c. 1898 Shingle – Ottumwa, IA

Added to OHD on 7/5/11   -   Last OHD Update: 4/12/20   -   19 Comments
SOLD / Archived Post
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128 E Fifth St, Ottumwa, IA 52501

  • $174,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 4 Bath
  • 4670 Sq Ft
  • 0.51 Ac.
This gorgeous home, known as the Taylor Mansion, was built by Charles Taylor from 1898-1900. He traveled the country to hand select the 8 different kinds of hardwood woodwork found throughout the home, including inlaid hardwood floors and pocket doors. The 6 fireplaces, all uniquely carved and tiled, and an impressive entryway and parlor will WOW your guests as you entertain! Plenty of room for family and guests. Would make a lovely Bed & Breakfast! The 3rd floor walk-up attic/ballroom could be finished for even more living space with great views of the river and downtown! The current owner has meticulously restored the home and it is a work in progress. On three large lots in the Fifth Street Historic District! Don't miss out on this one!!

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19 Comments on c. 1898 Shingle – Ottumwa, IA

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  1. John Shiflet says: 5357 comments

    Turn of the last century eclecticism at its best. I love the inlaid parquet floors! Your comments about the “couldn’t build one today at that price” is spot-on as well. With period correct late Queen Anne/Colonial Revival colors this house would really sing. The immense size would also lend itself well for a B & B use. Guess you can tell I like it…

  2. Kevin ONeill says: 153 comments

    That is definately a “shingle” style house. I love the scale of them. What an amazing price.

  3. toscar says: 46 comments

    It is wonderful. The exterior is rough, but all the more reason for a hisorically correct paint job as John pointed out.

    That interior is so inviting, imagine it with period furnishings and all the detailed touches it needs. The kitchen space looks to be fantastic. Lots to work with there.

  4. Cecily says: 4 comments

    Yay! An attic photo! I wish for more attic photos overall.

  5. Ryan says: 461 comments

    Wow, another bargain basement price for a big, gorgeous house. if this place was clad in weathered wood shingles, it’d fit right into any beach town on the northeast coast. I think it would feel especially at home in Rhode Island, though. That one room with the parquet floors and the tiled fireplace is spectacular.

    (BTW I once saw a house listing where the realtor claimed the house had beautiful “Parkay floors.” For me, it’s real butter or nothing!)

    • Rebecca says: 2 comments


      Do you want to help me out here? Because that’s the way I’ve always pronounced them. Which would be in line with the French way of leaving off the “t” sound at the end. What does everyone else say? Par-KET, with a hard T? Community, please chime in!

      Thanks, all! Rebecca

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 937 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        I know it’s not spelled “Parkay” (lol, have you also noticed some agents spell, “ruff” rather than “rough” for the condition?) but isn’t it pronounced that way? Although I have heard people say it with the “T” at the end, but which is the correct way to say it?

      • Ryan says: 461 comments

        Rebecca, yes, your pronunciation is absolutely correct, as it’s a French word. I wasn’t talking about the pronunciation, though. I was amused by the realtor’s misspelling of the word. “Parquet” refers to inlaid wood. “Parkay” is a brand of margerine. Therefore a “Parkay floor” would probably be pretty slippery;)

        Kelly, you’ve actually heard people pronounce the word “rough” as ruft? That’s a new one on me. The funny thing is that if enough people mispronounce a word, the mispronunciation eventually becomes acceptable…even by the dictionary people.

        You know how people sometimes say “short-lived” as in “so-and-so had a short-lived career”? Well, we had a grade school teacher who used that expression a lot, only she pronounced it so that “lived” rhymed with jived or dived. I looked it up in the dictionary way back then, and it turned out the teacher was right. It comes from the noun “LIFE” and has nothing to do wth the verb “live,” and so the way most people (almost everyone, really) pronounced it was incorrect. Recently I had to look something up in the dictionary and I checked out the entry for “short-lived” again. They still explained the origin and how it is MEANT to be pronounced but also said that since nobody ever does pronounce it correctly any more, the mispronunciation is now considered perfectly acceptable. I kinda liked that; the idea that it’s OK to be wrong because if enough of us say something wrong, then we all eventually become right!

        • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 937 comments

          1901 Folk Victorian
          Chestatee, GA

          Well, Timmy sometimes will say “rough-ted up” like, “They really rough-ted that up…” He is very country, sometimes I don’t even know what he says. 🙂

        • Ryan says: 461 comments

          LOL I just realized you were prolly talking about the T being pronounced at the end of the word “parquet” not the word “rough.” D’OH!!! Now I’m almost fully awake.

  6. Rebecca says: 2 comments

    Thanks, Ryan and Kelly!

    Good to know that I’ve been saying parquey okay all these years. And I think that words “in transition”, so to speak, from slang to standard, are called vernacular English. So if someone corrects your sentences, just loftily reply that you were using the vernacular, and that will probably shut them up! LOL


  7. Tim says: 141 comments

    The listing Realtor told me the the kitchen picture in the listing ad is actually on the 2nd floor because the house used to be apartments. The previous owners didn’t chop up the house, they simply closed and locked doors to create the apartements. The original kitchen on the 1st floor is one big empty room. I would assume that the 2nd floor kitchen used to be a bedroom.

  8. C.P. says: 14 comments

    Holy smokes what a price!

  9. TimothyTimothy says: 141 comments

    Sold on 8/25/2011 for $150,000

    Information from Wapello County Assessor Website.

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11869 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Looking at a street view from 2013, it’s been painted and the exterior looks less dilapidated than when it was for sale. link

      • TimothyTimothy says: 141 comments

        Hi Kelly,

        Recently I purchased a 1950 ranch style in Ottumwa and took a few minutes to drive down 5th and look at the old houses. This one has had much, much much exterior work done. The shingle siding repaired/restored, nice mult-level decks on the back. A really nice (imo) paint job.

        Kudos to the new owners! They have done a wonderful job and as other home owners in this historic area continue restorations and conversions back to single family homes, this area will be a shining example of what Ottumwa was and is becoming again!

      • RosewaterRosewater says: 6687 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Wow, that really does look SOOOOO much better! I love this house, and so glad to see it being loved by a conscientious new owner! Made my day..

  10. Critter53Critter53 says: 46 comments
    1969 Ski Dormitory
    Stowe, VT

    This house reminds me of that used in the film Cheaper By the Dozen.

    357 Lorraine Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90020

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