Then & Now: An 1883 Victorian House

Then & Now: An 1883 Victorian House

Then – An 1883 Victorian House

Aberdeen’s first pharmacist was a pioneer named John Firey, who came to Aberdeen in 1882. A year later, he married Susan Mack of Illinois. In that same year, just two years after Aberdeen got started, he built this house near the corner of 5th Avenue S.E. and Arch Street. It has all the elements of a typical Queen Anne home except a turret. You can make out a variety of shingle shakes on the gable end surrounding a round attic window, directly below some fret work. The chimney is ornate, and the porches are lined with spindles and columns faintly visible behind the trees. The elevated wood sidewalk is probably quite new as the Hagerty Lloyd development, where this house resides, was platted in 1882. I don’t know exactly when this photo was taken, but I would presume it was a couple years after 1883 as the trees are a bit full, yet still very small. Thanks to Sydney Ranney (descendent of the Firey family) for loaning us this photo.

 

Now – Historic Remodel

Believe it or not, this is the same house as the previous pages. It is still there on Arch Street. In 1924, Aberdeen architect John Henry was retained to orchestrate a modern remodel. He converted it from a Victorian to a Craftsman house, mainly on the outside. The roofs changed angles, rafter tails were added, the gable on the left was extended dramatically, the porch was enclosed (now a lovely sunroom). Additions to the Victorian version are evident, but this 1924 remodel made the entire home cohesive. What is interesting to me is normally when the original historic elements are removed from a structure, it is deemed ruined. However, it was Henry’s remodel of 1924 that was recognized when the house was placed on the National Register in 1995 (along with Firey’s accomplishments). Over 40 years passed between when the house was built and the remodel. The house is lovingly cared for by the current owners who happen to be only the second family to inhabit it. //