Goodwin House Moving of Washington, Iowa, navigates a roundabout in North Liberty as the Queen Anne Victorian home starts its trek on Tuesday, June 13, 2023. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

NORTH LIBERTY, Iowa — After 131 years at its North Liberty location, a Queen Anne Victorian home made the first leg of its move to a new site in rural Oxford, Iowa.

Built in 1892 for the Jacob and Martha George family, the more than 2,800-square-foot house features a wraparound porch, turret, curved staircase, pocket doors and other original architectural features.

See photos inside the house.

Mark Chenoweth, of Goodwin House Moving, which was hired for the move, said the weight of the house and moving equipment totaled just over 100 tons.

At 43 feet tall, eight traffic lights through North Liberty had to be raised for the towering home to fit, and a newer kitchen addition was removed on the side of the home to bring the width down to 44 feet, to fit on the roadways.

A map of the route from the city of North Liberty, Iowa.

Chenoweth said Goodwin, a six-generation family-owned business, has moved homes of similar size, but those are generally in more remote, rural locations.

The move through North Liberty included navigating a roundabout, while hundreds of spectators lined the beginning of the route, on Front Street, and along Penn Street, a major thoroughfare through the Eastern Iowa city of more than 20,000 residents.

Traffic was delayed and rerouted for less than three hours for the move, which took place on a picture-perfect day with sunny skies and cool temperatures to start the morning.

The Queen Anne Victorian home waits for traffic lights to be moved on Penn Street as it makes its way through North Liberty, Iowa, on June 13, 2023. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

The house began its trek from 10 Jaro Way at 9 a.m. Tuesday and exited North Liberty by 11:30 a.m., with a plan to move the second phase of the 16-mile trip on Wednesday, June 14.

Terry Miller, who owns the farmland where the house will move, saw an article in the Iowa City Press-Citizen about the home’s inclusion on Preservation Iowa’s 2023 “Most Endangered” properties list in February.

Watching as the home made its way through North Liberty, Miller said he was not worried about the move.

“Everybody is doing their job and that’s what it’s all about,” he said. “I feel confident that it’s going to be OK.”

Miller said he and his wife, Heather, had been looking to move a house and fell in love with the Queen Anne Victorian. They connected with developer Matthew Lepic and his wife, Nicole, about moving the home and came to an agreement.

Terry Miller stands on Penn Street as the Queen Anne Victorian home he and his wife are moving makes its way through North Liberty. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Lepic is “selling” the home to the Millers basically for free, with a transaction fee, to make way for two 12-unit residential buildings on the site under rezoning approved last year by the city of North Liberty.

Related: Queen Anne Victorian in Iowa offered for “free”

The move, however, will likely surpass $200,000, with relocating power lines, traffic lights and other costs comprising the bulk of that expense.

The Queen Anne Victorian home prepares to cross railroad tracks in North Liberty. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

North Liberty resident Cathy Coleman had been advocating to save the home and reached out early last year to Save Cedar Rapids Heritage, whose mission is to preserve historic resources in Cedar Rapids through education, assistance, advocacy and action.

While North Liberty is out of the nonprofit’s typical boundaries, board members agreed in 2022 to help try to save the home.

Save CR Heritage volunteers and board members cleaned the three-bedroom, two-bath home to ready it to show to potential “buyers” and promoted its availability.

Children cheer as the home rolls past their nearby daycare center in North Liberty. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

Original owner Jacob George, an elder in the Lutheran Church, operated a saw mill and owned about 450 acres of farmland, according to the History of Johnson County, Iowa.

In recent years, the house had become a rental and, as North Liberty has grown, was nearly enveloped by townhomes, duplexes and other multi-family dwellings.

Chenoweth said he was glad Miller and Lepic decided the home was worthy of being saved.

“This does not belong in a landfill,” he said.

More: See photos from the move of a one-room schoolhouse in Iowa and more from the first phase of the Queen Anne Victorian’s move through North Liberty, below: