November 20, 2008

Rau - Strong House

This home on the West Side Neighborhood of St Paul has been under construction for as long as I can remember in one form or another. It's slowly come around to what you see today. I recall in the past, perhaps 20-25 years ago, on Halloween night the house was open to the public as a haunted house of some sort. The home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (added 1975 - Building - #75001015).

2 George Street East: Rau-Stronge House/Strong House/Ossian R. Strong House; Built in 1884; Italianate/Stick/Eastlake/Second Empire in style. The structure is a two story, 3351 square foot, eight room, one bathroom, stucco house, with a detached garage. The 1885 city directory indicates that Mr. and Mrs. G. Adam Rau resided at this address. The 1887 city directory indicates that Mr. and Mrs. Adam Rau and Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Strong resided at this address. The 1890, 1892, 1894, 1896 and 1898 city directories indicate that Mr. and Mrs. O. R. Strong resided at this address. Oakland Cemetery Association records indicate that Ossian R. Strong and Elizabeth S. Strong (1861-1894,) of German extraction who died of consumption, husband and wife, resided at this address in 1894. Oakland Cemetery Association records indicate that Johanna Sophia Rau (1823-1906,) the widowed mother-in-law of Ossian R. Strong, who was born in Germany to parents who were also born in Germany and who died of a cerebral hemorrhage, resided at this address in 1906. Oakland Cemetery Association records indicate that Julius A. Strong (1827-1913,) the husband of Caroline M. Strong, who was born in New York to parents who were born in the United States and who died of pleurisy-bronchopneumonia, resided at this address in 1913. The 1930 city directory indicates that Ruth G. Strong resided at this address. The property was purchased by stone cutter Adam Rau in 1867. In 1884, Rau began constructing the limestone Second Empire house and the neighboring barn, which was completed in 1886. In 1888, Rau sold the property to Ossian Strong for $8,000. Adam Rau ( -1939) died in Ramsey County. Adam Rau was a stone cutter and dealer in 1880-1881. Five members of the Rau family worked in the stone business, all living on the West Side, including Nicholas Rau, who was the foreman in Adam Rau's stoneyard. Sauter & Rau was another stone cutting firm in 1880-1881. Osslian R. Strong ( -1922) died in Ramsey County. The property was last sold in 1991 with a sale price of $55,500. The current owners of record of the property are Steven E. Peterson and Collette L. Peterson. The building is on the National Register of Historic Places (1975) and has been designated a local heritage preservation site.

SOURCE: Kevin D. Hendricks


Steve Cuddihy said...

I need to retake this same shot at sunset or just before a thunderstorm rolls into the area.

Dad Stuff said...

I hope they add another bathroom while under construction.
This photo almost appears that you are standing in a hole while taking the shot. (it took me awhile to realize those are the steps that lead to the house). Neat photo and great history.

MTSpieker said...

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I love this blog, as I grew up on the West Side of St. Paul, and now reside in ME under parental duress (the cons of being a minor). I immediately recognized this house as 'the big one across from the library'. Thanks again, for killing my homesickness a bit each day!

Steve Cuddihy said...

I never thought when I started this blog the effects it would have on people who once lived in the Twin Cities area and use this photo blog to bring back memories of their past.

The West Side is still the West Side as you remember. I've moved out of the neighborhood for about 18 years now and return quite often to take photos. There also has been a lot of upkeep in the area and minor road changes, but the general feel of the neighborhood is still intact.

I also take request if you have something you would like photographed on the West Side, I'll do what I can.

CRau said...

Thank you for posting the picture of the house with the story line. Having just retired five years ago, I and my brother and sister are getting into our ancestry. My great grandfather is Nicohlas Rau, brother of Adam Rau.
Do you have any other references to information we can look up about their immigration into America from Germany. We are also looking for pictures of Adam, Nicholas and their families. Are these available in St. Paul area.
Our research has hit a dead end as much of the information was lost before we started researching.
Thank you,

Carl E. Rau

Unknown said...

My best friends live in the house. Their parents Steve and Collette bought the house back in 1991. They were so excited! It took a lit of time and work to get it to it's current condition. The Halloween maze, that went through the carriage house was put on to help a family wh list father was ill with cancer. There was bobbing for apples and hot apple cider in the house after the maze. It was my second home growing up. There are a lot of things that happen in that house. Steve, my friends dad, sadly passed away in the house a couple yrs ago. But their mom, one of the sisters, and her daughter still live there. I remember doing the live nativity every yr around Christmas up until Christmas eve. There are a lot of fun memories in that house for me and for all of us who grew up with them. They actually found an old camera up 8n the attic and got the film developed. It was a lit of pictures of women in long old fashioned dresses. It was beautiful. I love your blog. Thank you for taking an interest in the house. You learn something new every day. I appreciate it!