Local couple comes full circle,
returning to hometown, renovating home
Tuesday, December 03, 2013 2:48 AM
Lyman and LuAnn are home sweet home...
Lyman and LuAnn Hare's house at 115 South Main used to belong to LuAnn's parents, Walt and Edith Christopherson.
Even if it's just a Hare smaller than their last abode.
"It is a really cozy, comfortable home to live in. We downsized a few years earlier than planned, but the remodeling turned out just as we had wanted," said LuAnn Hare, referring to the little house she and her husband, Lyman, share on South Main Street in Wykoff, a part of the 2013 Wykoff Historical Society's Christmas tour of homes.
The Hares moved into the house a year ago in October after returning to Wykoff from Chatfield, where they lived for 24 years, raised their children and where Lyman still owns an insurance business. "We bought the property in May 2012 and remodeled the home that summer, actually moving into our house in the fall of 2012," said LuAnn. "We'd talked for several years about moving back to Wykoff, because for us, it has been a full circle since we both graduated from Wykoff Public Schools."
The house's history is slightly bigger than its square footage. LuAnn noted that according to their records, the lot was plotted in 1896 in the Bartlett Addition. The home began changing hands in 1936 when A.F. Erdman sold the property to Henry and Lillian Schroeder. In 1969, the property was sold to Ray M. Galligan, a Catholic priest, which surprised them. In 1979, her parents, Walt and Edith Christopherson, bought the home. Her parents lived there until 2011, when her mother moved to Spring Valley.
The Hares had moved back to Wykoff and purchased a home on Silver Street before renovating this home. The Hares set about remodeling it into an open floor plan, removing walls that had carved the already small house into a warren of smaller rooms.
"We were a little surprised when the remodeling was completed - we removed many walls and opened everything up for great entertaining, which is what we love to do," said LuAnn. "We saved a lot of the old doors and woodwork and made sure that when we found the window coverings that the old window frames would stand out."
LuAnn elaborated on why the house serves her and her husband, Wykoff's mayor, well. "It's all on one level - great for many years down the road. The open floor plan is something we both wanted. I love to cook and can be involved with the conversations if we have family and friends over while I'm in the kitchen. I absolutely love the kitchen...it is designed so that you work very easily in it and there are plenty of cupboards so that I can put all my dishes in. I love to collect dishes and cookbooks."
She continued, "This is a good size property, and we are enjoying doing some landscaping ourselves when we are home. We have a permanent campsite and spend most of our summers at our camper. I love flowers and am just starting to develop my flower gardens with some great help from our neighbors, the Jacobsons, who have an enormous yard full of flowers."
Even though Lyman and LuAnn's children are Chatfield residents, they gave their parents their blessing when it came time to pack up and move "home" to Wykoff. "Our family was very supportive of us moving back...it's still close to our family and is a nice, quiet town to retire in, which is what we plan to do."
LuAnn and Lyman are preparing their home for their second Christmas there, and they've found corners for Christmas trees and familiar decorations. "Even though it is a small house, there is always room for a Christmas tree, or two or three. We both love Christmas, so it's a joint effort getting things ready for the holidays." She hopes that visitors will enjoy the display of Depression glass dishware on their dining room table. "The green Depression glass that will be set for the home tours was found in the hardware store that my parents owned, Walt's Our Own Hardware. They bought the hardware store from John and Toots Vehrenkamp and discovered this old set of dishes in their original boxes in the basement. My mother says it took some elbow grease to get them clean but they are enjoyed now and will be for generations."
And, just maybe, the little house at 115 South Main, Wykoff, will be enjoyed for generations, too.
The Wykoff Historical Society's Christmas tour of homes is set for this Saturday, Dec. 7, from 1 to 5 p.m. Tickets are $7 per person and are available at the Bank Gift Haus in advance or Ed's Museum on Gold Street the day of the tour. For more information, contact Esther Evers at (507) 352-2555.