201 E Main St, Garden Grove, IA, 50103
$89,900 ~ Pending ~ Off Market
The gorgeous Classical Revival house was built for James Johnson McClung (1859-1949) and his wife Sarah J. Burns McClung (1859-1932). They lived here with their daughters, Mabel and Nadine Gladys.
According to Wikipedia, this gorgeous fixer upper, the J.J. McClung House, “is a historic structure located in Garden Grove, Iowa, United States. A native of Ohio, James Johnson McClung moved to Garden Grove in 1879. He owned and operated a livery and dray business, where he carried the mail from the train to the post office for 53 years. With the advent of the automobile, he built the first service station in Decatur County in 1925. The house was built from 1908-1909 by Wiley Sells of Leon, Iowa and remained in the McClung family for 80 years. It was added to the in 1990.”
The McClung house is a 2½-story, frame structure. Lamoni, Iowa, architect Charles F. Church designed the house in a combination of the Neoclassical and Colonial Revival styles. The Neoclassical Revival elements include full height entry porch that is supported by paired fluted columns in the Corinthian order. They support a plain entablature and triangular pediment. Other Neoclassical elements include the second story porch treatment, architrave window trim, and fluted pilaster corner boards. The Colonial Revival elements are found in the Palladian windows located in the gable ends, the lunette in the porch pediment, and the scalloped brackets under the eaves.”
When I Google Mapped the town (pop 207), I found a whole bunch of abandoned pioneer homes on Main Street, which is the old Mormon Trail. Apparently, Brigham Young founded Garden Grove as a stopover for the Saints as they traveled west.
Downtown Garden Grove, located about 60 miles from Des moines, looks sad with not more than a Post Office, Mormon Trail Club and Mormon Trail School, but perhaps (after COVID) this fixer upper could become a wedding venue or bed & breakfast. A buyer could always reopen the Green Gables Gift Shop, too (it was JJ McClung’s original filling station). A Halloween haunted house is already in town, so the population probably couldn’t support two.
Here is the original OHU50K listing. I also have included way more detailed photos from the original listing near the bottom of the page, as well as a newspaper article featuring McClung’s back story from oats to oil.
REALTOR COMMENTS ~ Fixer Upper
Experience a rare opportunity to own a grand home, listed on the National Register of Historic Places: the J.J. McClung manor. A stunning example of early 20th century Classical Revival style, this home was built for J.J. McClung between the years of 1908-1909 in Garden Grove, IA.
It features 6 bedrooms, 1.5 baths, partially finished basement and is situated on approximately 0.7 Ac. Consider some of the amazing features of the property: original brass gas ceiling fixtures, grand Corinthian columns, hand painted Victorian era ceiling and wall stenciling, an ornate Oak fireplace mantle, hardwood floors throughout the home, a wide oak stairway that bridges the main floor reception area to the second-floor large central hall and a separate butler’s staircase to the kitchen.
Situated along the historic route of the original Mormon Trail, it would make a wonderful bed and breakfast or other tourist destination. Come see this amazing property today and prepare to add to its storied history.
Photos from September 29, 2019 OHU50K listing.
Read McLung’s story here.