Montgomery woman nearly bought home, gift shop hit by Wetumpka tornado

Wetumpka storm delays restaurant dream

WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) - Much like the 2,000 pound tree hulking over the backside of the old gift shop, Melissa Nelson felt the weight of whether she should pursue her dream of opening a meat and three diner. Nelson believed she had found the perfect place; the old Prissy Hen Gift Shop, mere yards from the bridge and the view of the Coosa River.

“And several tables out here and maybe some swings on the front porch," Nelson said about the vacant brick building.

It was just two weeks ago when a realtor showed Nelson the building and what was known as the ‘Pink House’ next door, a home she wanted to buy and live in, but then it all changed in a hurry last weekend when a 120 mph tornado crushed the home and severely damaged the gift shop - but not necessarily Nelson’s dream.

“I’ll continue to cook out of my kitchen for friends and family," she said.

Melissa Nelson believes not getting the ‘peace’ she was looking for was, in fact, the very answer she had been seeking; maybe not a ‘no,’ but perhaps... not right now.

“We weren’t quite doing exactly what we were supposed to do," she said.

A dream on hold, a landmark in Wetumpka appears to be gone along with the Pink House. Melissa Nelson got her answer, just not the way she expected.

“Makes me sad in a way," she said.

Sad but at peace.

The Prissy Hen building has been around at least since the 1930s and at one time it had a gas pump out front long before North Bridge Street was paved, back during the days of dirt roads. It stood the test of time but not a tornado, assuming it can’t be saved.

Authorities reported no fatalities in the storm, and three people suffered minor injuries.

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