A Restoration of 1801
Every once in awhile I will find something that catches my eye that draws me in to it’s possibilities and I can’t seem to shake it. One of those places being a tiny 1 bedroom, guest house to a large estate on the historic street of Broadway in Shawnee, Ok.
In 2018, I owned a home decor shop downtown. In route to work I would pass this cottage on the regular. At the time, I was wanting to start something new, but not too overwhelming, and the idea of a small Air BnB came to mind. I knew just the house, the tiny cottage I pass daily. I remember looking up the owner on the county accessor and writing a letter about my interest in the house and dropped it in her mailbox. I had envisioned the new look and even thought to name the place.
Time went on and no response from the letter, so I decided to go back. She welcomed me at her door step this time, but she told me the property was not for sale and wouldn’t be any time soon. The house belonged to the estate and it would never be separated. Disappointed, I considered it as a pipe dream.
Later that Summer, I had stopped by the Queen Ann Farmhouse that sat next door to the small house for an estate sale, hoping to see inside. The house stood stately in stature and drew the town inside for all to see. And even though I do admit, that house had a presence that seemed to still the hands of time, and a front porch swing that I sat on for an hour dreaming of the history it held, I was there to see something more realistic, something I felt more qualified to dream for… the guest house. But was once again reassured, it is not for sale.
Fast forward to 2023, Dylan and I were flipping a house across the street from that estate. Spending a lot of our time there, we began to talk about that place and how pretty it could be. When we would walk by I would admire the roses climbing the stone wall that surrounded the property, but Dylan was developing a bigger dream. I knew what he was thinking, but I couldn’t even utter the words out loud. No way would I take on something like that. Its dilapidating state and size alone was daunting to me. Much bigger than I felt capable of. Yet every time, Dylan would reassure me that “one day” that would be us tackling something of that significance, which I would quietly think, maybe so, but not today.
A few weeks later, I received a message in my inbox, the owner of 1801 had asked for me and my family to meet up and she would show us around. I was excited to show my family the house that I had once previously seen. But the meeting came as a surprise when it became an invitation to purchase not just the little guest house like I had dreamed of years ago, but the entire estate. She had been watching us from afar all Summer and felt we were the family she had been waiting on all these years to pass the home along. Honored for sure, but I didn’t see realistically how this could actually happen. This is what dreams are made of, not reality for Dylan and I. I told her I would need to pray on it and we would get back with her. I remember telling God this is too big for me and if he was leading us here, he was going to have to work a few miracles, because he knew good and well we couldn’t. And with that, here we are standing on something so big and significant, only he could have brought us to these porch steps.
Although this is unlike anything we have ever done before, I know this was held for us, and this story is just beginning to unfold, far beyond the beauty of its structure.
Because we have stood in this place of whole hearted trust before, we know how to remain faithful. We know that much more is being transformed through this than a 125 year old house. In every risk, there is a reward that can only be found in the willingness to take it, and we can’t wait to see what’s on the other side. Join along side us for the journey and restoration of 1801