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Historical Society restores 1873 Amundson house

By Staff | Nov 6, 2008

With a grant from the Emmet County Community Foundation, the Emmet County Historical Society this past weekend reroofed the 1873 John A. Amundson home located at the museum complex. The museum is located on South 18th Street just west of Iowa Lakes Community College.

Area contractor Dave Seylar donated the house, originally located at 920 Second Ave. S., to the historical society which moved it to the museum. Opie’s General Construction & Roofing of Estherville began work on the roof Friday and completed the job Saturday. A membrane protects the top flat portion of the roof while asphalt shingles were placed on the sloped portion.

Dave Kaltved of the museum board said cracks in the plaster that resulted from moving were replaced and furniture originally owned by the Ridley family will be placed in the house. Estherville was named for Esther Ridley.

Kaltved said he house represents a typical construction for the period. Amundson’s parents owned the house for a number of years before Amundson and his wife, Everene, bought it in the 1930s.

Amundson died in 1975 at age 85 but Everene continued to live in it until about 1988, Seylar said. The house was moved to its current site at the museum in 1999.

“It just kind of sets you back in time,” Kaltved said.

The museum board has built a patio and ramp for handicap access. There are also plans for a door awning similar to what the house had originally.

Kaltved said the house should be ready for exhibition to the public in another month. He said the house may be may available to the public for use for functions during the summer.