DARKE COUNTY – The Darke County League of Women Voters will host its annual House Tour on Sept. 21, 1-4 p.m. Tickets are $7 in advance or $10 at the door. Tickets will go on sale Sept. 8 and will be available at The Flower Patch, Greenville, The Rose Post, Arcanum, and Readmore Hallmark, Greenville.
This year’s tour will take visitors from Greenville to rural Arcanum for three houses that were built around the turn of the century.
John and Stephanie Baumgardner, 303 E. Third St., Greenville
The Baumgardners have lived in their home for the past 12 years and have already completed several remodeling projects that have certainly added to the value of the home. When one walks in the first thing they will notice is the beautiful woodwork. The style is consistent with houses built in the early 1900s. A rafter uncovered while remodeling the attic was inscribed with the year 1904. While remodeling the kitchen, two tobacco cans were found in the walls – one was dated 1907.
A light fixture in the dining room is believed to be original to the house. This room also has several antique pieces that have been in the family for many years.
When the kitchen was remodeled a few years ago, the Baumgardners went with a modern theme, with one exception. They took the tin ceiling from one of the buildings they own in downtown Greenville to use on the kitchen and pantry ceiling.
Another remodel project was the attic. This room has become an activity room for the family, equipped with gaming consoles, bar, couch and chairs. John’s office is also found in the attic. The attic is also used as a spare bedroom.
The newest addition to the Baumgardner home is the outdoor recreation area; complete with pool, bar, deck and grilling station.
Jason & Janelle Brinksneader, 4923 Hollansburg-Arcanum Road, Arcanum
The Brinksneader home is the only house on the tour that was built prior to 1900. According to records, the home was built by Marshall Valentine in the 1880s. At the time it sat on 240-320 acres of land, which was eventually split up and given to his sons. The Valentines kept the house in the family until the 1960s. Jason and Janelle purchased the home in 2003.
Janelle recalls they brought their newborn son home from the hospital the first night they stayed in the house.
Since 2003, the couple has completed several renovations to the house, including installing a new roof, air conditioning and an outdoor wood stove to heat the home during the winter.
A few years ago they moved their kitchen from one room to another. The remodeling project gave them a modern kitchen with plenty of space to entertain while cooking or relaxing. That project also allowed the couple to move their washer and dryer from the basement to the first floor of the house.
According to Janelle, the woodwork in the home is original. The couple discovered beautiful hardwood floors upstairs when they removed the carpet. Instead of re-installing carpet they decided to sand and refinish the floors.
Brad & Cara Hayes, 201 E. George St., Arcanum
The Hayes home was built in 1904 and was an example of the “American Four Square,” a house style that was popular from the mid-1890s to the late 1930s. Four Squares were designed in a reaction to the ornate and mass-produced elements of the Victorian and Revival styles of the last half of the 19th century and incorporated plain, “honest” handcrafted woodwork. This home has some upscale moldings and details that weren’t included in the basic format. The Four Square style shares many features with the Prairie architecture pioneered by Frank Lloyd Wright.
The house was the childhood home of Brad’s father, David Hayes, a veterinarian who still practices in the Arcanum area. Brad has many fond memories of the home and his grandparents, James and Glenna Hayes, who lived in the home for 45 years. Cara has in her possession the many deeds tracing the home’s ownership and dating back to October 1911.
Brad and Cara have spent many hours renovating the house and their love for this older home is evident in the results. Linoleum and a chemical leveler were removed with lots of elbow grease to reveal the original one inch-wide flooring in the entry, front and dining rooms. The dining room showcases a built-in, glassed cabinet and all the leaded glass in the various rooms is original to the house. They have completely renovated the kitchen and updated the bathrooms (using a new process that can turn a pink bathtub to white) and revitalized all the upstairs bedrooms with rich colored walls and carpeting.
Built in the early 1900s, the Baumgardner home is as beautiful on the inside as it is on the outside. (Ryan Berry photo)