Historic Marshalltown mansion looking for love

TR Photo by Trevor Babcock — The mansion at 607 West Main Street in Marshalltown as it stands today.

A video making the rounds on social media is drawing attention to one of Marshalltown’s oldest and most eclectic houses.

The 607 West Main Street mansion finished construction in 1901, complete with three floors, 16 rooms, a basement and attic. Now the house is abandoned, suffering from structural and settling issues along with exterior damage from the 2018 tornado and 2020 derecho.

A couple who run a vlog channel titled “Reality Daydream” where they document the renovation of their own historic farmhouse made a video tour of the main street house. Restoring the house they said would require lifting it to fix the foundation issues, then going through the house floor by floor to fix the settling issues.

Comments on the video are filled with love and admiration for the house, and wishes to see it restored.

Owner of The 918 bar in Marshalltown Bob “Jake” Jacobson, whose grandmother Gaynelle Jacbson was the owner of the house from 1949 to 2003, said he has plenty of memories of the house while growing up.

CONTRIBUTED PHOTO — Nick and Beth of YouTube channel “Reality Daydream” tour the abandoned Marshalltown mansion at 607 West Main Street.

“There were always places to hang out and places to hide with all my cousins and brothers and sisters. We would have our Christmases and other stuff held in there, all the family would get together and share a special day,” Jacobson said. “It was just a fun place to raise a family in and it was a pretty special place to everybody.”

His grandmother originally wanted him to have the house after she passed, but he felt he wouldn’t live long enough or have enough money to restore it to its original form.

“I was hoping someone else would buy it and try to restore it to its original condition, as close as they could get it anyway,” Jacobson said. “I would hate to see something like that torn down. It’s been a part of Marshalltown for over a hundred years now. It’s a piece of Marshalltown history”

He offered to anyone looking to fix up the house to help with input on how it looked originally and to help with any potential fundraising efforts toward restoring it.

The house was originally built by Newton Carmean the then president and treasure of the Marshalltown Buggy Company who bought the property in 1900. Carmean enlisted architects and builders from Chicago to design and construct the house. The houses’ outside and interior designs feature inspiration from the origins of Colonial Revival, Queen Anne, Norman French and the Victorian Era.

Contributed Photo — The mansion at 607 West Main Street photographed in the early 1900s soon after it was first built.

The current owner of the house is Todd Hollingsworth, who was billed the house on contract in 2019 from previous owners Patrick and Sharon McGill.


Contact Trevor Babcock at 641-753-6611 or babcock@timesrepublican.com.


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