1897 – Dawson, MN

Off Market / Archived
Posted July 2014. This home has been archived on OHD. The sold status is unknown. Added to OHD on 7/22/14 - Last OHD Update: 2/14/18 - 211 Comments
3374 240th St, Dawson, MN 56232

Map: Aerial View

  • $79,500
  • 4 Beds
  • 3 Bath
  • 4512 Sq Ft
  • 12.75 Ac.
New description: This is a great turn of the century home. New windows have been added throughout the house. It has a walk up 3rd floor that could be made into living area. The basement was replace approx. 6 years ago. a new septic system was installed about the same time. All the duct work has been installed for forced air heat. The furnaces have been removed. Many options available. Recondition this great old house. We have hade some interest from a few buyers to possibly move the house to a different location. This would give someone the opportunity to build a new home on this site. Of the 12.75 acres 4 acres are tillable. Old description: This is a great turn of the century home. New windows have been added throughout the house. It has a walk up 3rd floor that could be made into living area. The basement was replace approx. 6 years ago. a new septic system was installed about the same time. Many options available. Recondition this great old house or tear it down and build a new home in the existing basement. Of the 12.75 acres 4 acres are tillable.
Last Active Agent
Larry Sandven, Kuhlmann Real Estate      (320) 269-6481
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211 Comments on 1897 – Dawson, MN

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  1. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Such a contrast in agents from the other fixer-upper posted the other day. A shame the windows were replaced (of course they may have been 1960’s crap for all we know), it looks like the house has lost it’s eyes and is now blind. Really wish we knew what the inside held, if anything at all.

    • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

      No, the windows were still original in the 1960s when the spinster sisters lived here. The windows would be post 2000 or later.

      • Avatarkim says: 1 comments

        who are the spinster sisters?

      • AvatarLauriesmith says: 3 comments

        Hello Sue, you seem to know a lot about this home? Do you live around the area? Love the history. Just a grand place. The sisters make the story of those home so neat. How they preserved the home and wanted it to be a museum.

        • AvatarKS says: 4 comments

          I had the privilege of seeing this home when the Ireland’s first bought it. Our families were close at the time, spent holidays together..they intended to keep it in their family… until Mrs. Irland passed away. This beautiful home deserves to stand tall and proud. Would paint and curtains help the Norman Bates thing?

      • AvatarEB says: 2 comments

        Hi sue! I am trying to find out more info about this place, could you email me at eklynner@gmail.com? Thanks in advance.

    • Avatarroxanne says: 1 comments

      If these walls could talk they would have a lot to say and I would love to listen, Any reports of things that go bump in the night.

    • AvatarMR I says: 1 comments

      The windows were replaced in 1993-1996 i believe by the new owners thinking they were going to make it efficient and live able.Very sad we had owned this house from early 70s at the time there was no running water or electricity it was wired by dc batterys pretty ahead of its time and only wood burning stoves for heat. My dad put heart and soul in this house and started by plumbing the whole house and rewiring the whole home,and put in a forced air furnace and duct work to the first floor and the windows were still all original at that point but with no one living in the home it was a great place for vandals and the youth to have beer parties and so began the breaking of the windows and looting of the wood work and stained glass windows and such,and most recently just got the property back

    • Avatartimmorris says: 3 comments

      I lived in this house I was one of the last people that lived in that house and all the windows were busted out and the place was trashed and horrible looking it looks 100 times better than it did when I got their in 2006

      • AvatarLaurie smith says: 3 comments

        Tim morris just have a few questions. Did u happen to keep any of the porch spindles by chance? Also did u find anything cool when u put new foundation down?

        • Avatartimmorris says: 3 comments

          Yes we did keep the spindals they are in the barn and were going to be put back up and nothing cool in the basement the foundation is cracking and splitting in all of the corners and the NE one is bad and not even attached to the house and that wall is very close to collapsing and caving in the garage door in the basement the walls in the basement have no rebar in any of them and the floor is unlevel and cracking the walls have cracks in them and I don’t think that house will be standing in a years time. The house needs a new foundation and needs to be rewired completely and gutted the house needs to be completely redone and the roof leaks all over inside.

          • AvatarLaurie says: 3 comments

            Which barn? Thought it was a new foundation. Tell me everything u know about this place. I have tons of questions. What about the chainsaw.

            • Avatarjadamorris says: 2 comments

              im tims sister. the big red barn. it needs soo much work done to it. my brother is right it needs to be completely redone. and yes it was a new foundation we had it put in around 2006-2008 im not quite sure. but because there was no rebar put in the foundation was cracking all over. it was the worst by the drive in garage. you could see daylight through a crack in the corner. the house was already going down in when we left.

    • AvatarMarilyn says: 3 comments

      We lived in the house before it was vandelized which was in 2001 or 2002 and it’s a beautiful house and needs restoration and TLC . Wish I had the money. I would make it a beauty again !!! We were friendsof the owner. DO NOT Tear down thi Historic Gem !

  2. AvatarAllan says: 67 comments

    The listing agent needs to take a few interior photos. “A tear down” – please no. A double towered house is too rare to tear down.

  3. Avatarcindyhohmann says: 1 comments

    My dream fixer upper home and property

  4. AvatarAaron says: 9 comments

    I don’t think the new windows are bad, but there are way too many on the first floor. Dear god!

  5. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    The exterior is really striking. I would love to get my hands on this house, but do a VERY subtle exterior restoration where the “faded” quality could be kept.

    The aerial view is also striking. Wow. A place one could really escape to.

    I know zip about farming, so the tillable acres would have no value to me. But, I assume they could be leased to adjacent farmers? Does anybody know if such an arrangement would be worth it? I mean, might the annual lease cover the annual running costs of the house (mortgage, utilities, taxes)? If so, the place becomes VERY affordable. It would be a great weekend retreat for somebody living in, say, Minneapolis (about 2 hours away).

    • AvatarNebride says: 33 comments

      My neighbor leases about 150 acres of her land and it is not enough to pay for taxes, though I don’t know about utilities, etc. So I don’t think leasing out the land brings in a huge amount of money. Though her land is in Wyoming and is “dry grazing”. Farm land might bring in more money. I just don’t think it’s enough to make the house self sufficient.

      • Avatarthe cleaner says: 1 comments

        This is in Dawson, MN…corn and beans country. Tillable farm land rents for FAR more than the annual taxes. You could probably get $30k-$40k per year in rent and pay just a few thousand in taxes. I just looked and this property only comes with 4 tillable acres.

    • TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

      Hi Ross,

      My Mother leases her farm in Iowa to a neighbor. The arrangement is considered fair but the rental money only really covers the taxes with little left over.

    • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

      This is for the building site only. 12.5 acres of land. The farmland was sold long ago.

    • AvatarLulu says: 1 comments

      Four acres wouldn’t be of much interest to a farmer. They might mow and bale it if it’s convenient for them. It would be enough to pasture one horse, two with careful rotational grazing.

      • AvatarBeccaB says: 1 comments

        12.5 acres could graze more than 1-2 horses, unless the entire property is wooded. In MN the average needed for 1 horse is 3-5 acres. Where I live in north west Minnesota I own 15 acres and can graze 6.

  6. AvatarBethany says: 2663 comments

    Tear down? I think not!!!!!

  7. AvatarShelly says: 99 comments

    I would have preferred for the realtor not to mention tear down…. Where are the interior shots of this home? Only makes sense to include these if the realtor really wants to save this home.

    • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

      I am not sure it is safe to go inside. I know the realtor listed and if I run into him I can ask. Maybe he doesn’t have the key. I am not sure if this is a foreclosure, bank property or what. The previous owners moved into the area and then left.

  8. AvatarNebride says: 33 comments

    The words “tear down” made me cringe. I hope someone buys this who will restore it – it looks like a sweetheart of a house.

  9. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    I live in the town where this place is located. The home has been through several owners. Originally built by a man who left it to his spinster daughters, their belongings are now showcased in a local museum. The house has had several attempts at remodels and restorations. The inside is in very bad shape and rumor has it that someone took a chainsaw to the open staircase and other features and cut them out. I haven’t seen the damage. This is only the building site, no farmland goes with it. In it’s day, it was a beautiful home and well maintained. There was a caretaker’s house that has been torn down. The fretwork was unbelievable in the home’s interior and the family that built spared no expense. It’s so sad to see it in this shape. Lots of money and hard work to put this one back together again and I would hate to see this landmark torn down. I thought at one time it was listed as a historical landmark. I could be wrong.

    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks for the info about the house. Sounds like it had an interesting history, too bad if the original features were cut out.

