PARKERSBURG-A Parkersburg couple that restores old homes continues to work on a trio of once-stately homes in the Julia-Ann Square Historic District.
Jim and Julie DeKlavon have purchased three homes in the Julia-Ann district intent on restoring them to their past glory.
The couple purchased the home of former Gov. William E. Stevenson at 1040 Juliana St., ending years of efforts by the city of Parkersburg and others to keep the home from deteriorating beyond the point of saving.
Photo by Jody Murphy
Julie DeKlavon stands in the parlor of the Peterkin home. The DeKlavons spent 16 months restoring the house to period with modern amenities.
In 2010 they bought the house at 1203 Ann St. The DeKlavons spent the next 16 months restoring the one-time apartment complex into its original state. They are also working on 1043 Juliana St., across from the Stevenson home.
Julie DeKlavon said she and her husband have restored about 34 homes in their more than 13 years of marriage. The couple splits time between Pittsburgh and Parkersburg.
"Pittsburgh is where we make our money," Julie DeKlavon said. "Parkersburg is where we live."
DeKlavon said she enjoys the charm of the city and its neighborly atmosphere. The couple has been living in the upstairs of the Ann Street house for more than 18 months.
They recently completed work on the first floor of the now-dubbed Peterkin home.
According to Julie DeKlavon, George Peterkin was the first Episcopal bishop for West Virginia. Around 1876 the church had the house - a bishopric - built for Peterkin, who lived there until his death in 1917. The church later sold the house to the Waterman family in 1959, where it remained the family home for more than 60 years.
"It does have historic significance, but it hasn't been known until now," Jim DeKlavon said.
The home is mix of 18th century charm and luxury - a bright blue parlor and salsa red dining room -and modern amenities, such as a doorless European shower and modern kitchen.
"We went kind of crazy on this," Jim DeKlavon said referring to the hibachi grill they installed in the kitchen.
The house will be on the Julia-Ann Christmas Tour.
Julie DeKlavon said with the first floor complete they will shift their focus to other projects before taking on the Peterkin's second and third floors.
The DeKlavons purchased the Stevenson home in 2009 and slowly and steadily worked to save the house - the only surviving residence of the state's earliest governors from the wrecking ball. Stevenson served as the state's third governor.
Julie DeKlavon said the people who owned the house across the street from the Stevenson house saw their work on the Peterkin structure. Jim DeKlavon said they went through a short sale and were able to purchase 1043 Juliana St.
Jim DeKlavon said they are also trying to research the home's previous owners to assess its history. Julie DeKlavon said the home was owned by Frank E. Waterman, a vice president of Wood County Bank. The house was built around the turn of the century. Julie DeKlavon said Frank Waterman is not related to the Waterman family who later owned the Peterkin home.
Crews recently removed about eight trees surrounding the home and are redoing the 90-square-foot wrap-around porch and fixing loose bricks around the windows.
Jim DeKlavon said it's completely unexpected to come into the house and see the inside. The home contains Tiffany windows and patterned oak floors and intricate carved fireplace mantels.
"It's beautiful," he said. "Really pretty."
"The house is in great shape," Julie DeKlavon said. "It needs work done but for us it is great shape."
DeKlavon said he's not yet sure what they will do with the homes, but they plan on keeping them. The couple will continue to reside at Peterkin and will likely convert the Waterman place into a high-end rental.
"We are not trying to flip it," he said.
Julie DeKlavon said they want to convert the Stevenson home into a museum-like setting.
"He was very important to West Virginia," she said.
"He campaigned for Lincoln and championed statehood."