The Cross House

Road Trip!

Recently, a reader, Aaron, wrote in about his excitement in getting his radiator system up and running.

A short while later he sent a few images of his house.

My eyes bugged out.

Yours will, too.

Wanna see? Scroll down…























Brick! Stone! Slate! I am pee-green with envy! Aaron, is the porch original?


The roof retains all its original bits!!!!!!!!


That’s it. I am dead.




And the best part? Aaron is only three hours away! So, ROAD TRIP! Soon!


When the Cross House was built it cost $18,000. This seems laughable today but, in 1894 context, that was a lot. One could buy a more normal-sized house with mantels and stained-glass and a gorgeous staircase for less than $5,000 (most houses in America were less than $5,000 at the time). However, across the street from the Cross House is the Plumb House, and it cost quite a bit more as most everything in it was custom (the Cross House is filled with catalog items like the mantels and doors and trim). And in place like New York City and Chicago, limestone mansions could cost $100,000 and up, excluding land.

Aaron’s house, when built, would have have quite a bit higher to build, per square foot, than the Cross House. The brick exterior, slate roof, and roof edging all speak of a greater expense. Aaron’s stair is considerably more lavish than what I have.

So, I am looking forward with considerable excitement to visiting Aaron! And I will return with plenty of images (with Aaron’s permission, of course).



31 Responses to Road Trip!

  1. Amazing! I would like to know what species the woodwork is. It is hard to tell from the pictures. The slate shingles on the roof are from Pennsylvania. I can tell from the picture.

    • The foyer is oak and walnut and I am pretty sure that the music room is cherry but all must have all came from the same mill because they are the exact same profile.

  2. Oh, wowser. Aaron, are you willing to give tours (for a fee of course) to share your beautiful house? I would make a trip from Olathe, KS in a heart beat to see that in person. I will not sleep for days while I deal with the envy I’m feeling right about now. Between you and Ross, I’m truly feeling pretty insignificant at this particular moment living in my 2015 new build with absolutely no character. What have I done????????

  3. Oh wow! Look at all the painting, on the outside of the house, he doesn’t have to do! Makes ya a little sick I’m sure but there is something about the Cross house I like much more. Maybe it’s the windows, the style, the character, the woodwork, not sure. There is always something better out there. Does he have ghosts? Kind a creepyyyyyyy.

    • I grew up in Webb City and always heard ghost stories about this house. I am unsure whether I believe in ghosts or not, but I sure don’t want to be convinced either. So far, so good in the house.

    • It’s a cupola and its glass and steel, there is a staircase in the attic where you can poke your head up and have a look around.

      • Wow! Sounds awesome πŸ™‚ One could plant some climbing plants up there in hanging baskets for a little jungle.

    • My grandmother was raised in the area and tells me that when it was pay day for the miners, the original owner, Joseph Wheeler Aylor, had armed guards on the roof. He seems to have been a paranoid, or at least extremely cautious, man. Aaron and I have found ourselves to be a bit obsessed with the history of the house!

      • It must be fascinating to live in a home where you can research the history. The only history I have for my home is a picture of a sold sign stuck in an empty lot and then a picture of a large hole in the ground the day before they poured the foundation (circa 2015). I doubt it’s anything future generations of my family will be overly excited about.

        I truly enjoy hearing about the facts both you and Ross discover about your beautiful homes. Thanks for sharing them.

        • I disagree, Randy. Your house’s history is a blank book, and you are at page one. The people who live there in 2118 would be thrilled to see the vacant lot, and any other pictures of the house through the years. I have a picture of my house taken in 1903 that I was very thankful to receive, and I only wish I had more. The house was in my family from around 1910 until 1970, I “bought it back” in 2001. Many original items from the house were stored at my grandpa’s cousin’s house, which was destroyed by a tornado in 1982. I’d give anything to have some of what was lost, even if it was a picture of something normally considered unremarkable. Start a digital scrapbook on your house, and pass it on someday to the next owners. They will thank you.

  4. If I remember correctly, when Laura Ingalls Widler’s family moved from Minnesota out to Dakota Territory (going by the novels here, not necessarily facts lol) Pa sold their farm for $300.

    Or maybe it was they bought the farm in Minnesota for $300… I can’t quite remember. But that number has stuck in my head since I was a kid because I remember thinking how crazy that sounds lol!

  5. Absolutely beautiful. Those transoms above the doors! I often wonder how much termite damage, foundation damage, mold, etc., accompanies these gorgeous homes that at some point the home just isn’t salvageable no matter how much love and money is put into them.

  6. I clicked the link mentioned above and I noticed the bedroom wall paper is almost, if not is, the same exact wallpaper in our 1890 Queen Anne. We get the keys Monday & I can post a picture. How bizarre would it be if they are identical! I’m curious if they are. Aaron… How can I send you this photo? Beautiful home!!

  7. I know it will come off as sacrilege to some, but the wallpaper is going, at least for most of the rooms. Tranquil paint colors will replace the dark and busy patterns. The dining room has already been stripped and is a beautiful Robin’s egg blue (thanks Breanna)! The pink mantle was removed to reveal a completely fake fireplace that had been installed in the 80’s or 90’s. I bought a gas fireplace to go in it’s place and the mantle will be swapped with the one salvaged from the 1907 Victorian that I lost to the 2011 tornado. Those that find themselves in my neck of the woods are always welcome to stop by.

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