    • TimothyTimothy says: 154 comments

      A chainsaw? Really?

      Who would do that other than vandals or thieves? Those responsible should be found and held accountable. Yes, I am mad about this.

      I have contacted the listing Realtor. If this is true, (and I get a response) I will let you know. Tim

      • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

        I went out and walked through the house tonight with a friend. The stairs are still intact. Both the front stairs and the back steps to the kitchen have been preserved. I have shots of the interior. There is one piece of fretwork in the entire house. The rest is gone.

  10. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    This is a picture of the house around 1898
    Here is the bio of the man that built it…15 children, three wives! MY!!!!
    Samuel H. Holtan
    Source: History of Chippewa and Lac Qui Parle Counties Minnesota, by L. R. Mayer and O. G. Dale, Volume II Illustrated; B. F. Bowen & Co. Inc. (1916) transcribed by Liz Dellinger

    Samuel H. Holtan, a prominent and successful farmer of Lac qui Parle county, was born in Columbia county, Wisconsin, on November 13, 1850, being the son of Hans H. and Ausloe (Sviningson) Holtan, both of whom were natives of Norway.

    Hans H. Holtan as a young man left his native country and came to America, settling in Chicago. He remained in Chicago for five years, during which time he worked as a plasterer. It was during his residence there that he was married to Ausloe Sviningson. In 1849 Mr. Holtan removed to Boone county, Illinois, where he remained for a short time, after which time he located in Columbia county, Wisconsin, and there entered government land and remained until 1857. He then removed to Goodhue county, Minnesota, where he purchased a farm, and became one of the prominent men of that section. He improved and developed this farm and made it his home until his death.

    Hans H. Holtan was married three times, his first wife, the mother of Samuel H. Holtan, died in Columbia county, Wisconsin, in 1856. By his three wives Mr. Holtan was the father of fifteen children. He was always active in the work of the Lutheran church, of which he was a life-long member. He always took an interest in local and state politics, and was a member of the first state Legislature of Minnesota.

    Samuel H. Holtan received his education in Columbia county, Wisconsin, and there grew to manhood. On April 19, 1872, he located in Lac qui Parle county and at that time purchased the farm where he now lives. To the original farm he has added, until he now owns some eight hundred acres. The farm is well developed and improved. On the home place Mr. Holtan has erected the best of modern buildings, all of which are kept in most excellent repair. He is engaged in general farming and stock raising. He is a believer in diversified farming and the keeping of good stock.

    On July 12, 1877, Samuel H. Holtan was united in marriage to Carrie H. Howkos, a native of Columbia county, Wisconsin, and the daughter of Hans Olson and wife. To this union have been born the following children: Hannah Alvine, Sigreta Cadell, Henry Alfred and Hilda Matilda. Mrs. Carrie H. Holtan died on March 24, 1910.

    Samuel H. Holtan and family are active members of the Lutheran church and take much interest in church work. The family are active in the social life of the community and are popular.

  11. Paul WPaul W says: 562 comments

    What an eclectic house the square tower the side tower, high roofline (almost mansard) love to see the inside too . Too far North for me, but I hope someone does something with this positive.

  12. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Sue, you are awesome!

  13. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Everything mentioned so far about changes to the house are not encouraging. I did know of a mansion grade 1880’s brick towered house in eastern Kansas near St. Joseph, MO where some crazy individual had actually taken a chain saw to the exquisite interior leaving it a gutted shell. Why such people exist, I don’t know, but combining them with an old house is lethal. I love old houses and have a difficult time understanding the mentality of people who see these once grand survivors as a personal challenge to transform them into something new. If you want to build a brand new house, please, knock yourself out; but for heaven’s sake, please don’t take a landmark historic home like this one and screw it up beyond recognition. While I’m shaking my head in disbelief, this dim witted mentality of trying to transform old houses into modern homes seems to be acceptable to a lot of people judging by the number of atrocities I’ve seen committed against old houses. At this point, saving the exterior of this house appears to be the only option and inside, maybe just doing a standard rebuild as I doubt there’s anything left to preserve. It scares me to think there are people with chainsaws walking around who would think ripping out the details on this one was ever a good idea. I consider such illogical actions cultural vandalism; akin to those people who buy rare old books, rip open and cut out the old illustrated prints to sell as “art” and then throw away the printed pages. Sad story here…

    • RossRoss says: 2406 comments


      I certainly appreciate your feelings, and concur.

      Oh, none of actually know what condition the interior is in. As Sue stated, there is only rumor.

      • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

        The general feeling around here is it might have been architectural thieves that were looking for ‘salvage materials’ to sell in a larger metro area. It wouldn’t be the first time it happened in this area to old abandoned farm homes.

  14. AvatarPaula Ann says: 4 comments

    Wow! Beautiful exterior, but I would love some interior shots to go with it. What kind of person would recommend tearing this unique home down??? Even if the inside has suffered damage from thieves, this home deserves a loving family to fix it. I can imagine the stories this house could tell… I hope someone who appreciates old houses buys this one soon. Please, someone save this house!

  15. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    I was out at the house tonight and walked through. The stairs, both front and back are still intact so the chainsaw rumor was not true. There is one piece of fretwork left but the old woodwork, mouldings and some of the remaining ceiling stencils have been left. There is one original light fixture.

  16. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    I should add that I do have interior shots of some of the more interesting parts of the house.

  17. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Sue, thanks for going the extra mile and confirming the rumors of a crazy chainsaw wielding vandal are unfounded. I had considered that rumor plausible because I saw an eastern Kansas house (I believe it was in Hiawatha, KS) where that kind of damage was inflicted. Allegedly, in that poor house the owner loaded up the sawn out elements into a rental truck to sell at a flea market. That part I can’t confirm but the extreme damage to the house was real. Thank goodness that’s not the case here although it sounds like some of the fretwork elements may have been removed. Any interior photos you could share would be appreciated-do you have any online photo storage like Flickr or Picasa you could link to? Alternately, maybe Kelly would be willing to help.

  18. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    I just sent the pictures off to Kelly. There is a picture of some of the original stenciling in this house. The area this house is in had several large homes built by Norwegians that did well when they settled here. They sent for others from their home country and they arrived as indentured servants. That meant they had to work for a period of time to pay off their passage and many were artists. In return they stenciled, painted murals or had other artistic talents. I know of at least four other homes that were stenciled or had murals done within a few miles radius of this home. One that was in the process of being restored but burnt to the ground before they finished. That was about 25 years ago. That home had a music room, a barn with a turn table to turn the horses and wagons around when they left the barn and an octagon summer kitchen. I think one home has preserved stenciling in several rooms.

  19. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Uploaded the photos Sue sent in! Now I’m even more perturbed anyone could ever suggest this as a tear down. It’s fantastic!!! Some of the details, I’m in love!

  20. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    Kelly, I agree 100%.

    The place is INCREDIBLE. Thanks soooooooo much Sue!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Those front doors alone! I am freakin’ out!

    The attic!!!!!!!!!!

    From the “rumors” one would think the interior was gutted, but it looks intact….and luscious!!!!!!!!!

    Also, I wonder if the decaying outbuilding is the same as shown in the archival image?


  21. Paul WPaul W says: 562 comments

    Whomever that would consider buying this I would strongly advise conducting some careful paint analysis. The stencil area remaining is very revealing about the potential of the house. Given its remote location an artisan would have been brought in to do this kind of work. Typically you would not bring them in to do just a small area. I would expect that careful analysis extensive stencil work on the first formal level floor. The wallpapers are clearly later. Hopefully the stenciling was shellacked when done as it would preserve areas if the top layers are carefully removed. Based on my experience this probably was decorated in a very high end style. This could warrant further investigation by the state preservation group.

  22. AvatarShelly says: 99 comments

    Thank you Sue! You are truly a hero!!! Maybe someone now will see this and give this glamorous house the makeover it deserves and not demo it. Lesson learned to get interior shots before judging the full worth of a house ! I hope the realtor edits his description of this magnificent piece of history.

  23. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

    Nothing like joining the conversation late. I’ve been to this house when it was for sale over ten years ago. I drove out there with my girlfriend ( now my wife) who had her real estate license. We spent some time there walking around. It was listed in “United Countrys-National Treasures” magazine. Its a big house for a typical extended farm family of the era. I remember it felt like a long trip to get there. If memory serves me I think it was priced in the 80s back then and I have no doubt I still have that United Country magazine.

    remember it felt

  24. JimJim says: 4208 comments

    Thanks Sue, for the photos and for caring about this house. In context, we’re looking at a near-ruined old structure in a remote location without many attractions. The 4 tillable acres might be good for growing veggies, but it’s a negligible area for a real farmer. The realtor’s notion that the lot has value without the house is self-defeating – the cost of a similar lot and a new foundation wouldn’t approach this price. For someone, maybe the “Old House Dream” is worth $150K and 2 years of work or a quarter million in cash (at least). More time and money is spent on less worthy things all the time, so let’s hope somebody finds a way.

