When Ron and Kris LaRock moved to Shenandoah in September 2000 with their children, they lived in a small yet cozy home on W. Summit Avenue.
It was nine years later when the couple, who often enjoy motorcycle rides, rode by a stunning home at 200 S. Center St.
“We noticed there was a For Sale sign in some really tall grass. We decided right then and there to call the realtor to see if we could get inside to see it,” Kris recalled. “That was on a Tuesday and on Wednesday, we toured the home and fell in love. On Thursday, we put in an offer, which was promptly rejected by the sellers.”
Kris said the rejection didn’t bother them because it wasn’t even close to the list price and they already had a home that was working well for them at the time. The next day, Saturday, the realtor called us first thing in the morning to let us know that the seller had reconsidered and accepted our offer. We couldn’t believe it. I think we were in shock for the first few days because we weren’t looking for a different house. Just like that, we had the house we always wanted,” Kris said. “This home is a blessing from God and we have enjoyed it from day one.”
The home is beautiful and majestic upon approach. Entering a screened-in porch, it is instantly welcoming. The main floor includes kitchen with good-sized pantry, kitchen nook, dining room, living room with a fire place, TV room, bathroom and laundry/utility room.
The caramel colored woodwork has been well taken care of and is in exquisite condition. The LaRocks chose to decorate the home with vintage furniture, window coverings and home decor.
There is a small doorway between the living room and TV room downstairs, Kris said, adding that at one point in time it was one large, open room.
Sturdy, oddly-dimensioned pocket doors separate rooms and go well with the single and double French doors, five breathtaking stained glass windows and original chandeliers.
“From the time we first saw our home, we always considered it to be our dream home because we liked the way it looked and the size of it.”
Ron added that having a large home is particularly nice when they have family over.
“You wouldn’t think we’d be able to fill us a house this big, but we can when everyone is here,” he said. “The only issue we have is not enough parking.”
A remarkably large oak staircase leads upstairs where one is met halfway by a landing, complete with a bay window and one of the stained glass windows.
Upstairs there are four bedrooms, a second living room with a fireplace, and a bathroom.
“The original home had a big open porch that started on the north side of the house and wrapped all the way around the east side ending at the turret. At some point, someone removed the east side of the open porch and enclosed the north side and a portion of the east side,” Kris explained. “Upstairs on the north side, there used to be a screened in porch and someone enclosed that to make a big walk-in closet off the east bedroom.”
At times, Kris said it would be nice to still have the second screened-in porch available.
“I’m sure it was used as a cool place to sleep during the summer,” she said.
LaRock’s home has always been maintained by the previous owners. However, that doesn’t mean they haven’t updated or made some changes over the past nine years.
“We painted what we call our TV room, the dining room, our bedroom and one other bedroom before we moved in, which was the first week of August, 2009. Over the next few years, we painted three more bedrooms, and ripped up carpet in one of them and restored the hardwood floors in two of them.”
She added they took a break of roughly two and a half years from remodeling to just finish updating the paint, mostly soft hues of blue. She said they still need to update the paint in the nook, kitchen and back entry of the home, as well as their bedroom. Of the two original floors they have restored, there are three remaining, Kris said.
“As you know, there’s always something to do when you own a home. We are scheduled for a new roof this spring and we want to paint the outside with a yet to be determined color,” said Kris. “We also would like to finish the picket fence and get some grass to grow on the north side of the home.”
The home, sometimes referred to as the Tjards house, was built in the early beginnings of Shenandoah.
David S. Lake, who was originally from New Hampshire, moved from Illinois to Shenandoah in 1870 and established Lake Nursery.
On Jan. 23, 1872, he married Hannah O’Day of Shenandoah and they had two sons, A.F. and R.S. Lake and one daughter, Clara B. who carried on the family business.
D.S. Lake purchased our home in November 1899, four years after it was built. When he died in February 1922, the property remained in the Lake family until it was purchased by Paul and Doris Welty in 1948.
When Paul Welty died, his wife Doris sold the property to Kenneth and Blanche Sand in June, 1968. The Sands sold the property to Dean and Jean Tjards in July 1972 and they sold the hold to Michael Coon in October 1992.
Charles and Donna Davis purchased the home from Coon in May, 1994, with Donna selling the home to David and Carole Anderson in August 1995 after the death of her husband.
The Anderson’s sold it to Gregory Jacola in February 1999, followed by Dr. Timothy and Lisa Fursa buying it in August 2000. It was then sold to LaRocks nine years later.
“With four daughters and their growing families, including six grandchildren and two granddogs, we fill our home up easily at family gatherings such as Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Kris said. “It’s nice to be able to have these family get-togethers here, as it’s somewhat the role of the grandparents to host them. I remember going to my grandparents’ home and when my kids were little, to my parent’s home; now it is our turn.”