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Historic Home

Posted October 17, 2012 in Community Featured, Winterset

Shirley and Bill Roach have their 1886 home ready for Halloween.

Proudly sitting at 503 E. Jefferson is one of Winterset’s most recognized homes. Built in 1886 by Madison County Land Agent J.J. Hutchings, this beautiful stucco over brick Victorian is home to Bill and Shirley Roach.

The Roaches purchased the home in 1992 knowing they had some work to do. The home, which once had been converted into apartments as well as a nursing home, had sustained considerable neglect. They knew it was time for this amazing home to be given back the life it once had.

Prior to purchasing the home, the Roaches were able to locate a granddaughter to J.J. Hutchings who had pictures of the house as it once was. They were given these prized pictures, and Shirley used them to authenticate as much of the wallpapering and design elements as she could.

The Roaches tediously stripped layers of paint off all of the woodwork, including windows, doors and the intricate staircase. They salvaged wood flooring from 10 homes that were being demolished in Des Moines’ Drake neighborhood to replace the missing and damaged floors on the first floor. Even the exterior stucco, which was added in the 1920s, was historically restored and the paint colors researched to be authentic to the time period.

They built their kitchen in the space which once was the “delivery porch” on the north side of the house. There they found signs of a primitive staircase which led to the servant’s quarters. They also added a tin ceiling that was salvaged from Bills’ shop.

All of the doors in the home had upper and lower transoms, and those that were missing were replaced. No detail was left behind in this huge restoration project.

The home boasts a beautiful front hall with open staircase, a library with original walnut and oak striped floors, fireplace and walk-through windows. It also has two parlors, the dining room, kitchen and a half bath downstairs and four bedrooms upstairs, not including a small space at the end of the hall that was actually a bedroom at one time. There are two bathrooms upstairs, one situated in between two of the bedrooms.  A carriage house was built in early 2000 and future projects include repairing the ceilings on the porches and possibly restoring the maids quarters.

The Roaches are both Madison County natives and business owners. Bill owns and operates Madison County Tire and Shirley owns and operates Madison County Mercantile.





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