    • Paul WPaul W says: 562 comments

      I could see this house as viable, probably in the context of a B&B with some sort of “eco tourism” maybe some sort of organic gardening or pumpkins, blueberry or whatever but a place you could go with your family for a weekend and the kids could pet the goats and such and you could drool over the interior.

      Looking at the stencil area , there is clearly a dropped drywall ceiling, typically some 1×3 screwed over the plaster and drywall put on that. It looks like they tried to preserve the painted center stencil but that blue with the stars likely extend all over the ceiling and the center stencil areas are likely repeated as corner blocks. Removing the drywall requires a great deal of care as I am sure some of the plaster areas will need replacement but these colors can be matched. If someone buys this I might be able to make trip over next year to document this, scan it and a make stencil set for restoration purposes. I’d love to include this in the historic stencil sets that we sell. As I said earlier I am sure there was stenciling in every room as they didn’t just send to the city for someone to do this kind of work for just one room. It looks like maybe there is slight texturing done to some of the rooms and if this hasn’t been repainted, removal of texture(popcorn ceiling material) can be accomplished with water but care must be used so as to not remove the underpaint. Hopefully these are milk paint and sealed with shellac.

      Remarkable house

      • Avatarjoan says: 2 comments

        My now ex-husband and I were going to buy this house approximately 20 years ago from Mr. Ireland, however, decided against doing so due to the location away from our farmland located on the south side of Dawson vs. this being about 8 miles north of Dawson and the extensive work needed to restore. We were going to purchase it for $50,000 back then. Anyways, the reason for the “trayed” portion of the ceiling is there was fire which damaged the ceiling in the living room where that tray (medallion) is located.

  25. AvatarPaula Ann says: 4 comments

    Thank you, Sue!!!! The photos are amazing! I am so glad to see the stairs intact. Surely, there is someone nearby willing to purchase this charming home. It would be absolutely tragic to allow this beautiful piece of history to be destroyed.

  26. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Outstanding house both outside and inside. I’d like to add my voice to the chorus of thanks to Sue-I would have never imagined the interior was this intact. The house needs a lot of work but the great original details remain. The intricate stencils are just an added bonus to an already fine home. Thanks again, Sue, for bringing us good news instead of a preservation disaster.

  27. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Thanks Kevin for scanning this magazine article from 1998. It’s a big image, click link and you can save to your computer to read or zoom in with your browser.

    Edit: My image plugin is not ignoring the link! Just copy/paste this link in your browser to see the full size:

    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      To view the link, right click your mouse over the link and “Copy Link Location” or whatever copy link option you have in the right click menu. Paste it in your browser address bar to see the image. You can then either right click over image and download or hover your mouse over the image to get a magnifying glass to zoom in by left clicking over the imags. This will work for computer users, probably not phone users.

      • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

        I switched to chrome and it worked fine, IE was worthless! LOL
        There are a few errors in the story. The servants had quarters behind the family rooms on the second floor. It was most likely the farmworkers that had to stay in the attic. The attic is one big room that is well light with windows on all sides.
        Also, the house was built prior to electricity in this area. Our house was built in 1916, in town, the owner put in the wiring but they could not hook into it until a few years later when it was available. My guess is the light fixture in the picture is from the 1920s or 30s and was put in at that time. A kerosene lamp probably hung there first.
        The house was not occupied for several years and the family lived in the caretakers house (after the Holtans sold it). The caretakers house sat halfway down the driveway and has been torn down.
        The family name is Holtan with an ‘a’ not an ‘o’.
        There is no spiral staircase in this home. You walk up to a landing and then turn to go up the rest of the way to the second floor.

  28. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    I can’t get the link to open big enough to read the article so I will just tell you what I saw of the interior.
    The first room you enter after the foyer from the front double doors is a large room with a textured, dropped ceiling. I suspect there is stenciling under the new ceiling. There is a torn piece of wallpaper that reveals a portion of stenciling that is probably a border. There is fretwork above the round tower windows to the south. It is in poor repair and the only piece of fretwork in the home. Off this room is a small room with gold stenciling on the ceiling. It is behind the main steps going upstairs. It may have been a cloak room or if the big room was a formal dining room, it would be the butler’s pantry.
    The room to the north of the big room has had a wall removed and looks like one was added. There are double wood doors going into this room from the main big room. This is the room with the stenciled ceiling, the blue wallpaper and original light fixture. This would have been the family’s parlor most likely. There is a dropped sprayed ceiling and it has been cut out to reveal the stenciling. I am sure that originally a kerosene lamp hung from this stenciled medallion first.
    The double doors where you would come in have had the frosted and stained glass windows removed. At one time this house had stained, leaded and frosted windows in it. I think some may be at the museum but I am not sure. I should go up there and get more history and take pictures of the furnishings of the house. It is on display. Throughout the house there is older wallpaper peeking through and often under that you can see a bit of stenciling.
    The rooms behind the big room are a disaster. There are walls gone, others put up, weird kitchen cupboards and a bathroom where the butlers pantry would have been. It’s very hard to tell where rooms began or ended. Looking at the hardwood floors you can see where walls stood and were taken out. The back stairs leads to the servants quarters. Those are the stairs painted white with the flat spindles with the Scandinavian influence to the design.
    The rooms upstairs are small by today’s standards but basically intact with no walls removed or changed. There are four bedrooms with the master bedroom having a room off it that was most likely a dressing room. There are then four other bedrooms graduating in size. One is now the bathroom. There is a door at the end of the hall that separates this living area from the servants quarters. Three rooms comprise the servants quarters. They would have shared rooms.
    The porch is gone from the north side of the house. This would have been leading from the kitchen to the summer kitchen which is the white outbuilding that was converted into the garage. It is on the 1898 picture to the left.
    Across the front of the house was a porch. The top of the house had a widow’s walk at one time. There is still a weather vane on the south round tower. All of the fretwork is in place outside.
    There is new block foundation on the northeast corner where they have dug out an entrance. I don’t remember that entrance on the original house. I rather doubt it was there until they put in the new heating plant.
    I have contacted the realtor to ask if I can go back out and do more pictures of the interior. It was evening when we were out there and I just couldn’t get some good interior shots (ie: staircase).
    This house does deserve to be saved, it will take lots of money and research but I believe there is enough history on the house it could be done. The acreage could support a vineyard, (there is one across the road) vegetables, small orchard or a B&B. This is a big hunting area in the fall for geese, ducks, pheasants and deer. Many metro people travel here to hunt.

  29. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    Correction: The kitchen porch would have been on the west side leading to the summer kitchen.

  30. AvatarRobb says: 184 comments

    This reminds me of the kind of houses you see BuildingDetroit.org. Great house with great bones.

  31. AvatarZoie says: 49 comments

    This house is simply gorgeous. I hope it’s saved and restored properly. You can sense an air of dignity when viewing the photos. Thank you Kelly and Sue for sharing. This beauty is going in my favorites.

  32. AvatarKathie Maffitt says: 10 comments

    Please don’t stone me for this, but am I the only one who thought Norman Bates when I saw this house?

  33. AvatarNebride says: 33 comments

    Three cheers for Sue for taking the interior photos. This is a really, really wonderful house. It makes my heart ache to think of it torn down. Is there anything we can do – bombard the city council with letters or something? With this much history, I could see it as a museum.

    • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

      This home is out in the country so it would be more up to the state. The county has tried to save the house but there just isn’t the funding. There is a preservation society http://www.mnhs.org/shpo/contact.php and I think they were contacted at one time. We also tried to get them involved to save a bank building in our town that is from 1903 Romansque style.
      The MN Historical Society had it deeded to them but they refused it because they didn’t have the money to refurbish and maintain it.

      • AvatarNebride says: 33 comments

        Thanks for the reply, Sue. It does sound like a difficult, if not, impossible situation. I’m just feeling so helpless all the way out here in Colorado and wishing I could do something, anything to help save this house.

