Virtually Unchanged 1837 House For Sale in Hennepin

Images courtesy of the News Tribune
If you are a history buff looking for a project, a ride to Hennepin might be worth your time. There, three blocks away from the historic Pulsifer House is another all-brick home from the 1800s waiting to return to glory.

The home, located on Mulberry Street and owned by former Hennepin resident Diane Capitani, was built in 1837. Capitani and her father, John Novak, bought the home in 1990 with the idea of restoring it with historical accuracy.

After the death of her father in 1995, Capitani still wanted to restore the house, but because of family health issues, she is now selling the house, originally owned by E.G. Simpson, a relative of the Pulsifer family, for $99,000.

The house has electricity run to it, as well as water, and is partially heated, but has no bathroom or kitchen.

“At one point I had talked to somebody that said he could probably do this (restore the home) for $100,000,” said Capitani. “The floors are solid.”

According to Capitani, the house may have been visited by Abraham Lincoln.

“I got some old stuff I kept rummaging around in,” said Capitani. “With it is this old letter that indicates that Abraham Lincoln had dinner in the house when he argued in the Putnam County courthouse.”

Because Capitani currently lives in Wilmette, Quentin Buffington, who lives in Hennepin, is the caretaker of the home.

Buffington demonstrates how easily the original pocket doors still slide

Buffington said the house has been mostly unchanged since it was built.

“With the exception of replacing a few bricks and stones, it’s pretty much the original,” said Buffington.

Buffington even showed working pocket doors that date back to the original construction.

“They open without any problems. The mechanism that opens them still works,” said Buffington.

According to Buffington, the house only has a few layers of paint, and the original layout never has been changed.

The house is also full of rarities for its time, with access to the basement and attic inside the home, and closets throughout.

“This house was built by craftsmen,” said Buffington. “One of the contractors I know said to build a house of this volume of masonry, is hundreds of thousands of dollars to recreate today.”

Buffington has shown the house to four different people, but so far no one has decided to take on the historic project.

“If I had the money and the time, I would happily take this project on,” said Buffington. “It’s a piece of history. You can’t replace this.”

Source: News Tribune