Second Column

Timeworn but Timeless:

News from Preservation Inc by Leecia Bloss



If you haven’t reserved September 22nd for the Preservation Inc. Fall Historic Homes Tour, you need to stop what you are doing and mark your calendar.  What better way to spend a Saturday than touring some of the wonderful homes that make St. Joseph a very special place to live.  Our tour is featuring six homes that are richly varied in their architecture and even their decorating style, plus a residential view of the St. Joseph Museum.  The tour hours are from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with a cost of only $10.00 to visit all seven locations. I hope the following descriptions will pique your curiosity. 


3003 Ashland

One of the city’s most important early residences, the Miller house was built in 1859 for Isaac Miller, who moved to Missouri from West Virginia to homestead the land.  Featuring Greek Revival and Italianate style influences, the large brick house originally sat on 320 acres, which is the highest point in Buchanan County.  The original land grant signed by President Polk is still in the Miller family’s possession.  The fourth generation of the Miller family, Bill and Nancy Miller now occupy the home which is furnished with many family pieces, some of which date to the home’s construction.  


2424 Faraon


This Colonial Revival style was built on speculation in 1912, and its first occupant was a local printer.  Wally and Leecia Bloss purchased the home in 1998 and began the rehabilitation by repairing 23 plumbing leaks.  Since that time, they have updated and redocated the kitchen, reopened a previously enclosed doorway from the foyer to the kitchen, and painted and decorated several rooms.  A recent dining room decoration is a “quilt pattern” wallpaper design.  The Bloss’ have decorated their home with a mix of antiques, collectible pottery, artwork and “shabby chic” items.  They enjoy collecting items that relate to St. Joseph’s history.




1714 Faraon


This late Victorian, red brick residence was constructed in 1907 for merchant John Dobler, The house features extensive natural oak woodwork and early 20th century art glass.  Among the house’s most fascinating features are extensive hand painted Art Nouveau stenciling and murals being uncovered by the owner, Cindy McCoy, who bought the house in 2000.


St. Joseph Museum

11th and Charles


Originally constructed in 1879 for William Wyeth, this Victorian castle blends Gothic Revival and Italianate influences and is one of the crowning achievements of architect E. J. Eckel.  Your visit will allow the museum to share with you its history as St. Joseph’s most opulent mansion. Also view recently uncovered ceiling murals.


119 and 123 S. 12th Street


This stop on the homes tour includes two adjacent houses.  The brick Victorian town house was built in 1885 and was originally designed as the corner house for a series of connected row house that were never completed. The house features a recently renovated kitchen.  The small frame house next door was built in 1866.  Both homes are owned by Nick Simone and Jeff Sample.


1102 Felix


Towering over Civic Center Park, this 1885 Italiante style brick home was built for grocer George Kennar.  Earnest Chase, the owner of Chase Candy Company, later purchased the home and built a large addition  on the rear in the early 20th century.  The large wraparound front  porch is a 1910, Colonial Revival alteration.  John and Karen Wood bought the home in 1996, bringing it back from a devastating fire.  The Woods have decorated their home with a nice collection of antiques and plan to open the house as a bed and breakfast in the Museum Hill neighborhood, which is listed on the Nation Register of Historic Places.


1106 Ridenbaugh


This simply detailed Colonial Revival home in the Caathedral Hill Historic District was built in 1902 for A. Kienzle.  Owned for several years by the Hertzel family, the house was given to  the Catholic Church, which used the property as a convent for nuns who worked at nearby Sisters Hospital, now demolished.  The book  St. Joseph: A Postcard History features a postcard on the cover of a little girl sitting in a goat cart, with the house pictured in the background.  Hugh and Glenda Wallace now live in the house and have furnished it with their collection of modern pieces and family heirlooms.  The Cathedral Hill neighborhood was recently added to the National Register of Historic Places.



I hope these bits of history on each of the homes will interest you enough to purchase your ticket and help support St. Joseph Preservation, Inc. with this fundraising tour.  At different locations on the tour we will have wonderful decorator pillows that will be available to purchase.  Also, a luncheon  will be served on the grounds of the St. Joseph Museum at a cost of $10.00 each but it is limited to the first 100 people.   Please contact our office at (816)232-8300 in regard to the luncheon.  The tickets for the tour will be available September 22nd at each of the homes, but they can be purchased ahead of time at the following locations:


St. Joseph:  Westlake Ace Hardware, Jamie’s Secret Garden, Harding Interiors, Jerre Anne Cafeteria, Robidoux Row Museum, St. Joseph Museum, Convention and Visitors Bureau and Needle Buffs 

Savannah:  Wild Hare Quilt Shop

Plattsburg:  Spease Antiques

Cameron:  Primitive Peddler

Stewartsville:  Cactus Dan’s Saddles and Tack

Leavenworth:  Leavenworth Historical Society’s Carrol Mansion