Heartland History 101: Captain Harris House

Incorrectly known to some as the Civil War House of Kirksville, the Captain Thomas C. Harris House was modeled after the country villas of northern Italy.

It wasn't built before the Civil War and it doesn't have a fireplace, two things that are usually news items to most people that walk in here, said Owner Daryl Shafer.

Built in 1875 by its namesake, the Harris House was later owned by the Parrish family for many years.

The house has survived for so long because its owners took pride in preserving the property.

About four distinct families, you could say. I suppose since 1875, that's not been gone through a lot of hands, said Shafer.

But there was a lapse in ownership where the house fell into neglect.

Twenty-five years, and it's because of Daryl, because of his interest in this, we've made it come alive, said Owner Maxine Shafer.

The Shafers enjoy hosting special groups and organizations in the historic home, as well as the general public on occasion.

The house is fairly comfortable. It's laid out very different from modern homes. It has I believe 3100 square feet, said Daryl Shafer.

It's been updated with modern conveniences, but still has many of its original features.

All of the good things of 19th century living that people like to think about make it seem comfortable, attractive, and yet welcoming to guests, said Daryl Shafer.

Its homey features and cozy characteristics make the place a pretty nice place to hang your hat at the end of the day.

I never did think I TMd get to live in a mansion, said Maxine Shafer.