1884 Italianate – Ellsworth, KS

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Added to OHD on 4/14/16   -   Last OHD Update: 10/26/19   -   23 Comments

1126 Hwy 14, Ellsworth, KS 67439

  • $429,000
  • 5 Bed
  • 3 Bath
  • 4500 Sq Ft
  • 14.8 Ac.
Unique opportunity for remarkable property! 4500 sq ft home sits on 14.8 acres, and is located close to town and on blacktop. Home features include 3 fireplaces, hand painted crown molding, hardwood floors, geo thermal heat system, spa type master bath including heated flooring, stain glass light, and much more. Additionally home has 40x60 heated Morton building. Call for your exclusive showing today!!
Contact Information
Joni Glaser, Ideal Real Estate
(785) 531-0929


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23 Comments on 1884 Italianate – Ellsworth, KS

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  1. Coqu says: 262 comments

    Hmm, can’t wait to learn about the skylight thing! That isn’t the attic is it? How’s that work?

    Lovely home. Beautiful condition! Lots of space inside and out!

    Anyone else get an 80s/90s Pizza Hut vibe from the kitchen? 🙂

    • JimHJimH says: 4869 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Coqu, the stained glass skylight you see is at the bottom of a light well or shaft that goes up to the roof, where there was originally glass to keep out the rain and let light in. Skylights often leaked and were roofed over – I can’t tell if it was here. The usual modern fix is to create a light box with a switched light behind the stained glass. The stained glass here looks modern, but I think the woodwork is original to the house.

    • Mike E says: 322 comments

      A lot of questionable color choices here, but that kitchen reminds me of the Crisco commercials with Loretta Lynn back in the late 70s (“Doo loves my piecrusts ’cause they’re so durn flakey!”. I wonder how many old “Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book” dust jackets it took to cover all four walls? 🙂

  2. John Shiflet says: 5397 comments

    With its nearly 15 acres of land this very urban looking Italianate style home seemed oddly placed. But in streetview I see it actually is out in a rural country setting. No mention is made of the house being moved but such elegant stone and brick homes/farmhouses were somewhat uncommon for a farm. There was during the mid-Victorian period a phenomenon known as “gentlemen farmers” who were often successful city businessmen who took some of their wealth to build a lavish mansion outside of town so they could dabble at their leisure in farming and livestock raising. The chimneys appear to have been rebuilt in a modern form which again raises the question as to whether this house was once in an urban context and was later moved to this site. Whether that was the case or the house was built here originally, to buyers that probably makes little difference; it’s a fine Italianate style Victorian with acreage and newer outbuildings. The listing mentions geothermal heating and a stained glass skylight, both unusual features. I don’t think I’ve ever seen an original Victorian era farmhouse with a stairwell skylight although they were occasionally seen in urban townhomes and mansions. Everything looks well maintained and move-in ready.

    • RossRoss says: 2524 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1894 QueenAnneFreeClassic
      Emporia, KS

      The location of such a grand house on a farm does not surprise me. Here is another one, in the middle of a corn field:

      https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2011/06/02/1866-italianate-towanda-il/

      Oh, and here is another house, kinda sweet, in the middle of nowhere:

      http://www.biltmore.com

      The house is this thread makes me a tad uneasy.

      It appears to be missing its tower.

      The stained-glass in the stair skylight is not original.

      The crown moldings…how many are original? In one bathroom the crown is either new or altered.

      There is an 1890s over-mantel atop a modern mantel.

      These are quibbles of course. The house has many outstanding features, and I would love to see it receive a period-correct restoration. It could be a knock-out.

      • John Shiflet says: 5397 comments

        Ross, there are mansions, of course, that were built out in the middle of nowhere. But most farmhouses in the Victorian era, especially in rural Kansas, were fairly modest and unpretentious. Before you mention the rather lavish towered Queen Anne north of Atchison, KS on Highway 7 all I can say is there was another impressive Queen Anne to its north about a mile or so away. Might have been an example of architectural one upmanship between neighbors is my best guess. I concur with your other observations.

      • Mike E says: 322 comments

        I think you are right about the missing tower. Satellite map shows a flat area over the entrance, and if you compare the 1st picture to the 2nd, you can see that the smaller front flat area is treated very different from the larger central flat area that was original to the house. The front shows this trimmed-out platform building up to…nothing. At first I thought maybe the skylite might have received light from a tower, but it is too far back into the house to have benefited from a tower. Great house, but some of the interior colors have me scratching my head.

