Havres Historic Homes
By Robert Lucke
Jonathon Richter, Suzanne Tilleman, their daughter Sophia, and their Irish wolfhound Grace live in an English cottage style home at 503 Second Ave.
Like so many owners of this magnificent house, it was love at first sight for this family, who bought it in May of 2000.
"It has this warm and happy feeling," said Tilleman.
"I feel like it is a classic kind of Norman Rockwell feeling house," added Richter. "We just love it. We put new paper on the walls of the second floor sun porch but other than that we really just live in it. The former owner (Arlene Munson Rice) had a really nice style."
Built about 1903, the house has gone through a major transformation. Early in its life it was a Victorian style house with an open front porch running across the front of it, much like many in that part of town.
By 1915 the house was owned by Gerald and Pearl Casman. They were from England and in 1928 had a Havre contractor redo the house to resemble an English cottage complete with thatched roof and half timbering. Pearl Casman was an award-winning gardener and made sure the house had numerous multi-paned windows and bay windows so the extensive gardens could be viewed easily from inside the house.
When Frances and Laened Black bought the house in 1946, they added the expansive multi-paned windows on either side of the fireplace chimney so their Pekinese dogs could see outside.
These days Pearl Casman would be very happy because the present owners are going to start work to make the back yard into an English garden. They want to build a brick courtyard between the house and the next door house as well.
The interior of the house on the first floor contains a large vestibule, dining room, kitchen, den, bath and living room, with a sweeping staircase to the second floor.
The second floor contains two large bedrooms, a bathroom and a huge sunporch that runs the entire length of the eastern facade of the house.
In the basement is an office, bedroom and laundry room.
Residing in this house is a new experience in Havre living for Richter and Tilleman. Both are from Havre but neither had lived in Havre's historic district before now. They like it.
"We can walk to work from here and it is just a few blocks to the post office," Tilleman said.
"Yes, and it is nice to be down in the valley instead of on the wind-swept prairie," Richter added.
Chalk these young owners up as people like so many before them, who have hopelessly succumbed to the charm and warmth of the house. Richter put
"It is nice to see something wonderful and try to make it perfect."