While Judy Brehm says she doesn’t know a whole lot about her Blair home’s past, there are a few curious things that have been discovered about the home built around 1904 in the area near the courthouse.
She and her husband, Charlie, bought the house on 16th Street in 1972. The information they had told more about the property than the house.
“I learned there used to be a dairy farm to the west,” Judy said. “They had an ice-cream factory in the dining room. They must have lived upstairs.”
She said workers sold the dairy products through windows on the east side of the house in what is now the living room.
The house also used to be connected to another house which was eventually moved down the street to the south for the owners’ newlywed
child to use, Judy found out.
According to information available on the Blair Historic Preservation Alliance website, previous owners of the home included Harry and Sadie Higley, Axel and Sadie Swanson (the same Sadie who was widowed and remarried), Alfred and Anna Compton, John and Agnes Sutton, W.W. and Golda Petersen and Thomas Nielsen.
Judy said she wanted to restore the woodwork of the home but she did it around other activities, a little bit at a time.
Taking white paint off of the grooved wood was difficult, Judy said.
“It took years to restore the windows in the dining room,” she said. “When people came in, they saw plastic and newspapers and paint cans.”
“I feel like I owe it to the home to get rid of paint where it shouldn’t have been painted,” she said. “It’s kind of recent that we realized what we had.”
She has recently remodeled the kitchen and added a deck on the south side. Cement board siding was added about a year ago.
Judy said former owners had renters in apartments upstairs, and groups of Dana students were among some of the renters.
Her family needed the whole space for bedrooms.
Her son, Jeff, and daughter, Jill Harrold, and their families enjoy visiting their old home with their children.