Monday, August 25, 2008


Hi! Welcome...come on in...

Let me give you a little background. We believe the house was built in 1885 and is Italianate in style. How do we know? Well, as for the age, we do have the original abstract which shows the first recorded date on the property to be 1880.

That was the year in which the property had been sub-divided from the farmstead of Nathaniel G. Phillips and made available for purchase to the public as 3 lots within the village of Bancroft.
The next entry dated 1887 is the Will Codicil in which the property is left to Mr. Phillips widow Lois.

It is unclear as to whether or not a house was on the property at that time. And although there are many more entries into the abstract...we are left with more questions than answers.

The most interesting clue we found as to the year that the house was built was on the wall of an upstairs bedroom. When removing a good 1/4 inch of wallpaper we found some "graffiti" on the plaster. Among other things it included a signature and date of 1885. So we're going with that:D It does correlate well with the style of the house and fits in well with the history of the village and dates of other homes here.

As for the style...there have been changes over the years...none since prior to the 1940's. We do have a picture of the house circa 1910. Ray Martin grew up in this house in the 1940's and has come back to visit a number of times. He gave us this picture of the well as a note with his recollections of what he knew about it.

The original tower room is a very classic Italianate feature, long ago "chopped" off...shame. The "winged" roof line, you may have noticed coming into the house is another Italianate feature. You can also see in comparing the pictures that much of the front entrance as been reconfigured. The sun porch was an addition and a new front entry was created. The new front entrance was done in a more Greek Revival style with its pedimented roof and columns with Ionic Greek volute capitals. Our house has become an interesting reflection of ever changing architectural fashions.

Enough of that lets get the tour started...

So this is the front entryway.

Yes, that chair is yet another project waiting for my attention. I'm a little afraid of reupholstering...I've tried it before and was less than thrilled with the results. I set it there thinking it would force me to be brave and give it another try...that was 6 months ago. It seems I've grown used to the fabric falling off it...I didn't even notice it til I posted this picture.

I love the light fixtures that came with the house. I'm thinking they may have been put in in the 1920's...but I really have no idea. You'll see that the fixtures in the four main areas of the first floor are all coordinated.

Even the Bannister lamp fits in very nicely.

If you'd all like to just step into the room to your right...this is the sun porch.

Mr. Martin remembers the rug from his childhood here (it used to be in the dining room)but is unsure if it was here when they moved in...or if it is one his parents purchased. So the rug is from the 1940's or earlier. It is wool and in wonderful condition. This is one of my favorite rooms because of all the windows. It is almost like being outside.

If you'd like to step back across the hall...I'll show you the living room.

Hey there's my tacky lamp...

Over here we have the dining room...

In the dining room even the curtain rods were coordinated with the lighting.

These three rooms and the entryway make up the formal public areas of the house. I am going to pause our tour here and will move on to the "private" areas of the house in my next post.

Happy Treasure Hunting!
Lisa B.
Lisa's RetroStyle™

Click here for Part II of the tour.


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