Saturday, October 29, 2011

Who will buy me now?

Gibbon-Copeland house from the southwest.

Chariton's grand old Gibbon-Copeland house at 216 S. Grand Street was on the market when this blog began six years ago --- and now is for sale again.

Poor old thing --- one of these days it's going to fall into the wrong hands and that will be the end of that. The asking price in 2005 was $99,000; the price, now, about $85,000. Folks from out of town always are amazed at what seems to them, even in challenging economic times, the give-away price.

From the northwest.

The house was built during 1895 by Dr. William H. Gibbon and his wife, Laura. He was a physician renowned for Civil War service who also built the old Gibbon Drug Store building still standing on the northeast corner of the square. Unfortunately, he died during October of the year the house was built, but his widow continued to live here until her own death 20 years later.

From the south.

Daughter Anna Gibbon had married first, during 1884, Ralph McCollough. He died during 1894 and the house was designed to be large enough to provide room for Anna and her three young children --- Clement, Dorothy and Henry --- too.

During 1896, the widowed Anna married Josiah Carey Copeland and they became the parents of three additional children while living in this house --- Lawrence, Anna Laura (Piper) and Kathryn. Josiah Copeland died during 1916 and Anna, durinig 1928.

And from the rear.

In later years, the house was divided into apartments --- and still is. There seem to be no tenants now, however, so apparently the old house is empty.

The exterior is remarkably intact, although early photos show that it was painted originally in contrasting colors. The massive central chimney has been cut down to a stub and the exterior portions of two other chimneys, one serving the southwest parlor and the other the southeast room, have been removed.

This panel of leaded glass is above the south bay window.

In addition, a recessed balcony over the front entry has been filled. The hanging bay that houses the landing of the principal stair appears to be unaltered, however. 

It's been years since I've been inside the house, but at that time, much of the original detail remained intact.

The "G" in the gable above the front door stands for "Gibbon."

With some notable exceptions, the preservation ethic in Chariton never has been very strong and many houses of significance have been torn down, allowed to fall down or altered beyond recognition and perhaps hope. Oddly enough, not that many seem to care and I'm not sure why.

It would be nice if this old house proved to be an exception.


robertanne said...

I wish I could buy it.

Anonymous said...

Me too! It's a beautiful home in a wonderful All-American city with some great folks for neighbors!

Molly Nagel said...

I don't have a ton of money...ok actually I have no money. However I'm looking into grant and loan money and will be making the trip to Chariton from the Des Moines area in the next few weeks to see this beauty. I've had a goal for years to run a Bed and Breakfast, I'm thinking I may have found 'the one'.

Frank D. Myers said...

Good luck!

Molly Nagel said...

Frank, if the initiative starts to look promising, I'll probably look you up for a coffee, you've got a heck of an awesome site here and I'd love to pick your mind (not to mention computer files!) for more information on the house and it's former residents.

As far as what I've seen so far in my research on the area in general (I've only been to Chariton once a few years back, but I sell my artwork through Grassroots Gallery and Cafe over in Humeston so I've been there a few more times) I THINK the area could support the kind of B&B I'd like to open, provided I held other events to make up for times when I did not have occupied rooms. Do you have any thoughts on how such an enterprise would be received by the community?