DES MOINES, Iowa – For Sale: 3 bedrooms, 2 ½ baths, and one singular distinction: it’s the oldest home in Des Moines.
“The floors have a lot of creak to them,” smiles current owner, Dave McGhee, “there’s no level floor in the house,”
Call it character; the kind that can only be acquired by 165 years of existence.
“We just fell in love with it from the beginning,” he says.
McGhee and his late wife bought it in 1993.
“The big front porch and the big yard; she loved the big yard.”
The house is called “Rose Hill,” and it was built in 1846 (just months before Iowa became a state) by Larnard Case.
“One of his boys, Philo Case, was a drummer boy in the Civil War,” McGhee says.
“He was at the Battle of Shiloh and many other important battles,” adds Pat Meiners of the Des Moines Historical Society, “so it’s an important family in Des Moines history.”
The Historical Society is hoping the right buyer will step forward. They love to see weathered old homes get fully restored, but they won’t get greedy.
“We’re more concerned that they stay and not be torn down, even though they’re not in perfect condition,” she says.
The front door is original–as is the gigantic hackberry tree which has towered over the house since long before Lincoln.
“Somebody needs to take this house and keep it going,” McGhee says, “because it’s still got a lot of character and got a lot of life left to it.”
The price is $85,000 and that includes the one-acre lot. It comes with a few question marks and it’s own history book, but also one guarantee: it’s the only one of its kind.