Victorian-era farmhouse to be restored at new location

Saturday, October 3, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT
Part of a Victorian farmhouse dating to the 1890s sits roofless on Friday at the Boone Junction History Village. This part of the farmhouse was moved to Boone County Historical Society property at midnight on Thursday.

COLUMBIA — A three-room Victorian-era farmhouse, built by hog farmers in 1890, is sitting in three pieces under a patchwork of tarps in the Boone County Historical Society.

 The Ryland-Clayton farmhouse was transported to the society's collection of restored homes, known as the Boone Junction History Village on Ponderosa Street. The farmhouse was previously located on U.S. 63, just west of Sturgeon.

Boone County Historical Society

Boone County Historical Society


3801 Ponderosa Street


The house is known as the Sunrise House because of a gable in the shape of a sun under the roof.

 The house has historical significance because of its unique architecture, according to genealogist and longtime Historical Society volunteer David Sapp. Few farmhouses have this kind of Victorian-style design.

“It’s unusual because there are few examples that have lasted this long. It has a lot of amazing Victorian-era detail, which itself was more common in towns rather than on a big farm,” Sapp said.  

In preparation for the move, the roof was removed, and the house was divided into two. It will be reassembled at the village and restored to what it would have looked like in 1890. Victorian furniture and fixtures will also be placed in the house. 

Sapp estimated the cost of transporting the house was around $50,000, and the restoration could cost an estimated $25,000. The society collected donations to pay for the cost.

“Most of the restoration will be done by volunteer labor, and we welcome and encourage others in communities to help out through offering their time," Sapp said. "They’ll have supervision, of course,"

According to Sapp, the original house foundation was made of large rock quarried into large squares. Elevated beams balanced on rocks to stabilize the home. At the village site, the house will rest on a new foundation. 

Jennifer Flink, director of the Boone County Historical Society, said moving structures to the village is necessary because they cannot be preserved where they were originally located. The village also contains an 1828 log cabin, a general store and The Shotgun House, which was owned by the first black real estate agent in Columbia.

“It’s a fun experience to sit and watch a house come to life. Many houses are empty and unused for a period of time, “ Flink said. “Many have long histories and family connections that give people a perspective of what a century looks like.

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