The majority of house museums scattered throughout the country rely heavily upon conjecture and the acquisition of period pieces to recreate the past. The Gothic Revival style Koester house is delightfully different, and doesn’t feel overly curated or over-restored. It feels believable.
Completed in 1876, the house depicts life in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and conveys Victorian-era life more accurately than many museums by virtue of the fact that it retains its original furnishings and artifacts. The house remained in the builder’s family until the 1970’s when it was donated to the city of Marysville, Kansas, and restored as a museum.
Built in stages – and updated by the family over the years – the house conveys the past in a manner impossible to re-create. The grounds are as intriguing as the interior. While the porch is not the original, and its posts not of the period, the Gothic scroll-sawn embellishments are sympathetic to the character of the house. I had the opportunity to visit the house last summer… twenty-seven photos – primarily architectural details – follow: