Historic Barton county home gets second lease on life

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A historic Barton county home is getting a second lease on life thanks to new owners.

Shawn Miller says before November, he had never been to Missouri.

“We started in the great state of Oregon, lived there for quite a few years, met my wife there, had my kids there,” says Shawn Miller.

Now, he’s a home owner in Lamar.

“My wife and I decided to start looking at some historic homes, since we were both interested in historic homes and out of the 45 homes that we chose across the United States, this happened to be our favorite one, so this is how we got here,” says Miller.

Miller says the family arrived in Lamar in November, and saw the house in person for the first time the day they closed on it. And if it was history he was looking for, Joe Davis with the Barton County Historical Society says he came to the right place.

“This particular house here was built in 1900. There was a house here before that, it was built in 1899. We didn’t know that until just a few years ago,” says Davis.

The house is located about three blocks south of the square in Lamar, in what Davis says was once one of the most prominent parts of town.

“This whole half mile stretch, from the stoplight south to the park was just a beautiful area back in the day, I mean, it’s still beautiful, but back in the turn of the century, early 1900’s, I mean, these houses were just the best in the town,” says Davis.

The Millers home had fallen into disrepair, and had been vacant for decades. And Davis says he was concerned about what that could mean for its future.

“I just knew that the condition it was in from the outside, there was no other way but to tear it down, and it was just a shame,” he says.

But Davis says now the home has a second lease on life. Miller tells me it won’t necessarily be easy….

“Some of our beams were rotted out due to termite damage and it does have holes in the roof that we had to repair to keep the rain from coming in,” says Miller.

But he says it will be worth it, because it fulfills a dream that began when he was a child and was with his mother. 

“We drew a house once, and we took turns drawing rooms in this house until it was this great big huge mansion, and that mansion I think have finally found after all of these years,” says Miller.

Miller says phase one will involve putting on a new roof, and renovating the kitchen, a bathroom and a living space for his family. That should be done by this summer. He expects to finish the whole project in about seven years.

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