This House Tells a Story: Goodwin House
The home at 604 N. Seventh Street has been one of Grand Junction’s must-see homes since it was first built in 1907.
With maids’ quarters in the attic, a butler’s pantry next to the dining room and an elaborate whistle-intercom for calling servants to the private quarters, the home had all the latest innovations of an upper-class residence when banker Vernon Talbert built it.
“It was high-tech, let me tell you,” says current owner Sherri DeRose, who is the fourth owner of the home, known as the Goodwin House.
Some of the 1907 features, like the basement kitchen, where servants could prepare food unseen, have long since vanished. Other turn-of-the-century innovations, like the private water closets in two of the upstairs bedrooms, remain.
Vernon Talbert died in 1917, and the bank rented out the gracious home as a boarding house for five years before Harry Goodwin purchased it in 1922. Goodwin was a partner in the Latimer-Goodwin Chemical Company and was one of the early movers and shakers in the Grand Junction community. He and his wife, Mary Guthrie Goodwin, believed in giving back to the community, donating Asian art they’d collected to the Denver Art Museum, as well as contributing to St. Mary’s and Mesa State College through the Goodwin Foundation.
Although the Goodwins were childless, when Mary suffered a stroke in the 1950s and Harry needed help to care for her, he persuaded John and Beth Pendergrast to move into the home and help him manage. The Goodwins had known Beth since she was a little girl growing up in Delta and were good friends with her parents. The Pendergrasts remained after Mary died in 1956, providing good company and enabling Harry to remain comfortably in his home until he died in 1971 at age 94.
Because they helped him when he needed them, Harry Goodwin deeded the home to the Pendergrasts upon his death. He also made sure there was enough money to maintain the home, which was a thoughtful gesture, since the Pendergrasts were schoolteachers, not wealthy industrialists.
“She (Beth Pendergrast) was a remarkable lady and sharp as a tack,” says DeRose, who spoke with Pendergrast several times over the phone after purchasing the home to ask about specific details like the state of the floor in certain areas or outlets no longer in use.
Sometime during the Goodwin/Pendergrast era, the main-floor serving and cleaning area became the kitchen and the working kitchen in the basement was abandoned. Other than that, few alterations were made to change the look or feel of the home.
“When I walk in the front door, it feels like my grandmother is hugging me,” says DeRose. Since purchasing the home from Beth Pendergrast in 2001, Ron and Sherri DeRose have updated the kitchen and the bathroom, but have maintained the home’s historic charm. They’ve also removed several layers of wallpaper from most of the walls, taking care not to harm the original lathe and plaster. The wallpaper border they put up is a reproduction of what would have been available in 1907 when the home was built.
“Ron and I are purists when it comes to this house,” says DeRose, who still has shelves of books that originally belonged to Harry Goodwin. “We hope someone will come along who is into historical homes.”
The Goodwin house is currently for sale, with a reduced asking price of $499,900. The home has also been given a green light by the city to become a bed and breakfast, and the DeRoses plan to pursue both options and plan to create additional parking in the rear for guests.
Although the home only has three bedrooms for guests, the attic could easily be transformed into a spacious owners’ suite. Originally, there was no insulation in either the walls or the ceiling of the attic, but the DeRoses are currently putting in blown-in cellulose for maximum warmth and efficiency.
The bathrooms may also need to be modified in order to create a B & B that will appeal not only to history buffs but also to people who are used to 21 century conveniences. Currently two of the guest bedrooms have a water closet: a small closet containing only a sink. There is only one full bathroom in the house, which is near all the bedrooms and has double sinks, as well as the tub/shower combination and toilet. The bedrooms all have large walk-in closets that could easily be transformed into larger bathroom areas for guests, should the B & B idea become reality.
In addition to the three bedrooms on the second floor, there is also a small library and an office. The attic has the original maids’ quarters, as well as a huge open area that could be transformed into an owners’ suite or a small ballroom. The basement contains plenty of storage and a room currently used as an additional bedroom, but which could easily become a media or game room.
This house, which has a long history of providing a welcoming center of cozy contentment, also has a bright future, with more than 6,000 square feet of usable space and plenty of options to make the most of the home.
For more information about the home, contact the Kimbrough team at RE/MAX 4000, 263-7355