        It was really fabulous of you to take all those photos. Thanks so much for sharing. I’m considering the idea of trying to make a miniature replica of this house. Making dollhouses is one of my crazy, totally impractical hobbies and this house is really calling to me…

  34. AvatarRobb says: 184 comments

    As an FYI. Nicole Curtis of HGTV’s Rehab Addict is a big historical/old home advocate in MN. She tried to save a house in Rochester which was right across from St Mary’s/Mayo Clinic. I am not sure if this would interest her or not. I think she might be working in Detroit on a house right now but I am not sure. Her home base is Minneapolis.

    • RossRoss says: 2406 comments

      I would be, well, alarmed if Nicole Curtis purchased this home.

      Her show is enjoyable, but she is not particularly focused on restoration/preservation. She describes herself as a Rehab Addict, and I would concur. Her work is more about rehab than restoring.

      Way too many times while watching her show I cringe as some great original feature is torn out, covered up, or carelessly renewed.

      In the $1 house (Season 3), I was horrified, HORRIFIED at what she did to the front porch. When she purchased the house the original porch and its beefy columns were intact. Even if all needed to be replaced due to rot, why not simply recreate the original, which was perfectly matched to the house? Instead, Nicole was gleeful in being given for free (she delights in freebies, no matter their merit) a bunch of Home Depot junk wood anorexic columns and junk wood anorexic spindles. Obviously, another home owner had just – quite rightly – ripped this horror off their home. In the end, a wonderful old home, rich with a distinctive character, ended up with a spindly, wholly inappropriate porch. A porch which will rot within five years.

      The house is this thread is good enough to merit a careful restoration.

  35. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    If I were to try and buy this house I would ascertain the value of the land. After all, the house is being presented as a tear down, so my offer would be based on what the land is worth.

    If one could buy the place for a lot less than the ask, this savings could be invested in helping to restore the home.

    Also, who owns the home? Is it bank owned?

  36. Avatarstacy says: 1 comments

    this has caught my attention! I’d love to see more of the inside!

  37. AvatarDani says: 2 comments

    We had looked at buying the Ireland house almost 11years ago. I have wondered what happened to it. I agree it would be awful to see it torn down , it has so much potential and although in tough shape it still feels grand! I really hope someone e buys it and FIXES it. It wasn’t an option for us since we had a new baby and knew we didn’t have the time or money to fix it right.

  38. AvatarAllan says: 67 comments

    Just was looking around the site that had the old photo of the house in the snow and found this one too.


    • RossRoss says: 2406 comments

      Wow, Allan!

      Great detail! I love the name over the side porch! I cannot recall ever seeing such a thing before.

      I also love the elaborate roof shingling.

      The restoration potential of this great house has significantly increased this past week!


    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Cool, thanks!
      Here is the pic Allan found:

      • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        By the way, those porches!!!!

        We’ve got to found someone to buy this and save it!

        • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

          No widow’s walk on the roof! Huh…how about that, but I wonder with the upper porch railings done the way they were if they were mistakenly renamed through the years as ‘widow’s walks’. That is just a great picture of the house. If you look at the pictures I took you can see the shingles on the towers are still there, they are just all painted the same color. And, it’s true, both towers did have weather vanes and the one tower still has remains of one left. And, there was no full front porch. Wow, really interesting to see the differences in what gets passed down by word of mouth and what was actually there. And, look at the fancy fretwork on top of the dormer windows.

  39. Avatarjoan says: 2 comments

    My now ex-husband and I almost bought that house from Mr. Ireland roughly 18-20 years ago. Man has it really gotten beat down since we were going to purchase it. It is in a really remote area Northeast of Dawson. The driveway is super long. It’s sad that this house wasn’t taken care of. In its heyday it was a grand home, but time and people haven’t been kind to it. When we looked at it, it had 2 separate basements and the hardwood floors were very warped. We decided it was too far from the land that we farmed and there was too much work that would be needed. We were going to pay $50,000 for it back then. I think the price is wayyyyy too high especially with so much of the beauty gone.

    The funeral doors were cool, they even had a bullet hole through the glass in one side, I love historical houses, obviously. I didn’t pay much more for my 4 story house in Racine, WI that is completely restored/original and I am just a couple blocks off of Lake Michigan.

  40. AvatarAdam says: 6 comments

    I am excited to say that I am working with a realtor to arrange a viewing of the house with a contractor to see if it is feasible for me to purchase and restore and the cost associated. I understand this is a massive undertaking, but I’ve driven past this home since I was little and always enjoyed the mystery of imagining what it was. If anyone has any information on companies who help with restoration or any advice, please share away.

  41. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Adam, the only advice I can give is to make sure your contractor(s) understands old houses. A typical remodeling contractor and a historic house are sometimes a recipe for disaster-they often see every old house as a challenge to make it look brand new inside. If they have worked on old houses before and understand the wish to preserve the historic character they are probably ok if you closely supervise and clearly understand exactly what they intend to do. Make sure you get exactly what you want. For most, the ideal balance is a house that expresses its history yet is up to date enough to not seem like a sterile museum house. (unless that’s what you want) With this very detailed period photo, there’s no reason the house could not be restored to period perfection if your budget and tastes are in that direction. Of course, the first priority is to make sure its protected from the elements and then made livable; the rest is a matter of personal choice.

  42. AvatarShelly says: 99 comments

    Please keep us updated!!! I hope it works out for you.

  43. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    Dear Adam,

    I 100% agree with John: A typical remodeling contractor and a historic house are sometimes a recipe for disaster.

    A typical contractor will only see the problems, and will, as John stated, want to proceed with making the house just like a new house. If X issue needs a gentle restoration, the contractor will instead want to rip X wholly out, and rebuild at XXX cost.

    But, there are contractors who love old houses. They see the problems, yes, but more importantly they are eager for the challenge of restoring beauty and livability to an old house. Rather then advocate for NEW NEW NEW they relish the task of restoring the ORIGINAL, the ECCENTRIC, and the UNIQUE.

    I also agree with Shelly: Please keep us updated!!!

    And I have a favor to request: take a LOT of images!!!

  44. JimJim says: 4208 comments

    Adam, probably every construction-related professional within 100 miles knows this house and many would be thrilled to drive out to take a look and offer their services and advice; maybe send out emails with a photo. A knowledgeable overview of what’s required is a good place to start. You can pay a lot of money for architects/consultants/construction managers, or you can do lots of homework and prepare detailed specifications yourself and supervise. Much of the restoration work is carpentry, so a good carpenter that really knows old houses will be the key guy, though finding him in a rural area isn’t always easy. There are probably too many contingencies on this project to sign a fixed price contract for the whole job – if possible find people willing to work one step at a time.

    • RossRoss says: 2406 comments

      Jim, you wrote: “if possible find people willing to work one step at a time.”

      This is the approach I take to every old house project I do.

  45. AvatarAdam says: 6 comments

    Thanks for the great advice! I definitely don’t want to lose the character of the home to a “saw happy” contractor.

  46. Paul WPaul W says: 562 comments

    You need to devote all your initial energy to the exterior of the house. Siding repair and paint , New roof and flashing and windows. I would remove the offending additions and develop a phased plan to build a new front porch and new side porch. The restoration of this house will not be cheap. You absolutely need references and I would ask your state preservation group if they have list of recommended contractors.

    You need to develop some ‘bid specs’ telling the contractor what you want, not the other way around. Contractors must be licensed bonded and insured and you need to check on what they give you and ask for copy of insurance. Permits if applicable in this area must be pulled by eth contractor ,not the homeowner and if someone asks you to pull the permit ? Run do not walk away from that guy.

  47. AvatarBelinda says: 2 comments

    If you purchase this house and need slave labor ie priming, scraping, painting, mowing – let us know! We would love to donate some time. 🙂

  48. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    I am through posting on this house. The realtor called me today and was not happy we were out there and added additional pictures. He was upsetting that we didn’t set up an appointment and went through the house and took pictures. He made no mention of the interest it generated or the added posts on this page. Needless to say I feel upset because I only want the house to be saved, I want no part of the realtor’s fee. I do know that if I ever am in need of services that his agency supplies I won’t look their way for help and I feel bad because one of my very best old buddies works there and he said he was fine with the whole situation. We weren’t out there to steal or vandalize anything, just to bring the plight of the house to light.
    Maybe he is just looking for a fast buck to unload it for a tear down.

    • AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

      You should of told him he did a lousy job of taking pictures. There are a lot of realtors that are really nothing more than car salesman with nicer suits. Don’t let this dolt discourage you you hav received high praise here for what you have done that far outweighs anything this goof might of said.
      Adam,I’m a licensed contractor in MN my company is “Circa1900 llc” I do only old houses, this is a little far for me to get involved but I think if you really found a skilled carpenter you could get a lot done and in that area you could probably find one for $20-25 per hour . I have been to this house but it was over ten years ago. If the mechanicals are good your way ahead of the game. I think you could get this for 85k.

