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Saturday, Apr. 30, 2016

HIstoric House Tour 2011: Scholtens open Sixth Street home for tour

Monday, May 2, 2011

The home of Jerry and Audrey Scholten at 25 Sixth St. N.E. is one of four on the 12th annual Historic House Tour by the Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission. Tickets for the tour will be available Saturday at the Plymouth County Historical Museum.
The 12th annual Historic House Tour Saturday features four Le Mars houses, each with unique architectural features and historic touches.

The home of Jerry and Audrey Scholten at 25 Sixth St. N.E. was built in 1900 by the Edwin and Julia Dalton family, important English settlers who worked in the banking industry as well as being among the early movers and shakers of Le Mars.

The history of the house tells a story of a growing community.

Edwin Dalton came to Le Mars with his parents in 1873 and graduated from the local high school.

His father had purchased the stucco house to the east, the original Peter Gehlen house, in which the first Catholic mass was held in 1870.

The elder Dalton began in the coal business and then later owned the Plymouth County Bank, which evolved into the First National Bank.

His two sons followed him into the banking business and built the two houses to the west of their parents, including the home now owned by the Scholtens.

Edwin was listed as a Prairie Club member (high English society in Le Mars) in a 1906 folder. The Prairie Club quarters were above the Meis building at the northwest corner of First Street and First Avenue Northwest.

Edwin was active in sports, involved in numerous community activities and a charter member of the Chamber of Commerce.

The Daltons reared one son.

Only four families have resided in the house in its 110 years of existence.

In 1944 the house passed to John and Alice Alesch, founders of the Le Mars Mutual Insurance Agency. The Alesches raised three daughters in the house.

They later built the brick house to the southwest and sold the Dalton home to Paul and Patty Olson in 1965, who raised their daughter there.

Jerry and Audrey Scholten purchased the home 10 years ago.

Jerry sold New York Life Insurance before retiring; Audrey taught grade school and continues to be active in the community.

The Scholtens are now sharing the home with visiting daughters and grandchildren.

The have retained the home's character throughout various additions made in recent years.

A common drive runs between the three Dalton houses; the Scholtens added the curved drive.

The exterior features three styles of siding, from wide horizontal clapboard on the first floor, narrower clapboard on the second floor and shingling on the third floor.

Inside the house, oak flooring and woodwork is found throughout the house.

The current dining room has beveled glass French doors which lead to the side porch. From the porch, one can view the family room addition built by the Olsons in 1984.

A huge pocket door separates the dining room from the newly remodeled kitchen. Just inside are the bookcases with lower drawers that were originally on the parlor side. This small room held the Alesch's grand piano.

Beyond the pillars was the bedroom, added when Patty Olson became ill. The Scholtens found this area works better as a kitchen, with the dining room adjoining.

The family room features rough beams on the ceiling, paneled walls, grass-cloth walls and sponge-shadowed brick on the fireplace wall.

The Scholtens added deep windows to the south, cut out of the thick walls, leaving wide sills.

The house features a grand staircase with mission-style square newels and balusters.

The grand landing has massive windows which give light to the entire foyer.

The bedrooms upstairs have retained several original features which will be pointed out during the tour.

Audrey Scholten has restored an upstairs bathroom using subway tile, a refurbished pedestal sink and claw-foot tub.

The southeast bedroom has doors to the outside decking over the porch.

Above the bed in this room is part of an antique carousel with original paint.

Downstairs, Jerry Scholten has his office in the former dining room. In the room is a built-in china closet with beveled glass.

The original kitchen area is now the laundry room. Audrey retained the vintage cupboards, which were hung when the Alesch family owned the home.

The tour this Saturday is sponsored by the Le Mars Historic Preservation Commission teaming up this year with the Plymouth County Historical Museum.

For a $10 donation, visitors will have an opportunity to tour the four historic houses at their own pace. Tours start at the museum, where tickets will be available from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

To complement the tour this year will be a luncheon offered at the Le Mars Art Center from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Contact the Arts Center, 546-7476 to purchase a luncheon ticket. Walk-ins are welcome Saturday.

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