Victorian home in Yampa filled with history
Yampa — Marlene and Don Wuest were living in Stagecoach when they decided it was time to move closer to their jobs in Steamboat Springs. But, when they walked in the front door of a 104-year-old Victorian-style house in Yampa, they knew they’d found their new home.
“It was just a feeling we both had,” said Marlene Wuest, who bought the home at 310 Roselawn Ave. three years ago. “We didn’t even go upstairs.”
The couple walked into the living room and saw the 9-foot ceilings, antique fireplace, hardwood floors and genuine old-time Victorian characteristics that modern architects often try to re-create.
“I think when we bought it, it had been on the market for like three days,” Don Wuest said. “We just couldn’t resist.”
Don Wuest is an antiques collector and seller, and the couple knew how perfectly their furniture and decorations would fit with the four-bedroom, two-bath house. Indeed, they thought, it would be no Pottery Barn wanna-be house. It would be the real thing — an antique house full of antiques — a time warp, of sorts.
The Wuests even pictured running their antique business out of the home. It worked for a while. They displayed some items in the Antlers Cafe when it was open, and patrons whose curiosity was piqued would call and often come by the house to see more, Marlene Wuest said.
The house was so perfect, Marlene thought, “What is wrong with this place?”
The couple had an engineer come to inspect the structural integrity of the building and found it to be in good condition. It was ready for them to move in without needing any improvements.
It is framed with sturdy, whole oak timbers that were constructed as the outside of the original log cabin. The home is uniquely built in the “stockade style,” meaning the timbers are laid vertically. A trap door in the ceiling of the kitchen reveals the original look of the home.
The vertical logs were covered long ago by siding and the Victorian faÃ§ade. Leonard Snowden, who now lives two blocks away from the Victorian, lived in the house during the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the siding was already in place.
When Snowden lived there, the house was the headquarters of a 300-plus acre hay ranch. During the four years he lived there, Snowden decided to break up the ranch and subdivide 17.5 acres to the immediate northwest of the house. Those 17 acres became part of downtown Yampa, extending Third, Fourth and Fifth streets to the west, creating a space for many of the homes that sit there today, including Snowden’s home.
Though Snowden subdivided much of the land around the house, the yard of the corner lot is half an acre. The yard is bordered by a white picket fence, and the Wuests have a huge vegetable garden, where corn, pumpkins and flowers thrive with a few other vegetables.
The Wuests also planted more than 20 trees and shrubs in and around the yard. They have painted the interior since moving in.
The house has three bedrooms and a bathroom on the second floor, and another bedroom on the ground floor, which could be used as a dinning room, den or office.
Other features of the home include propane heating, a covered front porch and a large tile-floor kitchen with dishwasher, oven, refrigerator, washer and dryer.
The Wuests are selling the house because, with a 6-month-old daughter and 2-year-old son now, the commute to work in Steamboat simply has become too hectic.
“If we could have our way, we would pick up the house and move it to Steamboat,” Marlene Wuest said.
A comparable home in Steamboat easily would cost twice as much, Colorado Group Realtor Coleman Cook said.
Because the home has been for sale for six months, the price has been reduced from $279,000 to $259,000. An open house will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Call Coleman Cook at 870-8800.
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