    • AvatarZoie says: 49 comments

      Sue, that realtor may not appreciate your efforts but I do!! This grand home deserves to be restored.

    • AvatarPaula Ann says: 4 comments

      So sorry to hear that, Sue. You did an amazing job with the photos. It was a favor to the house, really. That realtor is just mad because you did a better job than him with the camera. Let’s just pray that good people buy this house, and fix it up.

    • AvatarDani says: 2 comments

      Don’t judge the whole agency by his actions. I have not been impressed with him (the realtor in question) but worked with someone from the same agency and we loved the gentleman we worked with. I agree- he had no right to be angry, you are doing his job for him by marketing the house!

  49. AvatarSue says: 25 comments

    Addendum: I was actually trying to be open and honest with him and his company about the fact we had done the interior pictures for those that asked. Otherwise, he would never have known the interest generated. Even researching the historical info was more than he did. See where honesty gets you. The sharp side of someone’s tongue. Phooey

    • JimJim says: 4208 comments

      Sue, you’re working for the house (without pay), not the realtor. The house says thank you very much.

      I doubt the sheriff will pursue a case of innocent trespassing – I wouldn’t push my luck the 2nd time though 🙂

  50. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Sue, I’m not surprised by the negative reaction from the realtor. They tend to be very touchy about anyone taking the initiative on one of their listings because after all, a realtor is not mandatory for a property to be sold and their commission is only received when a sale is closed. Thus they tend to be territorial and possessive about their listings. Technically, if you had a realtor’s license and you found a buyer for this property, most listings have a reciprocal agreement where if another realtor brings a buyer to the table he or she will receive a partial commission from the sale. It’s all a cozy little club not open to outsiders-just as doctors will get upset if you “treat” a patient or a lawyer will scorn any attempt from an outsider to give their client legal advice, realtors will not appreciate non-professionals helping even if it leads to a sale. Don’t take it personally, the realtor is merely trying to “protect” his territory so that he or she gets their commission. In summary, its all about the MONEY, nothing personal.

    • AvatarSue says: 25 comments

      This realtor worked for Ecolab prior to obtaining his real estate license. My husband was his customer for years (as the manager of a feed mill). He was paid well for this job. I told my husband about the conversation and what was said, he was not impressed. Well, he can have his commission because I wasn’t after a dime of it, I just want this place restored instead of demolished. (I know about the medical profession, 40 yrs in nursing taught me plenty & 10 yrs EMT)
      I should add, 45 years as an antique dealer is what has led me to my interest in old houses.

      • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

        Sue, I certainly meant no criticism of you. Quite the opposite…you are a preservation hero in my book and if this house gets saved and restored properly, we owe you our collective thanks. I’ll shut up now before I tell you what I really think about some realtors; others are pretty nice-but every profession has its stars as well as a few bad apples.

  51. AvatarAdam Longman says: 6 comments

    Today is the big day! Headed for my viewing of the house. Per the realtor there are others looking at the property as well.

  52. Hope it goes well, it’s spectacular! You know if you buy it you’re going to have to keep us all updated right?

  53. AvatarRobb says: 184 comments

    Adam, Many look but it only takes one to buy 🙂 That is such a common Realtor phrase as we all know. In reality, we are all looking at the house

  54. AvatarAdam says: 6 comments

    The walk through was AMAZING! It’s such a beautiful old home with so much character and potential. I have NEVER done a renovation before, know very little about how to even approach this so I’m looking for more advice from the group. Since the house has little value without significant renovation, should that be reflected in a purchase offer? Is there benefit to getting the home listed on a National Historic registry? If so, what is that benefit? The realtor had mentioned possible renovation cost assistance if open to public viewing/use? Has anyone ever done anything like that? What is your interpretation of that?

    My walk through took HOURS. I looked at every nook and cranny of the home, every piece of original woodwork – even found the pile of woodwork that was removed (but kept). The last owners left some very special treasures including dead animals (snakes), horrific drawings on some of the walls, graffiti type writings, etc… but it’s all cleanable or coverable with the correct treatment.

    The property itself is in as much need of attention as the house – the weeds have overtaken much of the land. I’m not exactly sure what the 4 tillable acres are that are listed on the realtor listing, but it’s on my list of questions.

    I do have many pictures of the inside and I’d be happy to share privately as I’m not sure if they are allowed to be publicly posted. Also, not sure if I can list my private email on this blog – if you are the person who oversees this and my personal email is allowable, please add it to this comment.

    • Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      If you’d like for people to see them, you can email me kelly@oldhousedreams.com and I’ll upload them to the post.

    • Paul WPaul W says: 562 comments

      This is not a house I would ever recommend for first restoration, period, just being totally honest here. You are going to need 100-125K JUST on the outside by the time you put a new roof on it. Realistically you need to be looking at 350-400K ABOVE the purchase price to restore this house properly(and it could be way higher depending on things like termites, rotten wood and just ‘stuff’ you find when you start restoration). The house will need at minimum two HVAC systems and you need an HVAC contractor who can work around what will likely be stenciled ceilings and wall work, same with plumbers. Its is just going to be a major project and you will pay for labor to do it right. Rebuilding period windows 40K, Getting materials on site is going to add cost to. You will need a 200Amp service with this size house, I’d probably do 400 Amp. Backup generator? (probably add 12-15K). That’s why I said you need to find an “income generating” use for this house like a B&B or retreat as the continued cost of maintaining it once it done, is going to be considerable. This house needs not only a restoration plan but a business plan to pay for it, in order to find a lender willing to even make a loan on property that will be based on land value only. It takes deep pockets to restore a house like this. Its better you know up front than have someone like me explain this to you after you are near bankrupt and have a half finished home.

      I just recently had to tell some people who are doing a restore (3 years after they started, they assumed 6 months), that not only did their contractors take them, a lot of the work they did will have to be redone as it doesn’t meet code and they couldn’t sell it the way its done. They till need another 100K to do what’s left and their house won’t appraise for anywhere near what they already have in it to get a loan.

      Really think about what it will cost, how long it will take and what it will be worth when done. Do not let the ’emotion’ of savings something, or “seeing it in your minds eye done” ruin you financially. takes DEEP pockets, resources, patience and dedication to restore a house like this. Everyone “dreams” of a house like this but few can afford to make that dream happen.

  55. AvatarRobb H says: 184 comments

    I hope Kelly will let you post pictures. Love to see. We have done many restorations. You need to determine condition of roof, mechanicals and what exterior needs to be painted. Basically, stabilze the house first. Do NOT start tearing up the interior as one major project at a time. I have seen way too many good intentions where all was ripped up and people gave up. Do not overwhelm yourself. Also, low ball your offer. Check MN state grants, etc. Some towns/counties in MN have them. We live in MN so we know.

  56. AvatarAdam says: 6 comments

    Robb do you have any idea where to look for those grants or is this something that my courthouse would have access to?

  57. AvatarRobb H says: 184 comments

    Every county is different but start at MN Historical Society. They can guide you. That is the best start. I am not sure of any federal money either. Try as you can. OR just call HGTV and tell them you have a new idea for a show and they can use your house OR you can do a 203K loan or many lpcal banks will do construction to perm loans (I am a Mortgage Operations manager).

  58. RossRoss says: 2406 comments

    Well, I am going to throw my two cents in.

    Many many years ago I was given excellent advice. Quite amazingly, I actually listened!

    I was trying to buy a classic wooden yacht. A large yacht. At last I found a beauty. And I could afford her. Yippee!

    Then the captain of the yacht took me aside, and said: “Ross, just because you can afford the purchase price does not mean you can afford to KEEP her.”

    He proceeded to rattle off the monthly operating expenses (including maintenance), and I gasped. I had no idea.

    I passed on the purchase, and only much later understood the gift the captain had given me.

    So Adam, as much I would love to see this house purchased and beautifully restored, I would ask you the same question. I assume you can afford the purchase price, but can you afford what it will take to restore the house, and the emotional cost?

    I have seen way too many restoration efforts begin with a bang, and then soon fade into depression and abandonment. This is a terrible thing for both the individual(s) and the house.

    This is a VERY LARGE HOUSE on a VERY LARGE LOT and all needs attention. Do you have the financial, emotional, and intellectual resources to proceed? Again, the purchase price is just the beginning. Grants can help, but they are not easy to obtain and will in no way fully finance the restoration of the house.

