The old saying “If these walls could talk” was written for houses like that of Steve and Shellee Sesker. With a property abstract dating back to 1860, it is one of the oldest houses in Bondurant, and has been called “home” to four generations of the Sesker family.
Originally a farmstead, the house was once the only home nestled along what is now Second Street N.W. Through many owners, including the town’s founding Bondurant family, Shellee’s family purchased the house in 1963.
“From time to time I still pick up bricks in the backyard that were from the old stable that was here,” says Steve. “They just work their way up through the top soil.”
Modern amenities eventually made their way to the home. Like the time in 1975 when a house fire destroyed the entire upstairs level. The fire served as a catalyst for the first installation of heated air to the three upstairs bedrooms.
It wasn’t until 1996 that Steve and Shellee bought the house from Shellee’s parents. Within the first week, they began the remodeling process.
“When we remodeled the dining room and tore into the walls, we found the insulation originally used,” Shellee recalls. “Corn cobs and newspapers, anything they could get their hands on to insulate the walls.”
Through all the additions and remodeling the house has undergone, Shellee’s favorite part of the house has always remained the wrap-around porch.
“A lot of times we just sit out there, eat dinner or just relax,” she says. “Unless it’s blazing hot or the mosquitoes are bad.”
In recent years, the Seskers have directed most of their home improvements to the outside landscaping. Any passerby will notice the amount of work they put into their yard, no matter the season.
“We’ll be working out in the yard and people will literally just stop and say ‘We love your home.’ Well, that’s a pretty good feeling,” says Steve.
With all homes, it’s not the house itself that provides identity, but the family that resides in it. The Seskers raised three children in the home, and have since begun adding new memories to it with grandchildren.
“It’s been a great place to raise our family,” says Steve. “It brings some challenges as an old house, but that’s part of home maintenance.”