Endangered Historic Property Close to Home

frizel1frizel2Good morning, all!  Yes, our four-day weekend was nice, thank you for asking!  I spent most of it researching homes in my hometown and surrounding areas, because let me tell you, I am ready to find our dream home.

While perusing the local real estate websites has become a daily ritual, I tried to expand my search to the broader scope of Missouri.  I thought perhaps, if I found an endangered historic home that needs transporting we could find a piece of land and plop that baby down.  But I wasn’t aware that an endangered historic home stands in Jackson, Missouri, and is being threatened to be turned into a parking lot.  The listing (yep, it’s currently on the market) reads like this:

“The Frizel-Welling home built in 1818 is on the National Register of Historic Places, located on the corner of Missouri and W Main Street. The home has encountered the challenges of 194 years and is in need of restoration. Most of the original furnishing in the 10 rooms will remain. An additional corner lot 148.50 x 50 is also included. Property sold As Is.”frizel3Sounds wonderful right?

And better yet, a whole slew of those items left behind are books, from when the home served as Jackson’s first public library.  So after contacting our realtor my mom and dad went to look at it for me on Sunday, all of us crossing our fingers that this historic home could be the one.frizel4Guess again.  While it survives on the National Register of Historic Places (you can read more about it herehere and here) this house hasn’t been maintained at all.  Not even a little bit in the last, say seventy years?  It makes me so sad; this house is a classic case of two very terrible fates.  As it nears its 200th birthday it sadly is being considered a nuisance to the churches and schools around it.  To some, the property that creeps just over half an acre a block from the city square appears to be more desirable if bulldozed and paved.  Reading the history, it killed me to learn a piece of land larger than what is being sold today was a part of the original estate, with gardens and orchards.  Some senseless someone decided to tear those out.  Speaking of senseless, the present owners have not cared for this home the way they should have, complicating any future restoration with the amount that needs to be done.  In simple terms, it is unlivable presently.  So even if it doesn’t sell and seal its fate that way, it will remain without a family to care for it like it deserves, its state continuing to worsen.

What is one to do?

I have the tendency of wanting to save as much as I can.  Mostly animals in my young years, but now that I am on the verge of buying a home, I realize I wish I could save one.  Unfortunately, Ethan and I do not have the grand budget to save anything this run-down…although my heart aches to.

If you, or any you know, have the funds and patience to restore the Frizel-Welling Home to its original grandeur, I implore you to consider it.  Its central location in Jackson makes it a very fine place for a potential historical museum, as many artifacts have been stowed away in cupboards and closets here (do I have to remind you about all those books?).  The yard could be maintained and replanted with some fruit-bearing trees and could serve as a lawn for outdoor field-trips for the surrounding schools.  It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places for its architecture, as it is an example of vernacular Greek Revival design in what once was considered the frontier.  Restoring this tarnished treasure would exponentially honor the history of Jackson while aiding in the education of future generations of the importance of the past.

photos via | original listing



  1. I love this house in Jackson, when I was little I use to dream and hope one day my parents would buy it… 🙂 Keep looking, the right one will jump at you.

    1. Too bad you didn’t back then!

  2. WOW what a beautiful house! I am always so jealous of people out of state because all of our houses are so new. What I would give to have something like this. And what I would give to have that kind of money! Restoration isn’t cheap.

    1. This one is estimated to be a complete gut job. And historic homes are everywhere…perks of Missouri life? hehe

  3. is it just me…or are the photos a little spooky?! it is a shame that the house wasn’t maintained though.

    1. Definitely a little spooky! We kept half-joking about seeing faces in the windows…

  4. such a beautiful post….and home. and so much potential. i really enjoyed reading the extra articles…i never knew all that about a home that i saw almost daily for so many years!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! Wish Jackson could get some backing to fix her up.

  5. Well I may be a fool but I bought this house to restore and preserve.

    1. Steve, I read the article in the Cashbook Journal, and I am so relieved!!! I think it is truly wonderful what you plan to do with the property and the Rock House as well. Southeast MO needs more people like you who can preserve our rich history through architecture. I know it can be done (believe me, I’ve done my research), I just couldn’t do it myself. Good luck to you on your exciting endeavor! Best, Dana

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