Monday, October 3, 2011

5 Years and We Are FINALLY Finished!

Saturday we held our Open House to share the results of our 5 year journey restoring our home. It was interesting to listen to the stories of some of our guests as they told their connection to the building. Some knew the Marshall family for years, had worked for them or just admired the house every day as they drove by. One lady had even lived here for 2 years in the 40's as she took care of the children as the nanny. What a pleasure to visit with her.

Here is a little of what I know about the house and the previous owners.

The Land and Title company told me the house was built in 1914, but after researching and reading the local newspaper from 1910-1926 I made some interesting discoveries.

July 2, 1914 Northside News stated, "A.W. Atwood announces a neighborhood picnic at his farm, a mile and a half north of Jerome on the Fourth. Large tents will be set up which will provide plenty of shade, and anyone desiring to do so is invited to come out and bring their lunch and spend the day. Amusements and sports will be provided and a general good social time had." November 12, 1914 A.W. Atwood thanked the people of the community that saved his property from fire. His haystack spontaneously combusted and burned for days and there was a lengthy article about the firefighting process.  There was no mention of a house in either of these articles so I kept reading.

April 21, 1916 Ester Atwood celebrated her sixteenth birthday last Sunday by inviting a few of her friends in to spend the afternoon.

May 18, 1916 told of "A. W. Atwood has let the contract to B.U. Bickford for the erection of a modern residence on his farm a mile and a half north of town. The house will be built on the forty adjoining the main road purchased by Mr. Atwood a year ago. He has already had a deep well drilled on the site of the buildings. The house will be of concrete construction, of nine rooms, two stories and a half, with full basement and modern throuout."

June 29, 1916 "Mr. Atwood expects to start work on his house soon. When completed this will be one of the finest houses on the tract."

1916 was reported to be a harsh winter with no coal available.

February 21, 1918  The ladies Civic club gave their annual Lincoln Day dinner at the home of Mr. and Mrs. A. W. Atwood on Wednesday, February 13th.  The husbands were asked to the feast, and Mr. Atwood kindly invited the bachelors to attend.  A great big home, furnace heated, a chicken pie dinner, with salads, war bread, vegetables and fruit, followed by ice cream and cake-well, that was as close to paradise as these bachelors expect to get.  Dinner was served to 50 people.

June 13, 1918 Clayton Atwood, son to A. W and Sarah registers for the war.

January 9,1919 Plumbing is being installed this week at the Atwood home. They are soon to enjoy a luxury few of the farmers on the tract have.

February 13, 1919 Fred Morrison formerly of Iowa and nephew to the Atwood's died of pneumonia in the home.

June 6, 1919 The A.W. Atwood family have been enjoying a visit from Mrs. Atwood's brother J. D. Morrison, of Iowa.

June 19, 1919 Mr. and Mrs. Atwood will leave the last of this week for a few weeks visit to Iowa.  They will attend the Atwood reunion in Waterloo.

July 23,1919 County Commissioner and Mrs. A.W. Atwood return from Iowa with crop reports.

September 28, 1922 A.W. Atwood is erecting large sheep sheds of lava rock, on his ranch.

March 8, 1923 Daughter Ester was married in the house.

November 10, 1926 Wife Sarah Atwood died in the house.

The A.W. Atwood started the Christian Science Church in town, built a business on main street and held several special events in the home as well as community dinners, plays and parties.  He had sheep which were "dipped" the day after Christmas in 1918 as well as a herd of Jersey milk cows that were photographed and shown in the 1923 paper.

Arthur sold the farm to Charlie and Marjorie Marshall in 1934. There were 5 Marshall children and I have been told they employed a nanny, cook and housekeeper for several years, as Mrs. Marshall was not well as she passed in 1976. Charlie lived here until he died here, in 2005 at the age of 96.

Charlie's obituary states, Although he was often dubbed an Idaho Potato King, he always indicated that title belonged to his father and he has only followed in his footsteps. He helped his family build their farming operation to about 5,000 acres and also pioneered the first deep well irrigation system on the Jerome Butte. In the 50's he started in a partnership with J.R. Simplot in potato dehydration. He was active in the Catholic Church and helped build it and the parish hall. In the 80's he recieved a presidential appointment from President Reagan to the Board of International Food and Agriculture Development. He was a charter member of the hospital, Rotary, and several other organizations and was Jerome's Citizen of the Year in 1981.

Though we never had the pleasure of knowing Charlie we have heard several people tell of their experiences with him. He was a very honest and driven person who accomplished much in making Jerome a successful farming community.

We were fortunate enough to meet a member of the Marshall family and visit with them in 2004 when we told them of our interest in the home. We were told Charlie planned to live to be 100 so we would have to wait a few years. Charlie did not quite make his goal and we were able to purchase the home in 2006. Though we do not have a photograph of the original house, the photos we have show that Charlie made several additions in the 40's and early 50's. When Marjorie passed away he did not allow anyone make any changes to the building.  When we bought it we decided to take it back to it's original 1916 state as much as possible.

Here are some before and after photos of the exterior.  Stay tuned for interior room by room.  Enjoy....Kelly

2005 The original house had a screened in porch and a ramp had been built for Charlie. 

 2011 After removing the battered screens, we removed the ramp and rebuilt the porch wall.

2005 In 1947 the round part was added to the kitchen, and a west side addition with a flat roof was built.

2011 We had a sloped roof added to make the home look more period.

2005 Many windows and glass block openings were added in the 40's and 50's.

2011 We removed the back entrance enclosure and 10 windows, as well as sloping the roof.

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