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Purchase of property is a dream come true for Marion lady
by Nancy Grindle Correspondent · November 22nd, 2017

For years Julie Hebert admired the property on the left side of 8th Avenue as she drove west across Indian Creek almost every day. She had even gone so far as to talk with the previous owner and express her admiration for the open areas and the buildings, mentioning a possible purchase someday.

At last, in October, she had the opportunity to make that purchase of the property from Duane and Kristi Jacobs of Davenport, and she jumped at the chance. It is made up of four lots, two barns, a smaller wooden building and a small home with a two-car attached garage.

Her friends told her she was nuts - nicely, of course. But the purchase felt to Julie like she was coming home, having a place where she could relax totally and find a bit of heaven in the sturdy buildings, the open lawn, the little pond, and the views and proximity of the adjoining trails and railroad bridge.

The house was built in 1951 by the Amish and is small, only 930 square feet, even though the two garage doors make it look bigger. During the 50s, the two big 400-foot barns in back housed horses. A smaller building sits right to the west of the house and was a vet/horse hospital. The caretaker who ran the stables and the vet building lived in the house. A main house was next to the small one.

To the east across the grassy area runs the trail along Indian Creek. To the south past the barns is the railroad grade with a trail angling upward to hook to the railroad bed.

Julie was delighted to walk the area and show its features. There is a good-sized lot to park vehicles by the barns. A number of plantings border the small pond, and trees here and there provide shade for warm days.

The grassy areas slope gently downward to the creek and its trail, providing easy access when Julie and her family want to venture southward to Thomas Park or the other direction to Donnelly. Or they can work their way up to the old railroad bed and head either east or west as their fancy strikes them.

The interior of each barn shows the sturdy boards and timbers which were used in the barns when they were constructed. One is open overhead and there is good natural light as well as electricity. It still shows the distinct look of a stable in the way the boards are arranged along the walls.

The other one has a stairs leading upward to a second level. The upper level has a sturdy floor from one end to the other for a superb storage area.

Both barns, because of their tight construction, good insulation and metal siding, seem to be good and warm, Julie said, even though the weather has turned colder.

We cut across the nearby back yard - a beautiful back yard with fencing. There's a nice porch at the back of the house. The basement door takes one into a fully refinished basement with oak log cabin accents in the paneling.

Upstairs, the rooms are laid out perfectly, with a window over the sink so one can watch out front while doing chores such as dishes or preparing food for a meal. Julie plans to pull out some of the walls and open up the space even more.

Throughout the house, the floors are made up of narrow boards called "Colonial Golden Oak," and they are so solid there is no creaking.

Julie plans to add an "L" addition to the existing house. Otherwise she will not change the property in any major way.

The addition she envisions is about 900 more square feet, consisting of two bedrooms, a bath and a walk-in closet. She also wants to extend the existing bedroom out 18 feet.

Although the weather is getting colder and winter is fast approaching, Julie would like to get the construction and remodeling finished this fall/winter, if possible. She is seeking the right company, one which will be pretty particular about the work it does and will want to help her retain the beautiful woodwork and sturdy feeling of the existing structure.

In the meantime, many of the rest of us will continue to drive back and forth past the property and be slightly green with envy over Julie's beautiful purchase. She's a lucky lady.
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