Archive for Thursday, April 20, 2006

The house at 123 N. Main

April 20, 2006

The secretary of transportation of the state of Kansas purchased the house at 123 N. Main St. for the realignment of the Ida and Main Street intersection. The house will soon be removed, so I thought I would talk a little bit about the history of that house.

My guess is that the main part of the house was built around 1900 or before because my uncle and aunt Albert and Elizabeth Sherley lived there, and my cousin Bill Sherley was born in that house in 1906. The last owners were Thomas C. and Christine Farr.

What I remember most about that house is that it was once an antique shop, and to my knowledge, it was the first shop of that kind in Lansing.

A couple named Albert and Elizabeth Hatton lived there for many years and added the room to the south with the rock fireplace that you see now on the east side. This probably was added for living space, as their living room area was full of antiques. Their large living room window was a sight to behold at night when row after row of hurricane lamps were lit. Victorian hurricane lamps were a great part of America's history. They were hand-blown and hand-decorated glass and were very colorful.

At that time in my life, I did not appreciate the culture that the Hattons brought to Lansing in the 1940s with their wonderful collection of antiques. Many people I have talked to remember that front window with its colorful lamps.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if that house could talk and tell us about all the folks that lived there and what brought Albert and Elizabeth to Lansing to share their antique collection? I think it is really unique that two couples named Albert and Elizabeth lived in that house about 40 years apart.

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