CARTHAGE, Mo. – Zillow Gone Wild has a reputation for sharing the online realtor’s oddest and most ostentatious home listings across social media. And Carthage makes the list this week with a 13-acre, $3.1M, more than stunning listing.

Weeks ago, ZGW highlighted an all-black ‘goth house’ north of Springfield, Illinois people are still wondering about.

The Joplin-area is highlighted now as Zillow Gone Wild shared the listing for a pair of Victorian-style mansions in Carthage, Mo. that most who live there have never seen or even knew existed.

It was home to cable and radio businesswoman, the late Ruth I. Kolpin Rubison. She oversaw the meticulous restoration of the two homes, combined total 8 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms (10 full, 1 half) with over 16,851-square feet.

When she purchased the property it was known as the Carter Mansion. She succeeded in having the paint removed and lived out her remaining years in the carriage house. According to Realty Executives Tri-States, she had it made to look like a train depot since she purchased the old caboose and placed it behind building. 

Kolpin Rubison died in April 2019 at 96. She was inducted into the Hall of Carthage Heroes in 2015.

Realty Executives Tri-States posted 222 photos with the listing, showcasing authentic Carthage marble, stained and beveled glass, ornate chandeliers, and intricate woodwork. But we suspect it’s not the late 19th-century architectural features you’re here to see.

You can take a virtual tour of both three-story mansions and check out the walk-in safe, as well as a long tunnel connecting the basements. But the virtual tour fails to include two especially unique features of the property.

A full-sized caboose is stationed on abandoned tracks behind an unassuming grey carriage house on the property. It was an old radio station building.

In addition, there is an enclosed brick gazebo containing a wooden throne that appears to have been carved from a large tree growing through an exposed opening in the floor.

Dr. John Carter had the original mansion (with the wrap-around porch) built between 1893 and 1896. A veteran of the U.S. Civil War, Carter served as both soldier and physician in the Union Army. He moved to Carthage after the war and married.

Carter ultimately became the largest landowner in Jasper County, Missouri, with 3,000 acres to his name. Much of that land was given away and the city named a nearby park in Carter’s honor.

Carter died in 1913 at 79 and the beautiful brick mansion was eventually painted over. He was inducted into the Hall of Carthage Heroes in 2013.

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