Rarely does anyone receive a first person account of the lives previously lived in one’s home. Lori Halvorson received this gift when a woman appeared at her door holding a story written about Eleanor Jones. Jones, born in 1891, was born and raised in Halvorson’s home. In 1983, at the age of 92, Jones wrote about her life in Winterset. This account provides Halvorson with invaluable accurate information about her historic home.
In 2004, Halvorson made the decision to leave Texas and move to Winterset to live close to family. Her dream home, 104 Fourth Avenue S., was not for sale She continued her search with her real estate agent, but nothing seemed like the right fit. After visiting two other homes, her agent pulled into the driveway of her dream home. To her surprise, it was about to be listed for sale. Her offer was placed and accepted, and her dream quickly became her reality.
Halvorson’s limestone and frame house was built prior to 1900. But the frame part of the home was torn down and rebuilt in 1900 by Eleanor Jones’ widowed mother to accommodate boarders. It was one of the first homes in Winterset to have paved sidewalks. Many families have lived in the home over the years. For a time, the home was divided into two apartments. In 1996, it went through extensive renovation, including raising the roofline, to provide the stunning look it has today. During the renovation, a maid’s staircase was found concealed between the upstairs hallway and the downstairs kitchen.
The four-bedroom home features a large screened-in porch, an impressive library, a beautiful foyer and an original window in the turned open staircase.
“I had to move into a house that would accommodate my china hutch and dining room table,” Halvorson says. “And I loved the house the way it was except I thought it needed stained glass.”
Stained glass from her travels has been added to every window. Her favorite room is the plum and sage green library because of its ceiling.
Halvorson’s Norwegian heritage and love for family is present throughout the home. Every picture and family heirloom in her home has a story.
“I hope to learn how to make stained glass when I retire,” she says.