The first section of this house consisted of two parlors (now one room) and two upstairs bedrooms. The exterior walls are made of grout blocks. Marcellus Pedrick held the local franchise for grout making. Grout was a manufactured material, which could be formed into blocks or poured for a solid wall. It is a mystery why there are two front doors and how long they have both been there.
It is thought that the wooden two-story addition, which includes the dining room, kitchen and two back bedrooms upstairs, was constructed at the time the house was built or shortly thereafter. The one story wooden wraparound, which houses the summer kitchen, the “Store” with closet beyond it, the bathroom, sewing room, and bedroom was added later.
Hollis Atkins, who ran a funeral home and furniture business in Ripon, lived in the house from 1903 to 1918 with his family. Atkins improved the house by adding electricity, a water system and hot water furnace, hardwood floors, the red brick fireplace, and made the two front rooms into one parlor.
Louisa La Belle (always called “Belle”) Lawson, who never married, moved into the house in 1919 and lived here until she died in 1973. Belle bequeathed the house to the Ripon Historical Society in her will. Items belonging to her that are still in the house today include a doll buggy from her childhood, her father’s wicker rocker, and a mantel clock. Most of the other furnishings have been acquired and supplied by the Historical Society. They represent the various eras through which the house has stood.
(Please click on thumbnails for a larger version of each picture)