“This would be a good thing to do:” Group rallies around family, restores historic Thiensville farmhouse

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THIENSVILLE (WITI) -- So often when a storm strikes, it seems like senseless wreckage is left in its wake -- but one that hit Thiensville this past June was perhaps an answer to a silent prayer.

Mary Zell is the third generation to live in her Thiensville farmhouse. Built by her grandparents in 1888, the home used to host a farm. Zell's 93-year-old mother was born in the home, and lives there to this day.

"She did a lot of the men's work. She was throwing bales of hay and doing what had to be done," Zell said.

Recently, the historic home lost a bit of its luster.

"I was afraid that I was going to be the last generation in this house," Zell said.

Problems with the home were exacerbated by a June storm.

"It took down one of the branches of the willow tree, which knocked the power line off of the house," Zell said.

That caught the attention of John Rosing, who lives nearby. He stopped over to try to help. As they were waiting for the energy company to arrive...

"The thought just occurred to me that -- you know what? This would be a good thing to do. Let's see if we can get a group together to help restore this home," Rosing said.

Rosing has been a man on a mission ever since.

He contacted several local businesses that pitched in supplies and cut them a deal on repair costs. Rosing also organized volunteers to do much of the manual labor, and placed jars in businesses in the community to raise money to patch up the home's roof.

"Using a mason jar with a farmhouse theme at various businesses, people have been putting $1, $5 -- we've even had some $500 and $1,000 donations, so we're very close to our $10,000 goal," Rosing said.

Rosing says it's been humbling to see so many in the small community of Thiensville step up to help out.

Zell, seeing the home restored to its former glory says it's simply an answer to a prayer.

"I thank God every day that the house is restored and it will stand there for our future generations," Zell said.

Rosing estimates volunteers have easily put in two to three weeks of work on the project -- and some even took time off from their regular jobs to pitch in.