Tramain and Lorna Watkins have lived at 1457 Ottawa Ave., Ottawa, for three years. The work they — and several previous owners — have done to the 99-year-old, 12-room home built in 1920 has modernized the rooms, but not to the point where its history has vanished.
“We moved here from Seattle,” Lorna said. “When we started looking for a home, we saw this house online. It had been vacant for about a year and when we actually saw it, it looked unloved to us. So that inspired us to decorate to emphasize its original beauty.”
“The hardwood floors are original,” Tramain said. “There are no sub-floors. And how many homes have you seen where the original woodwork hasn't been painted over? The doors, base molding and almost everything else has the original beautiful woodwork.”
An updated large kitchen, with an eating area table-space, features a tile back splash, newer wood cabinetry and a portable island. New appliances include oven/range, dishwasher and refrigerator. Part of the kitchen's charm is an indoor charcoal grill built into the wall.
The living room has an updated wood-burning fireplace, and a main floor office includes built-in bookshelves.
The home has five bedrooms, two on the main floor. The second-level master bedroom features a large sitting area, see-through fireplace and master bath with a corner shower.
The lower level has a full, mostly finished, basement with a second full kitchen, two bedrooms, recreation room and laundry/bath combination.
The brick home, with a wrought-iron fence and wraparound front porch, features glazed brick.
“That's very important,” Tramain said. “Our home will be 100 years old next year and yet the brick is still in excellent condition.”
A private backyard setting features a 4-foot-deep, in-ground pool with a special stainless steel liner.
“We love our pool,” Lorna said. “We landscaped the backyard, adding additional patio space. It's a wonderful place to entertain our friends or just have a quiet dinner outside.”
What's the best part about living in the home?
“Living on Ottawa Avenue, a beautiful tree-lined street, is wonderful,” Lorna said. “The neighbors are very welcoming. We've been part of neighborhood barbecues and the street has a lot of community activity like impromptu tractor parades. We even get to watch and enjoy the runners during summer marathons.”
Because Tramain has a job that takes him all over the country, the family has lived in several larger cities like Jacksonville, Fla. and Seattle, Wash.
“One of the best discoveries when we moved here was that Ottawa makes sure the streets are plowed,” Lorna said with a laugh. “In Seattle, the city doesn't really plow. It was considered our problem. When winter arrived here, we were definitely worried, especially driving in the snow. So, you can imagine our surprise when we found out Ottawa actually plows and salts the streets.”
The Watkins said there were many positives to living in "the big cities" but found just as many in a smaller city like Ottawa.
“Ottawa is a pretty little city and we've met some great people here,” Tramain said. “There's no doubt that we will miss it. But the home will be a great place for any family, especially with the yard/pool setting. I hope whoever owns this home will love living here as much as we have.”
• THE FIVE-BEDROOM HOME at 1457 Ottawa Ave., Ottawa, is priced at $183,500. The home is listed by Broker/Realtor George Shanley, Coldwell Banker, The Real Estate Group. Call Shanley at 815-228-1859 for more information.