    Recently, I purchased a Very Large House needing a TON of work. Before committing I was able (based on long experience) to answer yes to the question above. And, I could not be happier. The plus side of taking on such a project is a deep sense of satisfaction returning life to an endangered thing of great beauty.

  59. AvatarRobb says: 184 comments

    To add to Ross’s comment, make sure you get in an EXPERT inspector who will look at everything on the house. I capitalize expert as I cannot shout enough to get the best inspector who will give you an honest opinion and reality. Do not go for the cheapest. If an inspector says he can do it in 1 hr..run as fast as you can from them. I would even get two different inspectors in. Watch The Money Pit and see all that can happen 🙂 A restoration can be fun or an “What am I doing and why did I take this on??” I can not tell you how many houses I have seen where it overwhelms the owner. That is why I said, one big project at a time. We have lived in our houses as we renovated. This has stopped us from doing too much at once 🙂

  60. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

    I’m going to chime in again. Adam get the mechanicals checked out, turn on the boiler, get the septic and well checked,electrical panel etc. If those things check out you need a good carpenter but check his work, pictures etc. A contractor in that geographic area is most likely a “remodeler” who will probably recommend his cousin Darryl to put vinyl siding on the house. I don’t think the 203 rehab money will fly out there because you need a “203 certified contractor” to do the work and I doubt there are too many , if any at all in that area.

    • Some very good advice here. Regarding the 203k though, it’s a wonderful source of funds if you’re willing to jump through ridiculous hoops. Contractors DO NOT need to be certified from the get go though. Find a contractor who’s willing to jump though those hoops with you and have him submit the required paperwork prior to closing, becoming certified is really no big deal, but many contractors will shy away from the odd payment schedule and bank oversight.

      I’ll add one more piece of advice, if you’re serious about the house, start the process now! She needs to be buttoned up tight before winter can do additional damage, and that garage needs to be tarped and stabilized pronto.

  61. AvatarAdam says: 6 comments

    Thank you all for the wonderful advice. The past 24 hours has been a time of some strong reflection on your comments, analyzing budgets for both purchase and restoration as well as those “unforeseen” items. Although there seems to be a LONG list of things that are saying NO NO NO, there is an equally long list of things saying YES. I have made a several page list of questions for my realtor to get answers to and am waiting on replies to those so I can help make a very informed decision. I have contacted a restoration company that has done work in the Midwest, I’ve looked through their portfolio and even contacted owners of properties that they have worked on. I am hoping to get approval to hire them to come and walk through and give me a more actual guesstimate of investment (both time and money).

    I know that I sound quite naïve – and in some token, I am. I believe in making informed decisions, but also am willing to take calculated risks if the benefit is there. I’ll stop rambling now, but please know that I value each and every sentence of advice you have ALL given me regarding this. None of it is taken lightly and is helping weigh on my decision.

    In the end, I want this property to be in the hands of someone who can and will restore and appreciate it! Period. If that person is not me, I will fully support and do what I can to help them make this historic home into what a grand old beauty it certainly was.

  62. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    The agent has changed the description, “This is a great turn of the century home. New windows have been added throughout the house. It has a walk up 3rd floor that could be made into living area. The basement was replace approx. 6 years ago. a new septic system was installed about the same time. All the duct work has been installed for forced air heat. The furnaces have been removed. Many options available. Recondition this great old house. We have hade some interest from a few buyers to possibly move the house to a different location. This would give someone the opportunity to build a new home on this site. Of the 12.75 acres 4 acres are tillable.”

    • JimJim says: 4208 comments

      If anybody can come up with a viable reason to move this house from a perfectly good rural location to who knows where, I’d like to hear it. There are no towns close by to move it to, and moving it to another rural lot at great expense doesn’t make much sense. I suspect this is being suggested as a face-saving option to provide the owner or purchaser of the property a cover for tearing down the house. The house can be offered “Free” to anyone who wants to move it, then when nobody takes them up on the offer the house is demolished with the owner saying “We did everything that we could”. I’ve seen this sleazy move before, but maybe there’s something else happening here.

  63. AvatarShelly says: 99 comments

    YEAH1 This house may have a chance!

  64. AvatarJessie says: 1 comments

    This house was lived in until about February, 2014 by a young family. They did attempt some restoration, however funds were tight. It is a beautiful home if only someone would have the means to do a complete restore!!

  65. Sue CSue C says: 38 comments

    (I am a different Sue, by the way.) Adam, we were young and ignorant when we bought our old house in 1985. We bought the house very cheaply. If anyone had told us how much it would take to restore it, we would have never bought it. We knew what we wanted done, and, looking back, there are a few things we would have done differently, but for the most part we are very happy with it. However, we carefully watched any work being done, and made sure things were done the way we wanted. We also lived in the house while work was being done. We were able to do things such as removing wallpaper, painting, etc. ourselves, but we had to hire many things out. However, we just had work done as we could afford to, and didn’t borrow any money. We did not mind living in a “dump”, because we knew what it could be. There were times we went 2 or 3 years without anything being done because we didn’t have the money or didn’t want the mess. It was almost 20 years before we had a decent kitchen. Anyway, almost 30 years later, we are finished (almost–they are never finished). We had it on a house tour last spring, and had many wonderful compliments. We feel it has been a wonderful home to live in all these years, a labor of love. What I’m saying is that if you don’t mind taking years, and only spending money as you have it (don’t go into debt), it could be doable. It can be difficult on a marriage, but we survived. You both need to be pretty much on the same page as to what you are willing to give up for the house. You will have to sacrifice vacations and other things, but for us the house was worth it. So mostly it depends on how willing you and your spouse are for it to take forever, to live with the mess, to deal with the strain on your marriage, and to be willing to sacrifice lots of other things.

    • Avatarbfish says: 119 comments

      This is a house I missed in 2014 due to a laptop breakdown-induced hiatus from OHD for several months! Now I’m caught up thanks to Kelly’s end of year roundup. Sue C., you make some excellent points that I hope all of the young OHDers are taking in. Folks, just buy a house you love even in its unrestored and/or ill-decorated state, so that when you’re sitting on lawn chairs in your depressing monochromatic green living room, there are plenty of beautiful things (the architecture and the trim) to distract you!

      In a few months we’ll have owned our house for 28 years and the big and much-needed kitchen remodel is still on the drawing board; however I think it’s inching closer to happening in 2015 (fingers crossed). I’d reiterate that you never finish. For people who value closure and want their house to be “done” living in and working on an old house isn’t a good fit. I actually like that it will never be finished and I think my husband is in the same place — at least we know that our yard and outdoor projects will never be finished (there is more to do there, and to maintain, then there is in our house — mother nature can be very challenging).

  66. Avatarkim says: 2 comments

    I live in watertown sd not but an hour from this house is it still available ?

  67. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4718 comments

    Both Trulia and Zillow (links above) are showing it as an active listing. You can inquire directly with the real estate agents featured on the real estate sites. Good luck!

  68. AvatarNicole C. says: 5 comments

    So did you buy it, Adam???

  69. AvatarShelley N says: 20 comments

    Dang it! I read all the comments like a novel hoping for a happy ending! 8 ( At least it hasn’t been torn down.

  70. AvatarHaylee L says: 1 comments

    Is there any current updates?

    • AvatarNichole says: 1 comments

      I see that it was taken off the market on 1/17/15. Not sure if it was sold or just taken off. Anybody live nearby still have tabs on this one?

  71. AvatarRyan T says: 3 comments

    My grandparents still own the house and it is still for sale. We really want to find someone that can cherish this house. It is very unique and elegant!

  72. AvatarLaurie smith says: 3 comments

    I am going to look at the house. Done 5 house restorations with my husband. If we buy this fabulous piece of history I would take up any free labor this spring. I read all the postings today on this page and a few people mentioned the community helping. That would be fantastic to get started.

  73. AvatarLaurie smith says: 3 comments

    I would love to talk to any locals anybody who knows more. What a rich history this home has. Could be a showpiece again

  74. AvatarSuziQ says: 1 comments

    Wow! I’ve read this thread with much interest and was hoping Adam had purchased it! I live in Australia and a friend had “shared” the link so I just had to see more. Would love to know the outcome and see more photos. Good luck to the person who purchases this stunning property.

  75. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Back on the market! At $79,500.

  76. AvatarKelly C says: 7 comments

    Bummer, I am fairly new to your site and didn’t see this the first time. It was fascinating to read through the comments. I hope Adam will come back and give an update.

