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History of Welch House


I hope everyone had a happy New Year! 2020 has started off great for me and I'm so excited to see what is in store for my family and home this year! I thought I would start the year off on my blog with a bit of history of Welch House 1900....what I have found out so far.

Over the summer our town had a city wide garage sale. I decided to stop into our local museum because there was a sale set up inside. I just happened to see a large book lithographs featuring the World's Fair in Saint Louis so I stopped to leaf through it. Although I love old books, I don't typically gravitate towards them at sales, but the lithographs had caught my eye. Under the lithographs were some old pamphlets, and for some odd reason I began to rummage through them, finding a very old,  circa 1910, pamphlet with our city's name on top. I opened it up and saw antique photos of homes and businesses in our town and my heart started pounding! With shaking hands I fumbled through the pages and at the last page I came to, which was actually the first page, was a photo of my beloved Welch House!




I was in shock! I had heard that Welch House had been featured in a book many years ago, but sadly I had never been able to find it while researching and asking around town. So imagine my shock when I found it at a garage sale for $1.00!



 I knew that the home had been built by a man named E.J. Andrews in 1900 from our abstract, but I had no idea that he had owned a general store on Main Street. I loved that the book actually showed a photo of the store.

At this point I'm so excited that I start telling the ladies working at the sale that I had found my home in this book. One lady who works there was kind enough to show me a framed photo and write up of my house that they have displayed in the museum! What!?? My house has a plaque in a museum!! I was literally in shock. Below is the photo, which I believe is circa 1940's and the write up.









Okay, isn't that amazing? My house had a tennis court!!?? I  truly love our huge yard and finding out that it once was a picnic ground was amazing. It is beautiful in our backyard and we have even found the remnants of the pond and the stream. I have been dreaming of building a fireplace outside and to know that there was once one here is absolutely amazing to me. I also found it interesting that an architect came in and completely changed the inside of our home! We have found evidence of that as well, but never knew the back story. I would love to have seen what our home looked like inside pre 1935, but I also love the fact that the inside of our home is truly unique and one of a kind.









Here I am holding my baby boy on the day we closed on Welch House. You can see that she had been neglected for quite some time. I fell in love with her the moment I saw her, she was the most perfect beautiful home that I had ever seen.  You can see behind me that the stairs were crumbling and so was the brick. We have since had that fixed and it turned out beautifully.








My husband Michael with baby Delaine the day we officially became owners. We are originally from Kansas/Missouri but moved to Iowa due to my husband's job. We had a very small amount of time to find a home in Iowa. I had my heart set on a old home. I searched online as we lived 1 1/2 hours away, and finally found an old home in our town to purchase. It was nice, but I wasn't in love with it at all. I couldn't be picky though, because its a small town and not much was available. On the day we drove up to actually walk through to see this particular home, I got a phone call about 45 minutes into the drive from the realtor saying she was sorry, but that house had just sold! Oh my goodness I was so upset! I was almost 9 months pregnant and we were losing time on finding a home! I told my husband  through tears, to turn around and take me home. Thankfully he didn't, and we ended up driving through our town, randomly going up and down streets looking for "for sale" signs. Then I saw her. The grass was so tall in the yard, but I spotted the for sale sign right away. We stopped the truck on the side of the road and I called the realtor. She didn't take me seriously because she thought I sounded like a child, and she kept warning me about the condition of the house. She also had just put the sign in the yard about an hour before I called. Fate.






This is a current photo of Welch House. She desperately needs a paint job and I plan to tackle that this year or next. The yard has been a trial to get under control. I've gradually uncovered massive flower beds all around the house. Last year my husband and I planted 42 rose bushes around our circle drive. There have been times that I have sat in my yard and cried because the undertaking of the grounds seems too hard for one person (me), but I never give up and do the best I can because she is worth it. We had our foundation rebuilt a few years ago as well.






I would like to share with you several before and after photos with you. This first photo is of the foyer. You can see in the upper left-hand corner that there was a hole in the ceiling from the upstairs shower leaking.






This photo shows the grand staircase in the foyer. As you can see the upper banister is actually wrought iron. I believe it was added in the 1930's remodel. The lower wooden banister was added by the previous owners. They rescued it from an old home that was going to be demolished. I've always disliked the wrought iron banister and considered it an eyesore. I happy to say that this past December my husband and I removed it and are currently rebuilding a new wooden banister with salvaged historical pieces! I can't wait to share the finished product with you!






This is the foyer last Christmas. I have wallpapered the walls in green damask wallpaper. The gorgeous vintage basket chandelier which we affectionately call "The General" was a Craigslist find a couple of years back.











Here you can see the gorgeous Gothic arches in our home. We have a total of four, and I believe they are also from the 1930's remodel.






A view from this Christmas.






Here you can see a "before" photo of our master bedroom. This room has been one of the most difficult rooms for me to decorate, but I finally think I have it close to the way I want it.






Our bedroom this winter. I painted the walls "charcoal grey" by Benjamin more and I love it. The chandelier originally was in the living room, but now has found a home here in the master bedroom.






This is one of my favorite makeovers...the living room mantel. I don't believe the mantel that is shown here was original to the home, again I think it was from the 1930 remodel. Regardless of that, I did save it and re homed it to one of the spare bedrooms and it looks fabulous!






Living room fireplace mantel this Christmas. I love my antique stone cast mantel featuring two lady figures one each end. My husband and I pulled this out of a historical mansion in Kansas City, Missouri that was being remodeled. It is my favorite Craigslist find ever!






I have always dreamed of having a window seat in my forever home, and I was ecstatic to discover this one in the living room of Welch House.






Here you can see that I have added shades to the beveled glass windows and fancy draperies on each end.






This is the back parlor.






I need to get better shots of this space, but you can see that I added long fancy draperies to the windows. We also purchased this gorgeous chandelier a few years back.









This is a view into the dining room from the back parlor.






This is the view last spring. I added an antique fireplace mantel at the far of end of the dining room. This room was very dark so I painted the walls and tin ceiling white. The tin ceiling is not original. We also added wall molding and I love the European feel that it gave to the room.






I will be doing another post later on this year showing you more before and after photos as we get projects completed. Welch House is truly my dream home and like a family member to me. I do my very best to make her beautiful on the budget that I have. Almost everything in my home has came from garage sales, craigslist and thrift stores. I am a stay at home mom so staying in my budget is very important!


Thank you so much for reading this very long post. I hope you enjoyed learning more about Welch House and seeing the changes that we have made so far.



-Larissa

11 comments

  1. Thank goodness this house has ended up with your family. You have done a wonderful job of rescuing it. It's amazing that you have done all of this on a tight budget. Keep up the good work--you are doing a beautiful job!!

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    1. Oh my goodness thank you so very much Vikki! I am so thankful for our home and I'm going to make her beautiful once again no matter what! Thank you so much!!❤️❤️❤️

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  2. Your home is just gorgeous!! You all have done an amazing job!!

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    1. Thank you so very much!!❤️❤️🙏🏻 Im so excited to complete more projects this year!❤️

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  4. You guys have done an amazing job, I love it all my friend!
    ~Larisa

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  5. You sure are giving your home her dignity back. I love how you decorate, your style is right up my alley. I look forward to seeing your blog when it comes up, I save it for last so I can savor every picture.

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  6. Your have made this house back into a beautiful home. I can't believe the information you found. I would have been like a kid at Christmas.

    You're doing Welch House great justice in making her glorious.

    Cindy

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  7. How wonderful to read about this history of your home! The photos were surely meant to come to you! The before and after photos of your lovingly restored home are so beautiful. What a truly wonderful home you have!

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