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Saturday, May 28, 2016

History: Harker House Reopens for the Season

Monday, June 5, 2006

On the corner of Lake Avenue and Third Street sits a landmark that many Storm Lakers may not fully appreciate.

The Harker House stands on the corner as a mark against time, opening during the summers as a museum to honor a way of life long since past.

The Harker House will once again open it's doors for the summer during June, July and August on Saturdays and Sundays, with tours at 2 and 3 p.m.

For the cost of $3, people visiting the house will be exposed to the historical significance of the site but also see the craftsmanship in the home and many unusual pieces that are in it.

The 1875 French Mansard Cottage Home was built with some of the first bricks manufactured in Storm Lake, at a time when the view was wide open to the lake. The construction receipt, for $500, still exists. The Harker family, children and grandchildren of the pioneer banker James Harker, resided there until 1981.

The house went through a restoration almost a century after it was built, by Nora Marie Harker Marshall. Much of the original furniture and collections are present in the house. Artwork, clothing, a music machine, seldom-seen furnishings and other pieces can be seen in the house today.

"Unlike other famous estates, like the Dodge or Washington homes, were the pieces are brought in to match the times, all of these pieces where collected by the Harker Family," volunteer Mary Peterson explained about the collections.

The Harker House was as luxurious as Storm Lake could be in the rugged 1870s.

Everyone is welcome to take the tour, and those who may be interested in becoming guides may call (712) 732-3267.