  77. AvatarRobb Hoogeveen says: 9 comments

    I visited this house for the third time this weekend. It seems to look better each time I look at it! The last time it was listed I was really hard on the realitior because he was the one the helped set up the price and it was ridiculous. I told him 50,000 and at least a person would have a chance to do some fixing! As bad as I want to purchase this I really do not have the finances to bring it back to how it was. The basement corner looked to be a bad deal i am not sure what could be done to fix and stablize that. I did notice there is not a single molecule of insulation anywhere, the windows that got put in are the cheapest ones I have ever seen. The bathroom fixtures look to have come from a trailer house. The furnace is missing and I would imagine it would be an expensive piece to purchase. I looked at the breaker box and there was wires everywhere! Everything about the kitchen needs to be replaced! I really think this house is to far gone for a restoration.

    • RossRoss says: 2406 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS


      You wrote: “I really think this house is too far gone for a restoration.”

      The same was said about thousands of houses and buildings…which have now been beautifully restored.

    • AvatarJada Morris says: 2 comments

      message me if you want to know more about the house my family was the last to live there also none of its current state was done by my family. my email is jadalikessparkles@gmail.com. the basement in the house must and i mean has to be replaced even though it was just redone 6-7 years ago.

  78. AvatarShelley N says: 20 comments

    That’s a shame! I hope someone with the means can some how bring this home back to life.

  79. AvatarBelinda Pearson says: 2 comments

    Robb, we live about a hour from this house and have dreamt about it for a year. If anyone would get it my husband and I would donate our time and experience. We have remodeled several homes. Never one with a foundation issue though. That is the part that would scare me, I think. I am willing to bet if you scheduled demo days, clean up days, etc on this link you would have a bunch of helpers with skills of all sorts!

  80. AvatarRobb says: 9 comments

    Please do not take my comment the way I wrote it…. If I had the means I would definitely restore this house! If I was able to get this place for a decent price I would live in it like any other house. Maybe after my last son is out of high school things might look different. But really that is what this house needs right now is someone to live in it fix the roof and not to disturb any more artifacts. I was really disappointed when I started looking for financing the rates are very low but the banks really want a high down payment.

  81. AvatarKris says: 1 comments

    I am from Dawson, and my family and I would definitely donate our free-time to help with anything we can! We love projects like that! And we Love that house!

  82. AvatarMissy R says: 1 comments

    It’s funny how there are so many from the community that love the house but feel they can’t do anything about it. Has anyone thought about forming a group to fundraise to get some projects done? Of course, the owner would have to be contacted first, but just because the house is on the market doesn’t mean it has to sit there. For example, the first project I would have the group do is cover the hole in the basement. You could do this with cement blocks. No, it is not a permanent fix, but the house will deteriorate much faster than if the hole is left open. We had some spare cement blocks a few years ago that we just gave away to another party that needed them. But by placing ads on Craigslist and running some free ads on the radio might draw some attention if you need this or that for patches/repairs. Over the years we have been shocked at what farmers have laying around when a person puts a “wanted” ad out there. Again, the owner would have to be identified and contacted, but I think it would be well worth the effort in the long-term.

  83. AvatarVickyLancaster68 says: 12 comments

    I'm sooo in love with this house…it brings tears to my eyes. (I'm going to start buying lottery tickets again.) I hope someone loves it as I do, and buys it, and brings it back to the glory she deserves. I would help in any way I could to restore her. *sigh*…

  84. Hello,

    Just to chime late in re. these historical ‘tear downs’, and encourage people not to be afraid!

    Against the advice of everyone, we bought and saved a turn-of-the-century historical Denver home from the wrecking ball. We also had 5 small children!

    Key was living-in & restoring the house slowly over several years. People would comment that we were like gypsies – sacrificing modern creature comforts and barely functional kitchen …but it was worth it to have a large, gracious Norma Desmond-faded glory-like rambling home – like this MN one.

    We made one zone habitable, then worked slowly on the rest over several years. Learning/doing as much as possible ourselves, and hiring independent handymen who were sympathic and knowledgeable about old homes.

    Potential buyers like Adam, above -get overwhelmed and panic when contractors are brought in to estimate full costs of rehabbing.

    This is disingenuous, as there are lower cost, outside-the-box strategies. And the boat owner’s example above is NOT a good comparison to living-in/maintaining a historic home.

    I say, in the end, the benefits outweigh the costs, and a worthy property is well-worth the endeavor to restore.

  85. Avatarkim redlin says: 30 comments

    Foundations can be fixed, i wouldnt let that scare one. There have been alot of saved houses restored worse than this one. I wonder if i could get used to rural living or move it here to this wonderful town of watertown sd an hour away and put it near the olive house…both featured listings.

  86. AvatarRegina says: 59 comments

    The window is quite intriguing (2nd photo of interior shots). I have never seen a window with what appears to be a transom at the bottom. Does anyone know what this type of window is called and why it is made this way?

  87. AvatarBillie says: 1 comments

    Does anyone know if the “benches” by on either side of stairs open for storage? I just LOVE this house. My husband and I keep talking about going out to look at it. We live a couple of hours away and if able would live in the house while renovating it, doing as others suggest, one area at a time after making it livable. We have a large family and feel this would be perfect. We also realize that it would take several years.

  88. AvatarRobb h says: 9 comments

    If I remember right the room next to the main stairs has a wall coming straight down from the ceiling then at about waist level it goes back to the wall so yea there is some room for storage

  89. Kelly, Old House DreamsKelly, Old House Dreams says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    Added more listing photos that shows whole rooms.

  90. Avatarkim redlin says: 30 comments

    I have to take a look at this one. Yes it would take some years but I can’t think of anything better to do with my years left. I’m not a vacationer. Yes like beaches getting sunburnt and all seen plenty of holes in the ground. But nothing compares to the sense of accomplishment than standing back and looking at the gleaming floor you just refinished yourself.

  91. AvatarKevinR says: 2 comments

    Any one know what they mean by the basement being done 6yrs ago??

    I’m looking for a hobby farm in MN or WI so have seen many nice old farm houses that have been left to basically rot. But this. Wow! I’m thinking this will take so much money to get back to habitable that I’d be crazy.. But then again 😛

  92. Avatarkim redlin says: 30 comments

    The foundation wasnt done right it wasnt reinforced someone that lived there said that section was going to cause some walls to collapse. Whats amazing is even with problems these houses were built so well ( for future generations) that they can with stand incredible abuse and neglect and be livable another 100 years.

  93. Avatarkim redlin says: 30 comments

    Your not crazy. The price of a new pile of cheap house is whats crazy something built today would stand 150 years ?

  94. AvatarRobh says: 9 comments

    The basement is really nice other than the one corner where you could see light through some cracks in the morter of the block. I am certainly not an expert on foundations but personally I would mud the morter back in the cracks and keep an eye on it for next few years. The ceiling height is very high for a basement I am over 6 feet tall and I could not touch the ceiling with my arm extended up. The floor had that new house smoothness to it. It is very large goes underneath the whole house. All the plumbing looked fairly recent, there was circuit breakers for the electrical but looked like it needed all the wires tucked back into the breaker box. There was some water softener equipment installed and newer ductwork through out, although the furnace was missing.

  95. AvatarKevinR says: 2 comments

    I’d love to take a walk thru. I did notice it’s not terribly far from some river. Wonder if some past flood damage is what set this house on the downward spiral

  96. Avatarkim redlin says: 30 comments

    I doubt it. I lived in montevideo 9 miles away. It floods by the river at the parks. Thats because they are in the low valleys. Most of the soil around is good. Rather rare to have a home built on nothing but limestone around here. You could do soil tests. I think this is a good home. Its been around a long time and still standing, that says a lot. Go look at it ….only way to tell if its for you…cant guess

  97. Avatarbrandymulvaine says: 61 comments

    I ate up this thread like a dime store novel! I even did a guess on what the floor plan was/is, imagining what it must have been like to live there when it was new. Has there been any new developments?

  98. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

    Per the listing agent the listing “expired”. It will sit over the winter because the owner does not want to plow the long driveway. However the owner is very motivated to sell. This house has no heating plant so it will suffer another thaw, freeze cycle. I did ask about the basement and he stated it is all new block but there is some cracking by a garage door (you can see the door in the pictures) He also said you couldn’t park in the basement so I have no idea why that was put in unless its just used for storage.

