Post 4: Floor Plans

In my spare time I drew up the existing plans of the house and what we call these rooms. The previous owners did use a few of these rooms differently. I always find how people use spaces depending on what they are needing. I can only imagine what the Mertes-Schaefer Family used these rooms as. Especially as we are first owners not to have kids currently. (3 out of 4 of the previous families had eight kids with one working shower)….

The Library as we use it was a previous office for the Jaggers. But when the house was built this room could have been many things. A Study/Library, a second parlor, A Music Room , A sewing room (possible with seven daughters at the turn of the century) , A smoking room (doubtful) or a makeshift Bedroom for when Johann Mertes’ father lived with them at the end of his life. These sorts of rooms were based off of what the family needed.

The bathroom entry of the dinning room is original but the bathroom was gutted probably numerous times so I have no clue what the space was used for in 1893.

The enclosed porch was probably open when the house was built in 1898. This is staying put because Sara likes using it in the spring and fall.

The kitchen wing is an addition. I believe it was added in the 1960s after the old kitchen was torn down. Edit: The kitchen is partially original. It has been expanded through the years.

The Second Floor has had a lot of wear and tear over the years. I am missing an original door to the traveler’s bedroom. No door hardware on the dressing room. Every room has a different type of lock. Also the previous owners put an engineered wood floor over the original hardwoods. I am trying really hard not to tear this up and hope that the original floors can be refinished but rule #7 is at play here. Someone also painted all the beautiful Victorian woodwork in the bedrooms….not good.

Originally the Dressing Room was a bedroom for the Jagger’s sons but we don’t need another bedroom so I’m turning into a walk in closet and place to get ready. It is also so narrow, the room is 13′ x 8’1″. You can only fit a twin in here.

I want to mention that there are 4 different types of Victorian baseboards, 3 types of door moldings, and 2 types of window moldings. In addition to this we also have chair rail and several scraps of moldings used in closets. I honestly think Johann Mertes used left over trim from other houses he built to finish the upstairs.

Photo tour coming soon.

6 thoughts on “Post 4: Floor Plans

  1. If you want I can ask my mom what the rooms were used for when she was growing up.
    I know in the kitchen where it is now an ‘eat in area’ that was Rita’s laundry room.
    The ‘dressing room’ was my Uncle Rich’s bedroom. I believe that was always his room up until the house was sold in 1999.

    And it breaks my heart that they put in engineered hardwood over the wood upstairs. They were worn but still beautiful.
    I can’t wait to see this house restored!
    I’m sure you know but the ‘travelers bedroom’ and ‘lavender bedroom’ didn’t have closets until the Smiths bought the home.


  2. I figured in 1999 a lot of changes were made based off of permits, electrical work, and yes the closets. Nice to know about the eat in area being the laundry. The previous owners installed the new machines in the basement. They had 2 dryers and 2 washers to keep up with their kids.

    Yes please ask your mom what some of these rooms were and if you have any photos. I eventually want to document the house to get it on the McHenry County Historical Society’s registry and every little bit helps.

    I figured there was hardwood under there. It makes no sense because they refinished the originals in the rest of the house and went over these.


  3. I will ask my mom and have her ask my aunts for pictures as well.
    I may have some before it was sold to the Smiths but they won’t be nearly as old as some my mom and aunts may have.

    The downstairs was all carpeted and the upstairs wasn’t. Wouldn’t it have been easier to finish the upstairs floors vs downstairs?


  4. You would think so Ashley but the carpet probably protected the hardwood floor and when they ripped it up they decided to refinish the original hardwoods. This could have been the Smith’s or the Jaggers. The Upstairs floors was the Jaggers and who knows why they did it. It’s one of the reasons I’m scared to pull up the floor. What if there was a leak or if the floors are in horrible shape. But one day it will happen.


  5. My mom just reminded me that my grandma had painted the hardwood floors upstairs. I do remember them being a blue color.

    She also said the Smiths removed 5 layers of wallpaper.


  6. Ashley that was very common to do. Especially if they were not made of nice woods. Bedrooms were considered to be utilitarian and painting floors was cheap and easy. I did find some wallpaper upstairs. It was tan with a gold swag and rose pattern I think. It was very small. I think your uncle Richards room had wallpaper but it was painted over


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