1858/1895 – Ottumwa, IA – $164,900

Contingent or Pending Sale
National Register
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Added to OHD on 10/20/18   -   Last OHD Update: 12/14/18   -   14 Comments
232 E 5th St, Ottumwa, IA 52501

Map: Street











It would take years to gather the materials to duplicate this beautiful, historic home located on 2 lots in the Fifth Street Historic District. With its gorgeous woodwork, solid sliding doors from room to room, beautiful staircase, lead glass windows and multiple fireplaces and built ins, this 4 bedroom 1.5 bath is a find! Built by the Garner Family in 1857, it has been updated in just the right ways, with a newer shed, new central air on 2nd and 3rd floors, insulation, covering on the flat roof and a new deck off the back porch providing excellent views of the city of bridges. See today! NOT AVAILABLE TO RENT!
Contact Details
Liz Schiller, Remax Pride
(641) 777-5269
Links, Photos & Additional Info

14 Comments on 1858/1895 – Ottumwa, IA – $164,900

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  1. Kimberly62Kimberly62 says: 316 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1980 board & batten modern

    Nice Kelly!
    I like all the storage, ice box and pocket doors. Nice woodwork.

  2. DeniseLynn says: 175 comments

    This house has the most amazingly maintained built-ins I’ve ever seen!!! I don’t know which I like more: the built-in desk and bookcases, the pantry and china cupboard, or that incredibly preserved icebox! (And I love paisley wallpaper!) I hope the next owner appreciates their value!

  3. Hoyt Clagwell says: 223 comments

    I want to fill that icebox with ice and beer for parties. I like the wallpaper in the library, and love the paisley wallpaper in the dining room. It’s wonderful that the dining room has windows on three sides. Rather than the baronial-sized table that room seems to have been built for, I’d use a more modest pedestal table under the light fixture, with room for at least a couple of club chairs or rockers by the fireplace.

    Ye gods, that library is grand perfection. Two rooms, separated by a colonnade with Doric pilasters and entablature, bay window, fireplace, glass-fronted built-in bookcases, everything in quartersawn golden oak… Who needs the rest of the house, when I basically just want to live in that library?

    Sadly, if the wallpaper remains along the attic stairs are an indicator, the attic was once finished and wallpapered but has been stripped for the installation of duct work and insulation.

  4. Bethany otto says: 2396 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Escondido, CA

    Does it come with Radar?

    • Karen says: 537 comments

      When I saw this house was in Ottumwa, that was my first thought-RADAR!!!!

      • Sarah Erwin says: 53 comments

        I thought of Roseanne Barr and Tom Arnold…. regrettably. They lived in Ottumwa and had their restaurant here.

  5. Karen says: 537 comments

    I thinkn I am going tohave to check Zillow, to see if the real estate in the Ottumwa area is this cheap! Talk about getting bang for your buck! This house is just wonderful. I love all the wonderful built ins, that subsequent owners have retained, from the bookshelves to that old ice box. I’ve never seen a built in ice box! Wouldn’t this come in handy, for stashing the every day things you’re always going into the fridge for? And for parties-just put all the beer and pop and stuff that needs refrigeration in here. I’m really surprised that no one ever tore this out. And a walk up attic-every kids’ dream! I wonder why the previous owners left those rugs, and if they;re expensive ones, or not. I hope the floor under them is ok-judging by the rest of the house, I imagine they are, but a little story for you all…friends of my parents bought a wonderful old house that used to be a stage coach stop on the Lewiston Trail (today, routes 31 and 104 in western NY follows a lot of the old Lewiston Trail). This house is fantastic-the timbers in the basement were said to have been taken from an Iroquois long house, and you can see the axe marks on them. The floors were all original wide plank oak, throughout the entire house. The only thing our friends wanted to change, was the kitchen sink, which for some reason, was fire engine red. When they looked at the house, there was a large rug in the dining room. When they moved in, the rug was gone, and…there was a large patch of cement (!!!) in its place! The floor had started to sag, and instead of jacking it up from beneath, they had used cement to level it off. I don’t know why…cement is pretty heavy and it seems to me, would only make the problem worse and possibly cause a more expensive repair. So, the lawyers got to work, and in the end, the previous owners had to pay for getting that cement out and fixing the sag. The right way! So, if you ever look at a house that has area rugs in it, look under the rugs-who knows what has been swept under them!

  6. jeklstudiojeklstudio says: 865 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1947 Ranch

    What an astonishingly lovely home! The built ins make me want to jump for joy. And, as I’ve said many times, I’m no fan of wall paper, but that paper in the library is gorgeous: understated, classy and beautiful. I love the built in ice box. How clever is that? It must have seemed like the height of luxury in 1890!
    It’s obvious the home has been well cared for and I hope to HECK the next owner is a real old house lover and respectful of all the beauty on display here.

  7. LauraG says: 43 comments

    I love absolutely everything about this house! I am a little confused by the radiator in the middle of the kitchen floor, and the vents and ductwork around. Does the house have a boiler, or forced air, or both?
    But overall, if I could find a job in Ottumwa that paid enough to support buying this house, I would buy it in a second.

  8. JimHJimH says: 3822 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Agree with all the comments – a truly authentic vintage home! With a few fixture changes and cosmetics this could be a 19th century museum house. (Not only an original icebox, but the exterior door to put the ice in!)

    From the NRHP Historic District report:
    The original portion of the house on the corner of 5th and Green (232 E. 5th) was built between 1856 and 1858. This was a two story brick house, probably with a hip roof in a simplified Italianate style. In 1895 the property was purchased by H.L. Waterman and totally remodeled. A dining room was added to the west, and a massive staircase and library on the east. The roof was raised to create more attic space. This new roof was steeply pitched with Shingle style gable ends and dormer windows. The front wraparound porch was given Neo-classical paired columns and balustrade, with an embossed pediment over the entry steps. Although this residence has lost its significance as an early structure due to the remodeling, it remains a significant property in the district and is considered to be a key structure.

  9. Lori Bohr says: 10 comments

    I am from the state of Iowa, born and raised. A San Diego Ca resident the last 28 yrs. I have lived in 3 Vics at some point when I lived there. I have been to Ottumwa. This house is georgeous and I agree with those in this post the MANY built-ins are the most numerous I have ever seen. The pantry reminds me of the look my grandmothers Iowa kitchen farmhouse had.
    The only drawback I see and hardly a reflection of the house in itself.. is what the heating bill would be in the winter. Rooms can be closed off but then one also has to mindful too not to let the pipes freeze. Oh heck… I want to move into it tomorrow (in good humor and a sincere daydreaming)…

  10. Lilalee says: 5 comments

    One of the most beautiful and cared for old homes i have seen. The built-ins are amazing, especially the icebox! What is the neighborhood like there? Is it safe?

  11. John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4467 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1889 Eastlake Cottage
    Fort Worth, TX

    Nearly all of the original millwork inside remains unpainted. Some or all of the millwork could have come from the Roach & Musser Sash & Door Co. in Muscatine, Iowa. Here’s a 1905 millwork catalog from the firm (Internet Archive) https://archive.org/details/CompleteCatalogue1905/page/n0 I think its possible that there were once fretwork spandrels between some of the rooms but overall this house is amazingly intact-as others have noted, that original ice box/refrigerator built-in is exceedingly rare to find these days. This house deserves a caring new owner who will restore and then preserve it in perpetuity.

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