    • Penny says: 8 comments

      This type of farm home is actually fairly common for our area. We are called “Post Rock Country,” These homes are made of sawn limestone. Some are large, some small. Some are very elaborate while others are quite plain. I do agree there are more of the simpler versions in the rural settings, but it is not that uncommon to see the a “grand” Victorian limestone home in a country setting. The use of limestone in this time setting was due to the lack of trees for building. When limestone is first removed from the ground it is fairly soft and easy to cut and shape. It becomes extreamly hard when exposed to the elements over a period of time. I do believe this home is over priced for our area, but it is a beautiful home.

      This is my first time posting although I have been following the site for several years. I absolutely love Victorian homes and this site. I spend several hours a week looking at the homes and reading the comments. I have learned a lot and want to thank you all of you and especially you Kelly! Thank you Kelly for all the time and work you put in to this, it is greatly appreciated!!!

      • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11732 comments
        Admin

        1901 Folk Victorian
        Chestatee, GA

        Comment more! 🙂 Glad you are enjoying the site! Thank you!

      • LoriLynn says: 19 comments

        Penny, I was just about to respond. My dad grew up in Wilson and my family farmed around that area for a long time. As a kid we had two stone posts in our back yard, I’ve always wanted to get some! It’s wonderful to see one so loved and lived in!

  3. BethanyBethany says: 3324 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1983 White elephant
    Escondido, CA

    The awesome stained glass skylight sets the tone for the, ahem, colorful interior of the house. 🙂

  4. Lindsay G says: 582 comments

    So does the stained glass skylight lead into the attic? Or outside? Quite a conundrum.

  5. JimHJimH says: 4869 comments
    OHD Supporter

    No need to guess on the history of this well-documented and NRHP-listed beauty. This is the Arthur Larkin house, built for an Irish-born war hero, merchant, freighter, hotel owner and farmer of 1200 acres of fertile Kansas prairie.
    From Larkin’s biography:
    In 1885 Mr. Larkin erected a large and elegant home on a raise of ground south of Ellsworth overlooking the town. It was fitted out with all modern conveniences, with private water plant, gas well, lighting and heating systems. In addition to the beautiful stone house there is a fine barn on the premises with every convenience for horses and automobiles.

    Ross, you’re right about the tower, and the wonderful stone barn has been lost also. First photo:
    http://focus.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/75000712
    http://www.ksgenweb.com/archives/1912/l3/larkin_arthur.html

    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 11732 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Thanks for finding that Jim. Some nice photos of the home exterior in the NPS photos (click on download under the photo in Jim’s link.)

      Here’s the pic with the tower:

      • Ross says: 2524 comments

        Whoee!!!!!

        Thanks, Jim!

        • John Shiflet says: 5397 comments

          Thank you for finding the information, Jim. Although I’ll refrain from using the term “gentleman farmer” for Mr. Larkin, his business empire did allow him to live wherever he wished. As for the house: “It was fitted out with all modern conveniences, with private water plant, gas well, lighting and heating systems.” More a mansion on the plains here than a “little house on the prairie”.

          • JimHJimH says: 4869 comments
            OHD Supporter

            I agree with you John that this wasn’t just another large house, but has a sophistication about it usually seen in larger cities.

            I love the detail about Larkin installing a gas lamp with a huge reflector in the tower, creating a beacon that could be seen for miles across the prairie.

      • Tina Reuwsaat says: 55 comments

        What a world of difference in the details! I hope the new owner will obtain a copy of this old photo and follow it faithfully in reproducing the tower and chimney work. I suspect a bit of the exterior woodwork trim is missing as well, can not tell from the new photos.
        The false-frontesque facade of the old barn looks like it was intended as a commercial enterprise of some sort?

  6. Nancy says: 209 comments

    This house kind of leaves me speechless!

  7. BarbaraSL says: 1 comments

    My father, Arthur Larkin (3rd), grew up in this house. Much of the grandeur of the place that he recalled — marble fireplaces from Russia, plaster moldings for the lavish chandeliers, the cupola — had been stripped out and sold by the time I first saw the house — 50 years ago. As my father would say, the Larkin history bears witness to the saying: three generations from overalls to overalls.

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