MASON — A holiday open house and home tour will be held at a historic Mason home, after the owners have spent nearly two years remodeling and refurbishing it.
Craig and Christine Roush will conduct the event between 4-7 p.m . Saturday at 141 Adamsville Road. The house was built in the early 1990s and is known by locals as one of the Gold Brothers’ or “twin” houses. The homes were built nearly exactly alike, although they were mirror images of each other. The second house was razed a number of years ago, after it was damaged by an explosion.
The Roushes purchased the home on the courthouse steps in February 2014, after the former owners fell ill and passed away. It had set empty for a few years, according to Craig.
He said when he and Christine bought the house, they weren’t sure if they would live in it or fix it up to sell. Once the couple saw the beautiful woodwork, however, Craig said they were determined to stay.
The work just to get the house livable wasn’t easy, according to Craig. When they bought the residence, there were holes in the ceilings, water leaks and the yard was grown up. The basement had water in it, and before any renovations were started, between 14 and 16 truckloads of trash were removed.
The couple decided early on not to completely renovate the house. They wanted it to stay as original as possible.
“The woodwork is why we bought the house,” Craig said.
Not wanting to sand the floors down to a new finish, Christine, along with family and friends, got on their hands and knees, scraping old varnish off with razor blades. The end result allowed the couple to maintain the character and patina of the floors.
Two sets of massive, original solid wood pocket doors are located in the downstairs. There are also three original ceiling light fixtures, although new wiring has been installed, and a massive wooden staircase graces the dining room to the upper floor and a half.
It was August 2014 when the Roushes, along with children Zachary and Karley, made the move into the home. They had spent the entire spring and summer doing much of the work themselves, although Craig said there was one particular day that there were 13 contractors working on site.
Craig said with the exception of three spaces, the house remains much like it was built. The couple made the original dining room into the kitchen, moving the dining room to the front parlor. They also made one bedroom into a bathroom for their children.
The house is on the National Register of Historic Homes, and although Craig said they could have requested grant money to refurbish the house, they chose not to. He added the only thing they were asked to do was to leave the original windows, which they did.
Christine said it has taken them until now to feel as if the house is complete enough to be opened to the public. Both she and Craig said feedback from the public is why they decided to do the open house.
Once they began working, the couple said people would stop by and share memories and history of the house. The Roushes said they would be stopped in Walmart or at ballgames and asked if they were going to hold an open house. With the holidays approaching, Craig said they agreed to open it up while it is decorated for Christmas.
Craig said he feels somewhat like it was fate that brought the family to their home. Years ago, when the house was auctioned, his parents Ralph and Sheila Roush bid on it. The elder couple had determined how high they would bid prior to the auction, and holding to that number, they were outbid by only a few thousand dollars. It came full circle decades later, when someone in their family did end up with the historic house.
Christine said while there is still work to be done, it is now their family’s home and is decorated as such. While many former owners filled the home with a Victorian style, the Roushes have opted for a more family-oriented primitive décor.
“I think people will be surprised,” Christine said.
Craig said he hopes to have “before and after” photos displayed during the home tour to show those who attend what has been done.
Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing who lives in Mason County.