Saturday, January 28, 2006

The Big Green House

Just about every person we've meet in our small town asks us the same question when the conversation eventually meanders to the location on Main Street where we bought our house.

"Oh, did you buy the Big Green House?"

The Big Green House [BGH] is a stately victorian (built in 1899) that sits on 5 lots (1/2 a block) directly to our south. It was the first victorian built in this town and has been a historical symbol of the prosperity and growth that our town once shared.

It's a 5-bedroom masterpiece of pre-statehood construction and design. Over 5000 square feet, a full basement, hand-turned woodwork throughout the house, and original hardwood floors. Formal dining and living area, huge kitchen (I counted over 60 kitchen cabinet doors), artists lanai, screened in sun porch, central heat and air, and a 3-car detached garage with additional parking lot to fit 4 more cars. On the grounds there are ample trees and shrubs, a koi pond, dog run and the remnants of what appears to be a horse barn.

As I've been researching the history of our house (more on that in a future blog post), I've uncovered the grandiose past and the princely owners who have called the BGH their home.

The builder of the BGH was one of our towns founding fathers. He was a decorated captain in the Grand Army of the Republic, and was appointed by then President Harrison to be Register of Deeds when a land run of 1899 opened this territory up to settlers.

This dude's name is plastered around the city on dedication plaques, historical markers, and memorial signs. The main cross street in our little downtown has his name, as does the name of the first baby officially born in our town back in 1899 (he won the right to name the baby in a lottery -- paid $52 for that honor).

After the first family's dynasty moved on to greener pastures (our cemetary), an important family of a different sort took up residence in the BGH - think Six Feet Under.

We're not sure if it was used as a funeral home, but the family who called the BGH home for the next 60 years were licensed embalmers (Oklahoma Embalming license #1 in fact). They ran a used furniture store/mortuary in town, and built a large brick building with their name on it in our downtown district.

The house has remained in this family to this day, currently owned by a great grand niece who lives in Montana. She wants to get rid of it, as it has no sentimental value to her at all.

It needs some foundation work, but the house is solid, well built, historically significant, and hopefully haunted. It's been on the market for over 2 years and has gone through several different realtors in town.

This handsome, century old house could be yours for the low, low, discounted price of $150,000.

Roughly equal to the cost of a PMI avoiding 20% down-payment for a 2-bedroom condo in Pasadena.

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