Italian-style villa in Winchester built in 1870 looking for a new owner

Local News

WINCHESTER, Ind. (WANE) — A piece of Winchester history is for sale.

Located at 230 S. Main Street in downtown Winchester sits a 3,388 square foot, 3 bedroom, 2 1/2 bathroom Italian-style villa. Originally built in 1870, the home has been fully restored and transformed back to its original design as much as possible.

“It’s been an honor,” said owner Monna Goforth, who has spent 12 years renovating the home. “People are very excited. I’ve received amazing comments and I’m humbled. I want Winchester to be picked up.

“I hope the new homeowner opens the house so people get to walk through the home and enjoy it.”

History

In 1857, Henry P. Kizer purchased the property the home currently stands on. At the time, Kizer was a successful businessman who owned a drug store in Winchester.

The Kizer-Marsh home was completed in 1870. The two story Italian villa was 2,400 square feet and had a basement. Kizer and his wife lived in the house until their deaths. Kizer’s oldest daughter Carrie married Benjamin Marsh, a local school teacher and later attorney, and the couple resided in the home until their deaths in 1918 and 1945. The house changed hands through the family for 80 years.

Then, in 1950, the home was sold to the Sparks family, who kept the home for 10 years. A decade later, the Sparks sold the house and lot to Main Street Christian Church, located next to the property. The home was converted into a parsonage.

By the late 1990s, the parsonage was in need of repair. The church had received an estimate of $125,000 to update and repair the home. At the time, the cost was the same as building a new home. The church allowed the minister to purchase a new home.

The house sat empty and the church considered demolishing the house. A few years later, current owner Monna Goforth purchased the home.

“I knew I couldn’t afford it by myself, but somehow the Lord has provided for me to get it to this point,” Goforth said. “I promised them I would do the best I could to keep her and to do the best I could on it.”

Shortly after, Goforth began renovating and restoring the home to its original design as much as possible. Now, Goforth is selling the home to help raise her grandchildren.

Renovation

The home’s owner, Monna Goforth, has renovated homes across the the United States and internationally. The Winchester native saved the home from being torn down in 2006, and soon after, started a 12-year renovation of the home.

Everything in the home has been touched and everything original has been kept. When Goforth first purchased the home, she said both the inside and outside was painted white.

“I’m a color person,” Goforth said. “Every color that’s on there is historically documented for that period. The wallpaper is C.F.A. Voysey document 1870 and I did angels because it was a parsonage for so long and I needed all the prayers I could get this job done.”

Current owner Monna Goforth stands in front of the Kizer-Marsh House.

Goforth started work on the outside of the home first. She then worked her way inside, tearing out walls, raising the ceilings back to its original height, updating electric, plumbing, HVAC and enclosed a porch to create a half bathroom. The hardware inside the home is all new, however, the hardware are replicates of the originals that were in the house.

The property is currently zoned C-2, which allows for the house to be both residential as well as commercial. Goforth is using the first floor of the home as a wellness spa and therapeutic treatment center while the second floor serves as a living area.

On the first floor, the living room features an original Eastlake fireplace and a hand painted ceilings. A second living area has a picture rail that wraps around the upper wall to allow for pictures to be displayed without damaging the wall. The former kitchen and bathroom has been remodeled into a massive bedroom and a half bathroom with a high tank toilet and intricate tile walls.

A kitchen and eating area is now located on the second floor along with a family room, two bedrooms and a bathroom with an iron tub, intricate tile inlays, and a basket weave tile floor. Also added is a custom wooden staircase that leads to the top of the campanile that overlooks downtown Winchester.

Outside is an entertainers dream, with two covered porches, a custom fountain, gas fire ring, and utilities already laid for creating an outdoor kitchen.

Standing outside the home, Goforth got emotional talking about all the work she’s done with the house over the past 12 years.

“I’m so grateful for all the people that helped me on it,” Goforth said. “Sometimes you take two steps forward and then two steps back but you learn and you keep moving forward. I feel honored and blessed to have done this.”

Goforth has kept a complete genealogy of the home, including names of past owners, pictures of the home before and after renovation as well as newspaper articles and other documents. The home genealogy will be passed on to the next owner.

Take a Tour

F.C. Tucker Realtor Jon Kindred shows off the Kizer-Marsh home in downtown Winchester.

The home is currently listed for $275,000.

To get a tour of the house, contact F.C. Tucker Real Estate Realtor John Kindred at 765-465-9409 or you can email him at jon.kindred@talktotucker.com. To see the listing, click here.

Is there an interesting property in northeast Indiana or northwest Ohio that makes you say, ‘What’s up with that place?’ Let us know about it! Send us an email at WANEDigitalContent@nexstar.tv.

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