Recap Movie of Historical Tour of Homes

Sunday December 6 we visited six locations and learned many historical footnotes.  ABCM provided a bus and many took advantage of riding and not driving.   This event was a fundraiser for the Old Stone House.

Harriman Nielsen committee members decorated the home for the holidays.  We send a big thanks out to them!  Did you know that the Danish put the tree up on Christmas, and then dance around it?

Leahy Grove made us all feel welcome.  Leahy Grove was named after Admiral Leahy, who was from Hampton.  Just before D-Day the government sent Admiral Leahy home to Hampton (and many others to their homes) in order to make it appear as if nothing big was going to happen.

Beeds Lake Lodge brought in the big guns and answered a lot of questions.  Dave Heyden from Friends of Beeds Lake spoke, and Terry Manning from DNR talked as well.  Did you kn0w the Park Ranger’s house is on the historical registry?

G.A.R. Memorial Hall was open and Greg Keller gave a presentation.  During the Civil War, 169 soldiers fought from Franklin County.  48 of those died.  Franklin County had the most casualties per capita in the state of Iowa.

Andrea Gibson greeted us at the apartment above Movies America.  The front Southern apartment is completed and it is truly loft living.  There’s exposed brick, an overhang bedroom and large sized windows to look out over 1st St.  The back apartment has been started and it looks like that will be a real charmer as well.  It should be done in a couple of months.  On the north side there will eventually be an apartment that goes the length of the building – we can’t wait to see that!

Ray and Mary Jorgensen graciously allowed us to tour every room in their house.

The Jorgensen home was built in 1895 By E.P. Andrews, a predominate lawyer in Hampton at the time.  It originally was located where the PDQ/McDonald’s parking lot is now located and moved to it’s current location at 602 Central Ave. E in 2003. Fortunately, most of the original flavor of this house was never lost.  The original woodwork, floors, round windows facing the street both up and down and brass plated fireplace still exist.    Improvements have included, a new foundation/basement, insulation, hot water underfloor heat in the downstairs with a forced air heat exchanger upstairs, whole house air conditioning and complete rewire. A modern custom built Quartersawn oak kitchen designed to “fit the period” as much as possible and installed in 2005, at the same time as most other updates.  Since a kitchen in 1895 probably consisted of a sink cabinet, Hoosier style cabinet, wood stove and large table,  the “fit the period” is a very liberal interpretation, but we’ve been told “it fits”. Upstairs alterations were made to enlarge and expand closets and create a master suite which still has access to the “maids stairway” which Mary says is fitting since she is the “maid”!! Other items in the home are various restored antique furniture pieces as well a custom Grandfather clock and bedroom set.
Here’s a short movie of some pictures taken along the way.  Please enjoy!

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

History Begins Here

The Museum is open from January 15 through November 15: Monday - Friday, 1 to 4. 

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, the museum is also open Sunday 1 to 4.

We will happily open at other times by appointment. Send an e-mail any time, call during regular museum hours, or during off hours, call Franklin County Tourism at 1 641 456 5668.

Franklin County Historical Museum is located at:

Contact Us

Please fill out all the fields below.