Faded Houses: 727 Market

One of my favorite things is coming across an archival image of an old house. I immediately think: Is the house still around?

Then I go on the hunt. When I find the house my excitement is great.

Occasionally, there is a near match between the archival image in my hand, and the actual house before me. Then my excitement is really great.

More often however the image in my hand, and the house before me, do not quiet match up. Sigh. It is always a shock to me that once beautiful houses have, well, eroded into so-so houses through the loss of various bits of architectural embellishment.

Such is the case with 727 Market, once the home of C. P. Theis:



727 Market BEFORE. Image courtesy of the Lyon County Historical Society



727 Market AFTER.




After I posted this thread, Steve Rinker contacted me (see his comments, below) about when his grandparents, Ezra and Jennie Rinker, lived in the house between 1938 and 1944. Note the vertical window trim. See how it gets wider at the top and bottom? Nice detail, now seemingly lost. Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.


Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.

Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.


Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.

Again, note how the vertical window trim flares out at the bottom. I suspect that the dog is admiring this detail. Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.



Sanborn Insurance Map, 1905. You can see 727 Market in the upper left corner. Behind the house sat the massive First Congregational Church…


Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.

…which burned in a spectacular fire while the Rinker’s lived at 727. Image courtesy of Steve Rinker.




Without too much effort or expense, the Before could be recreated. The value of the home would jump, and this would offset the investment. The Before has strong curb appeal. I long to win the lottery so I can snap up such houses and restore their faded beauty.

Yes, I am a romantic.



  1. Steve R. on January 6, 2015 at 3:04 am

    Hi, Ross. I enjoy reading your blog and was surprised to see this entry. The house at 727 Market has always intrigued me. My grandparents, Ezra and Jennie Rinker, lived there between 1938 and 1944 — long before my time. They rented the house from Mr. and Mrs. Ferris Hill, who resided in the house next door south. Mrs. Hill was the daughter of C.P. Theis.

    A 1938 snapshot of the house reveals the 1890s shutters are missing and the original front porch has been replaced. The house is not white, but a light color. The trim around each window appears to be white; the window sashes are exposed, painted a dark color.

    Two years later, the house is definitely white with dark (likely black) window screens providing the only contrast. My grandfather, who was a house painter and paperhanger by trade, refreshed the appearance of the house inside and out. Compared to its faded look today, the 1940 incarnation of 727 Market is mighty handsome.

    My family appreciated the quality of the house, often commenting about its spaciousness, the pocket doors between the living and dining rooms, as well as the transoms above the interior doors. My grandparents would have lived at 727 longer; however, near the end of 1944, Mr. and Mrs. Hill decided to move back into the house where they remained for more than 20 years.

    One more note: Although concealed by the shutters in the 1890s photo of the house, the trim around each window flares out at the top below the crown and at the base above the sill. This detail is evident in later pictures and probably remained until the asbestos siding was installed many years after my grandparents moved out.

    • Ross on January 6, 2015 at 3:13 am

      Wow, Steve! What a great history! Thank you! I would love to see your images!

  2. Ross on January 12, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    Steve, I have added your images! Thanks SO much!!!!!!

  3. Michaeljoe on February 23, 2015 at 10:26 pm

    Love, love, love this. How many times do we pass a fading beauty, grand or simple, and wish the walls could talk? Thanks fir doing that, Ross!

  4. Julie on July 31, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    I have always been fascinated by old homes and my passion is to be able to view the insides and, I, too, have wondered about who lived in these wonderful homes, what their lives were like; how they dressed and so forth…thank you for sharing the research.

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