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516 Orleans Avenue, Keokuk

A local man purchased the home at 516 Orleans Avenue for fifty dollars in 2020 and started an extensive renovation. On Oct. 30, he was awarded a Best of Keokuk Award by the Keokuk Area Chamber of Commerce (KACC) for his exterior renovation of the home.

Todd Marshall of Keokuk plans to move into the home believed to have been built in 1851 when the interior is finished in the Summer of 2024. When Marshall took over the home in 2020, it had sat empty for about eight years and needed substantial foundation repairs, as well as the roof, windows, and exterior siding replaced. Also, spray foam insulation has been blown in and the electricity and plumbing have all been completely replaced.

What is left to complete is the interior, including drywall installed in each room, replacement of some of the flooring, although the original wood floors are salvageable in at least two of the rooms, installing all of the fixtures and cabinets, and moving in.

Marshall has had help from his friends on a majority of the project and involved professionals on some of the larger aspects of the home’s needs. Art Newlon is one of his friends who has helped often and he has become very interested in the home’s history. Newlon credits the Keokuk Public Library for helping him in his quest to find out more about the home. Newlon said the home, believed to have been built by Willaim and Maggie Haydon who purchased the lots in 1852 for $200, previously sat facing Fifth Street at 624 N. Fifth when the original two-room structure, which has a frame that was built similarly to a log cabin, was moved to the current location some time between 1900 and 1902, just before the current home was built in 1903 on the corner of Fifth and Oreans. Some of Newlon’s research also points to an original location on the south side of town prior to the Fifth Street facing lot.

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