Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Our House in Photos 100 Years Ago

PhotobucketAbove: Our house c1905. Second from the left is Mabel Wrolstad, youngest daughter of John Olson Wrolstad who built our house in 1893. We received this image from the Iola Historical Society in July 2009.

Glad to see this photo image to confirm the width of the original stairs. This summer (2011) the newly fabricated rails matching original profile will be installed, along with repaired original spindles.

Above: Our House September 6, 2010 Dad and Jon finished pouring cement pad and rebuilding front porch steps. I photographed them taking a break. They were exhausted.

Above: Our House - Dining Room c1893

Above: Our House - Dining Room removing wallpaper and repairing cracks in the walls November 2007.

The Rolling Stones song, "You Can't Always Get What You Want" goes through my mind while working on the house. This instance is certainly true. At the time, we were not able to repair wall cracks in the dining room and save the stenciling too. However, a couple years later of course we found technology where we could have made the repairs and kept the original artwork. Such is life, eh? The stencil work is still there under a couple layers . . . and there is always the possibility of restoring it, but I'll have to let another generation find this treasure.

Above: Our House - Recent photo of our Dining Room taken May 31, 2010, confirming the woodwork, etched glass doors, hardware, and screen porch door are original to the house. So glad.

John Olson Wrolstad
Above C1893 family portrait John Olson Wrolstad Family.

Above: Detail of little Mabel Wrolstad from the family portrait c1893.

Above: Our house c 1893 - Sitting Room (Living Room)

In this image, we see a portrait of John Olson Wrolstad and hanging below his portrait is his powder flask from the Civil War. Below is a current image of the powder flask.

The c1893 images of the Sitting Room above and the Dining Room were provided to us by Heather Westgor great great granddaughter of John Olson Wrolstad and his wife Mathea. Heather's great grandmother is Mabel. Heather and her family will visit us this spring/summer to talk about their family.

1893 Victorian
Above: June 2007 photo of the Sitting Room (Living Room) after removing 4 layers of wallpaper.

I'll have to get busy and take some current photos of the living room, just as it was photographed above in 1893. First, I have to remove the 56" diagonal tv from the spot where John Olson Wrolstad's portrait hung. Eventually, Jon will fix up the carriage house into his man cave, and his tv (I call the size of Cleveland) go away from the Sitting Room (Living Room). Yeah!


  1. I just love seeing these photos from the past of old homes. What a treasure that you have them. I wish we had some our ours. We live in an 1885 Victorian. Look forward to following your blog as an official follower now.

  2. I just love the fact you have those pictures of your house! I wish I did of my house builtin 1903 I do have a 2nd house built in 1896 that belonged to my grandparents starting in 1926, I love looking at the pic and think " I am standing right there where the picture was taken"

  3. I love the then and now photos. Just for fun, maybe you should try a black and white photo of how it is now and see what it looks like compared to then. You may have to blur it a bit to make it look older! Just an idea. Love seeing all the work you've done.

  4. Dear Heirloom by Ashton House,

    I sure enjoy reading your blog. Your old yellow house in amazing! I'll check out the magazines for your articles. What a pleasure.
    Mrs. D.

  5. Dear Ann,

    Thanks for stopping by and leaving a message. How wonderful you now own your grandparent's home. I'll stop by your blog and leave you a note.

  6. Mrs. D-

    How lucky you are to have gotten hold of these photos! I'd be ecstatic if I had some of our house. My restoration will have to be "interpretive." You've done such a great job of restoring. Have you ever thought of burying a time capsule with copies of the old photos and some of yours in the walls or somewhere for future owners to find? I love seeing your pics in comparison to the old pics. Not much difference!


  7. How great that you have INTERIOR photos of your house from early times -- those are true treasures!

    You have a beautiful house -- love those Victorians.

  8. How lucky you are to still have your house. Right before the economy took a nose dive, my husband and I purchased the house of my dreams. I 1887 Victorian farm house. It was built by a confederate soldier. We were only the third family to own it. It needed lots of work; we had big plans. My husband work was in the construction industry. One month after moving in, his work disappeared. I feel fortune to have lived in such a wonderful house. I just wish I could still live there.