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Open house to reveal makeover of historic home

NEW LOOK:The Clarkson House, located at 206 W. Main St.

BY Kaitlin Gebby - kgebby@chronicle-tribune.com

A holiday open house is scheduled to unveil the results of a recent renovation at the historic Clarkson House.

The Clarkson House, popularly known as The Red House, is located at 206 W. Main St., just north of the Honeywell Center and within walking distance to Charlie Creek Inn.

Property owner Lisa Gilman, owner and operator of Redemption Development, purchased the home from a local couple in August and invested $30,000 for renovations.

According to Sarah Althouse, manager of the Clarkson House, renovations began at the end of October when they had the first opportunity to make changes without any bookings for the bed and breakfast.

With a fresh coat of paint and new furniture, Gilman said they worked for five weeks to give the home a proper facelift for future guests.

“We just wanted to give it a little sprucing up,” she said Monday. “When I saw that the house was up for sale, and knowing its historic value to Wabash, I thought it would be a shame to potentially see it fall into disrepair.”

Gilman owns eight properties that she rents out in the Wabash area. She said that while breathing new life into the interior of the historical home doesn’t directly impact the community, it all comes full circle to better Wabash.

“I think when you own a property, your job is to keep it in good repair and in use,” she said. “If everyone can preserve what they own, then we can preserve Wabash’s history in a way that will make people want to live and work here.”

The home will continue to operate like a bed and breakfast with the exception that there will be no innkeeper on the property, Althouse said. Renters can either pay to rent the full five bedroom space or rent individual rooms. The home will also be made available for daytime rentals of up to six hours, which includes the ability to rent out the home’s new bridal suite.

As a hairstylist in Wabash, Althouse said it’s difficult to find a “good, pretty space” where a bride can get ready and take photos with her bridal party. Now, what used to be the parlor at the Clarkson House has been transformed into a bridal suite that can be rented out for special occasions, filling a gap Althouse said she's noticed after years of working in the hair business. 

“I’ve been a stylist in the area for a long time and have worked in a lot of places here, and there’s nothing else like this bridal suite,” she said.

The open house on Friday, Dec. 7, and will include a tour of the home and its new look as well as light refreshments beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at 8 p.m.