
‘We plan on living here the rest of our life, just like Mary and Leonard,’ Scott said. ‘We want to fill it with antiques, but at prices today, well, it may be ‘one piece at a time,’ like Johnny Cash said.’
Cheryl, 30, manages the Bank One office on Hallmark Drive in Clarksville. She started there part-time nine years ago and learned every job she could on the way up the management ladder.
Scott, 33, owns his own business, Scott Sawyer Landsculpting. He’s also an artist who makes necklaces and beaded jewelry. He also likes to do faux finishes on wall plaster, making it look antique using a Venetian technique.
He earned an associate degree in computer engineering at Louisville Tech in Louisville and installed computers systems at health care centers for two years. When he was 21, he started his own company, Global Distributors in New Albany, which distributed salon sales products. He also owned a salon on Grant Line Road for five years. He sold Global Distributors and turned his attention to something new and different but which appealed to his artistic nature: landscape design. At the time, however, ‘I didn’t even know what a perennial was.’
But he knew he enjoyed the planning, building, and seeing everything change and grow in a short period of time. ‘It was very gratifying,’ he said. He’s come to see outdoor spaces as rooms with different purposes and arrangements. ‘The big picture is how land is utilized,’ he said.
As they have settled into their new home on North Capitol Avenue, Scott said, ‘Everybody we’ve met in Corydon has been nice and welcoming.’ He’s taken an interest in downtown revitalization and how things are bound to change behind their house at the old Keller Manufacturing Co. site and along Big Indian Creek.
Cheryl said, ‘It’s good to see so much excitement and that so many people care.’