When my husband's childhood home became available recently, we each looked at one another and knew that we could not let this over 100 year old beauty go.
The large wrap front porch speaks to a time where people put a premium on fresh air and the lovely wood work with bull's eyes in the formal rooms shows off the era where craftsmanship had not yet been taken over by industrialized efficiency.
This 2000 square foot Queen Anne style house just begs to tell all of its history since its beginning in 1906. The house was built on the north side of town, which became the epicenter for the railroad families of Palestine in the early to mid 1900's with neighborhood stores, churches, and schools. Two churches still stand on the same block on either end of the street. Rusk Elementary, a beautiful 1930 school up until 2004, also still stands today two blocks away, a soon to be family owned building business.
Mr. & Mrs. Missildine purchased the house in 1946 upon his return from WWII. Mr. Missildine attended Nixon's business college in Palestine, became a bookkeeper, then a frigidaire serviceman for Belcher's, and then Hospital Engineer for Memorial Hospital for 20 years. Then, with the advent of home air conditioners, Mr. Missildine started his own air conditioning business, installing a central air unit in his own home before most other homes had air conditioning at all. After the children were grown, Mrs. Missildine became a registered nurse.
The house watched 5 Missildine children grow up, being the place that all but one were brought home to from the hospital when they were born. Its doors were constantly revolving with neighborhood children, stopping by on their bicycle rides to and from Green's Park for an impromptu football game. And its walls heard the conversation of a young Steve telling his mother about a little Indian girl with brown eyes, pigtails, and all at a birthday party at the park. The little Indian girl was actually me, a classmate who lived four blocks over.
So, there we were, the little Indian girl and the high school jock, looking at this house, thinking of what reason we could come up with to not let this house go. Of course, our first thoughts were in two directions. Steve thought of an office space closer to home than his current one, and mine was, of course, about what a great place this would be to have a fun antique sale from time to time. We decided that both ideas actually worked great with one another and thus the process begins to give the house some new life.
Old carpet removed, original hardwoods revitalized, sheetrock up, kitchen sink replaced, fresh coats of paint, among other projects... that's our plan to have done by Spring 2013. I think this 105+ year old beauty is looking forward to it, and so are we.