Clinton History Club will tour Curtis Mansion

The George M. Curtis Home, pictured in the early 1900s, is owned by the Clinton Women's Club. Photo courtesy of Bill Taplin

CLINTON — The Clinton History Club will meet at the George M. Curtis Mansion at 9 a.m. July 18. The home is located at 420 Fifth Ave. South, Clinton. The home was built in 1883.

The Clinton Women’s Club purchased the home in 1925 and has maintained the building for the past 94 years. The Curtis Mansion is a well-known historic property in Clinton and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on Oct. 1, 1979.

George and Charles Curtis arrived in Clinton around 1867. The Curtis brothers along with their uncle, Judson E. Carpenter, soon opened a small lumber-planing mill. The business quickly grew into a conglomerate of associated sash, door, and millwork companies.

The Curtis Companies expanded to Wausau, Wisconsin; Lincoln, Nebraska; Chicago; Minneapolis; and Oklahoma City, with the home base headquarters in Clinton. The rest became local history. As their lumber business prospered and grew, they soon joined the ranks of other Clinton lumber barons such as Chancy Lamb, W.J. Young, and Martin Disbrow.

In the 1880s, many of the elite Clinton homes were built along Fifth and Seventh avenues south, near the downtown business district. Most of these homes are gone today. The George M. Curtis home is noted as a good example of a Victorian “country house.”

The History Club members look forward to exploring this historic 2-½ story home. Some notable exterior features of the “Country House Form” include a large high-hipped roof, sharp gables, various shaped dormers, large chimneys and over-hanging upper floors.

The interior features more than 40 stained-glass windows, carved banisters, massive ornate wood trim fireplaces, high ceilings and large doors, and was mostly built by local craftsmen.

Members are encouraged on Thursday to bring any George M. Curtis related photos, newspaper stories, or Curtis Company memorabilia to share.

On Aug. 15, the History Club will be meeting at Clinton's Eagle Point Lodge around 10 a.m. to welcome the runners from the “Great River Run Relay for Voices.” This will be a great opportunity for History Club members to share with the visitors and runners some historic photos and memorabilia of the community.

For more information on the History Club or to schedule a presentation, contact Gregg Obren at Gobren74@live.com or (563) 503-8345. Contact John Rowland at jrow242@gmail.com or (563) 593-1101. The public and new members are always welcome to attend meetings.