Decked Out for Victorian Christmas

Hayden House Restored to Original Splendor

The original Hayden House in St. Paul was built in 1900. For its time, the house was a grand structure, with large rooms and hallways, bay windows and iron work characteristic of the Victorian period. The original owner, James Rapier (J.R.) Hayden was born in 1849 in St. Paul. He graduated from Christian Brothers College and married Rosa Bowles, who inherited a 400-acre farm from her grandfather, Walter Bowles.

The couple intended to live as farmers and J.R. built a splendid oak barn on the property. But, due to health issues, they sold the farm to the Dyer family and purchased 15 acres of land and a general store in the town of St. Paul in 1881.  J.R. built a beautiful house for his growing family on the new property. This is the house that is still there today, referred to as the Hayden House.

The house was almost lost in a fire at one point, but the family fought hard and carried buckets of water from a nearby cistern, leaving only damage to the back single-story lean-to. After the repairs, the house served the family well until J.R. died in 1934.

Through the years, the house transitioned into apartments for some years, but has now been restored back to a single-family home by Mike and Rachael Siegler, who bought the Hayden House in 2016 and have been working on restoring the home back to its grand Victorian style.

They installed a new red metal roof, siding, storm windows and shutters and have built a barn in the back. The kitchen has been remodeled, floors refinished and the interior has been beautifully appointed in the Victorian style.

The Sieglers have always loved antiques and find the history of items and properties fascinating. They say the restoration of this home has been an enjoyable journey and they hope it can continue to inspire and be cared for by generations to come.

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