It took Dustin Long and his father, Jim, nearly a year to complete a renovation of a historic home at 929 W. High St., in which the father-son duo earned the May 2018 Golden Hammer Award from the Historic City of Jefferson. However, they decided they didn't know if they were going to tackle a project like that again.
After the Golden Hammer Award ceremony at the West High Street home last May, Laura Ward, Historic City of Jefferson Golden Hammer Award committee chair, mentioned another historic house in foreclosure on West Broadway.
"Two weeks later, we decided to do it," Long, owner of Long Last Remodeling in Holts Summit, said with a laugh. "The house on West High Street was very labor intensive; it truly was a labor of love. Financially, we were able to do the Broadway house and it would be an easier project. We decided to go for it."
Long, his wife, Mandi, and Jim were able to complete the 912 Broadway St. historic home renovation by early February and earned a second Golden Hammer Award for May 2019 a year later.
"They once again did a beautiful job renovating this home, updating the kitchen and bathrooms, but staying true to the home's architectural character by stripping paint from doors and hardware, and refinishing the original hardwood floors," Ward said. "We owe them a lot for their continued hard work and dedication to historic preservation and our city's old neighborhoods."
The Golden Hammer Award recognizes individuals in Jefferson City who are restoring historic structures at least 50 years old, preserving them for years to come and showing the pride the community has for its past. And the home on 912 Broadway has a rich history.
Around 1900, Henry Fischer bought part of outlot one from the Goeffert family and built a house at 912 Broadway, according to historic information from Ward. Fischer, from Waterloo, Illinois, and Elizabeth Fritz, from St. Louis, married in 1897 in Fulton. In 1900, 30-year-old Henry was listed as a laborer in the U.S. Census, and his 27-year-old wife, Lizzie, were living close by at 811 Broadway. The couple had two children at this point — 1-year-old Martin and 3-month-old Andrew — and were living at 912 Broadway by 1904, the historic information said. They lived in the house for 50 years, raising seven children.
Henry held different jobs through the years including a mechanic with the railroad, a laborer in a saddle tree factory, and a laborer at odd jobs and for Paul J. Schultz. Their children also had different jobs including Martin as a carpenter, Andrew as a cutter in a shoe factory, Albert as an assembler at a shoe factory, Marie as a binder at a printing company and Viola as a stitcher at a show factory, the historic information said.
In 1940, Henry and Lizzie also had grandchildren living with them as well as their daughter Viola and son Charles. About nine years later, on June 10, 1949, Henry and Lizzie sold the property to Henry and Mildred Meisel and moved to St. Louis to live with their daughter Viola and her husband, James Parrish.
Henry Meisel, born in 1912 near Osage Bend, married Mildred Opel on June 9, 1940, in California, Missouri, and the couple had three children, Larry, James and Leroy. Henry Meisel was a carpenter for more than 30 years, first working with Livingston Construction Company and then owning and operating Henry Meisel Construction Company until his retirement in 1974. According to Ward's historic information, he was also a charter member of Faith Lutheran Church, where he served on numerous boards and committees including church properties and was a member of the Lutheran Laymen's League, a Braille worker and delivered Meals on Wheels. In 1971, Henry was on a jury that found state Treasurer William Robinson innocent of profiting from use of state funds, the information said.
On July 6, 2004, Henry and Mildred's son Larry sold 912 Broadway to Diana Nichols. From 1902-2004, more than a 100 years, only two families owned and occupied this house, the information stated. Now, Dustin and Mandi Long plan to sell it so another family can enjoy both its historic charm and renovated spaces.
The two-story house was 1,800 square feet when the Long family first bought it. Long said it had three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms and an unfinished attic space.
"We added another 300 square feet, making it now a four-bedroom, two and a half bath, 2,100-square-foot home," he said. "The house also had a large attic space, so we finished that out and built a closet."
Long said they also put a new roof on the home, installed a new HVAC system and added heating and cooling to the upstairs, and brought in new countertops, a new faucet and sink, and appliances to the kitchen. They renovated the downstairs bathroom, installing a new shower, and refurbished five original doors.
"Each door had probably six to eight layers of paint. Between my dad, my wife and me we put in about 100 hours of stripping all the paint off, sanding them and staining them, bringing the wood doors back to their more original state," Long said. "I was kicking myself saying 'Why didn't you just paint this?' But in the end, I was very happy with it."
The Long family was also restored the original doorknobs and original hardwood floors throughout the entire house.
"Anything that had that was original, we saved and highlighted," he said. "The wood floors are one of my favorite parts of the house."
Another one of Long's most enjoyable parts of the 912 Broadway house renovation is working on the restoration with his entire family. Dustin's father was living in the house when he came to help with the renovation, so they were able to spend a few weekends there.
"When we got that big snow this winter, we got snowed in. We made snow forts and the family really enjoyed that time," Long said. "With the High Street house, it was such an in-depth renovation and the kids couldn't be there. With this house they could spend more time and help out."
Long was very happy his two stepsons jumped right in to help out quite a bit during the Broadway home renovation process.
"I enjoyed teaching them some of the things I know so they can make a little money and save money in the future," he added.
Earning the Golden Hammer Award two years in a row was a pleasant surprise for the Long family.
"We are absolutely honored. It is cool to be recognized for that and knowing we are helping fix older homes in Jefferson City," he said. "We have met a lot of good people at the Historic City of Jefferson. We feel very fortunate. What they do and what they are doing is important."
Dustin and Mandi are also getting ready to begin the renovation of 608 E. State St., the first property in the East Capitol Avenues Urban Renewal Area. Long said they are now applying for state and federal tax credits and finalizing the details and approvals before moving forward with renovations. Long said they plan to turn it into a short-term rental Airbnb.
"We are excited about that property, and we are not going to fix it and flip it. We saw it as an opportunity to be a part of that area," he said. "We are looking forward to having a business that and we'll see what other opportunities come up."