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The Roberts - Van Doren House
405 Townsend shortly after it was built in 1906
The Van Doren Sisters
While the house has had four owners, Rilla Van Doren, who lived to celebrate her hundredth birthday, is perhaps the best remembered. Mr. Van Doren bought the house as a gift for his new bride; he also owned the Cedarville garage on Main Street. Unfortunately, he died before they'd shared many years of marriage.
Rilla was soon joined in the home by her widowed sister Ollie who lived with her for more than fifty years before dying at the age of 104. Stories about the sisters and their zest for life are part of Cedarville's social history.
The current dining room once served as Rilla and Ollie's bedroom, so a picture showing the sisters in period costumes sits on the buffet. It was taken as a lark when they were in their late eighties.
During World War II, Rilla turned the home into a boarding house - hence the many interior door locks. The upstairs back bedroom served as a kitchen for the renters, while the yellow-painted front room on the lower level contained a beauty shop.
"Don and Judy Steger, owners of the home for eleven years until we purchased it in 1999, deserve credit for much of the remodeling and beautification of the home", said Beverly.
Of particular note are the home's original windows which Steger says "Are beautifully clear and still open so easily with just a touch of the hand." The home also has pocket doors which function properly despite their age. The kitchen's wood burning cook stove was purchased in Eagleville five years ago. Its markings indicate it was forged in Montana in the 1880's. The Lauderdales use it regularly for cooking.
The home's builder apparently utilized whatever fixtures and pieces he could acquire. Judy Steger says the small outbuilding "with a very peaked roof" located to the south was the original portico of the Baptist church in Lake City, the valley's oldest house of worship.
Bob and Beverly Lauderdale divide their time between Cedarville and Martinez, California. Bev is a free-lance writer and part-time teacher while Bob is a retired hospital administrator.Return to Historic Buildings
Page modified: 06 Oct 2021 12:33:30 -0700