  99. AvatarRobb h says: 9 comments

    I was out there with the realtor couple weeks ago. I decided to pass on making an offer. The realtor had a lot of info on the condition of things, one being a support beam that didn’t get replace in the bacement its underneath where the stair well is and if you draw a vertical line through the house you can see the damage on each floor that the lack of support has created. As far as I know it’s still forsale they don’t show it in the winter.

  100. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

    This house may end up selling in the 30s, 40s at the rate its going. I told the realtor if it was half the distance from Minneapolis/St Paul I would be all over it. I think its too far as a weekender about three hours from my house. If I added another two hours to that equation I could be in Galena IL.

  101. AvatarRobbh says: 9 comments

    It will be interesting to see what they list it for in the spring. When I looked at the place with the realtor I pushed pretty hard to find the bottom number that might be excepted. I got out of it that upper sixties might get it.

  102. Avatarbrandymulvaine says: 61 comments

    Thanks for the info guys! I was hoping it had been adopted by some nice family already. Poor house, I can only dream of adopting you, sigh. 10yrs until retirement and maybe the kids will be on there own by then…

  103. AvatarKevin ONeill says: 132 comments

    There seems to be a nationwide craigslist “go fund me” type advertisement by someone seeking to buy this property. Is it one of the posters here? If it is any luck ? I plan on going to this property this spring when I believe it will be back on the market.

    • Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10360 comments

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Someone has been and frankly I don’t agree with Go Fund Me to buy or renovate a property. If you can’t afford it you shouldn’t buy it much less go around begging for money to help you buy or renovate it. They’ve tried posting links here and commenting but I didn’t allow it. Their last comment was saying the banks had turned them down for loans.

      • Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10360 comments

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        Adding…if you’ve established yourself as someone who has purchased and can show they’ve been restoring their home for a while, Go Fund Me pages are cool. But not when you show up, a stranger with no funds to purchase the home in the first place let alone restore it is when I will not allow links or comments asking for money. You can’t rely on strangers forever to fund your project and if funds run then out what happens? Foreclosure or asking for more money? When would it end?

        • Paul WPaul W says: 562 comments

          I run into this all the time with the save not raze project in Cincinnati, people want to restore a home and have no funds to do it and I tell them that we wont even consider someone without the proper funding to restore in place at time of sale. All you are doing otherwise is delaying the inevitable failure of a project. People who cant afford to even buy a house should not buy one much less and endangered one that needs major restoring. You are not ‘helping’ the preservation process, because it will be worse shape when we get it back.

      • RossRoss says: 2406 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
        Emporia, KS

        I have a blog about my old house restoration, and have been surprised at how many readers have commented about their disappointment in not finding a Go Fund Me link so they can donate.

        My reaction has been similar to Kelly.

        But…but…my feelings may be changing.

        If an old house is beloved by a community, is prominent, is being restored by a credible person/couple, and has reasonable public access, then, hum, ah, maybe it is OK to let people help?

        Old house are a fright to maintain, to say nothing about restoration and heating/cooling costs. And I deeply believe that historic architecture powerfully benefits a community.

        So, perhaps the burden could be shared?

        Go Fund Me is only six years old, but I suspect that it may prove powerful tool in saving historic architecture across the land in the decades to come.

        NOTE: I can see how easy it would be to misuse a GFM account. So, while I would not likely donate to help the person Kelly mentioned wanting to buy the Dawson house (who are they? What experience do they have? What happens to the money if they do not get the house?), I would feel quite the opposite about somebody with a lot of experience, who already owned the house, and who had proved that they knew what they were doing. For example:

        This is a YOUNG man, and he has done an incredible job, and with very little money:

        This is a young couple. I adore Amy and Doug. They are restoring a big old house on schoolteachers salaries!

        This is a single guy restoring a castle! A castle! He is also not rich. What he is doing BLOWS ME AWAY.

        Another young couple. Not rich. With a new baby!

        And what this couple has spent almost two decades accomplishing just brings tears to my eyes in wonderment, awe, and admiration:

        WARNING: If you click on the above links you will not likely get anything done for the next week.

        I believe all the above blogs are on Kelly’s Recommended Blogs links (bottom, right). There are other delicious blogs, too. I just mentioned a few.

  104. AvatarKevin ONeill says: 132 comments

    Although I applaud peoples efforts in trying to save old houses I agree with you. The craigslist ad has a desperate tone to it with no information and I don’t know who the ad is targeted to. No private investor would touch the place. The banks will not put a note on the property because of the condition. Someone will have to pay cash, or the owner must carry a short note while the new owner makes all the necessary repairs and can then go to the bank and get a mortgage on the house. Since I lost out on the Farrington property this has come back on my radar. Like I mentioned above I will try to get out there when it is listed again.

  105. AvatarMarie says: 1 comments

    I am very much interested in this old house. I am planning to make this our home but waiting for our house to sell first. Taking another look this spring with husband.

  106. AvatarWendy Lee says: 2 comments

    I’ve been searching for a long time to see pictures and information on this house. My father rented farm land from the spinster sisters. That land they owned was located in Northwestern ND. One summer our family drove to MN to visit the sisters. We spent the night with them. It was an unforgettable experience for a little girl of about 8 yrs. (me). My little brother slept in one of the tower rooms with my grandpa. There was no running water. I have great memories of that overnight visit and will never forget the giant pancakes the sisters fixed us for breakfast the next morning. I hope it’s never torn down, that would be terribly sad. I have a photo of us standing in front of the house, this was in the late 50’s I believe. I can remember what some of the rooms looked like and some of the furniture, etc. I was really impressed with how many pianos, china cabinets, etc. that they had in there. Thanks so much for everyone’s comments, info & pictures….I love it.

  107. AvatarRH says: 9 comments

    I understand this has been sold to a contractor from Raymond MN. So hopefully we may be able to get some updates some day.

  108. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

    I just spoke to the realtor that had the original listing, he is not the person that sold the house. According to him the house sold for $68,000.00. It was purchased by a “neighbor” He heard it may be fixed, or torn down and a new house built in its place.
    Can someone living in the area verify any of this?

  109. AvatarWendy Lee says: 2 comments

    It would be wonderful to see it restored.

  110. AvatarRh says: 9 comments

    I talked to the previous owner, he was under the impression the new owners were going to fix it up. So hopefully that is the case

  111. AvatarKim redlin says: 2 comments

    I’m going to drive this summer to it and see if its still there hopefully. A contractor would fix rather than spend money tearing down when land to build would be more available in better locations. At least I’m hoping. I’ll make that hour drive !

  112. AvatarRachelle Dawson Prins says: 3 comments

    The title info was limited, but I was able to see that the county is assessing the land value at $52,500 & the buildings at $2,000 for the last 2 years. It is listed as Res Non Hstd, which means it is not owner occupied. The date of last sale was not included in the listing or county sites nor was the CRV available, which would have all of the details of the last sale. The price from 2014 was based on the assessed value, but 2015’s was highly overvalued in my opinion. That being said, this homes savior needs to appear soon before the elements and vandals claim the home completely! Great job Sue for providing the pictures of this beauty and all that shared their stories regarding this homes wonderful tapestry of lives lived!!

  113. Avatargeorge of the jungle says: 2 comments

    House has been sold breathe easy it is in good hands…

  114. Avatargeorge of the jungle says: 2 comments

    Also just because it is listed as non homestead doesn’t mean no one is living there they own more than 1 property, and can only homestead one…

  115. AvatarKevin O'Neill says: 132 comments

    I see an electrical permit was pulled in March. That gives me a little hope. I wish someone in proximity to this place would go check it out and report back.

  116. AvatarRobb says: 9 comments

    I drive by often long driveway and its roped off so cannot see much going on from the hyw

  117. AvatarMarilyn says: 3 comments

    Who are you Kevin and why does it give you hope ? I use to live there via original owner . If the gentlemen bought it and renigged , (admin edit: no names please) may take the house the back . He really took care of the place until his ex-daughterin law broke out all the windows then belonged to a man that made it a fortress an anti-government survivalist .

    • AvatarKevin ONeill says: 132 comments

      I’m not sure I understand your rant. Do you know the person that recently purchased the house and do you know what they plan on doing with it?

  118. Kelly, OHD adminKelly, OHD admin says: 10360 comments

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    I just realized this has a (slight) mansard roof. The build date on record was 1897 but did anyone ever find out if this was built earlier?

    • AvatarKS says: 4 comments

      Hello Kelly,
      I’m very interested in what becomes of this remarkable home. I have no right to ask any favors, but having stayed here before, I have a personal interest in what becomes of this grand lady. If it’s not a great bother, please consider dropping a note? If I had the funds, she would be taken care of properly. Thank you kindly.

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