Family history showcased during Christmas Homes Tour

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

This is the fourth article in a series of five featuring homes that were part of the 2016 Christmas Homes Tour, sponsored by Friends of Jim the Wonder Dog.

Five generations of history was displayed at Kosy Grove Farm in Malta Bend during the Christmas Homes Tour held Sunday, Dec. 11, to benefit the Jim the Wonder Dog Museum and Park.

The Antebellum home was built in 1847, with the back two story addition, creating the shape of an "L," completed in 1872. Current owner Anne McRoberts is the fifth generation owner of the home.

"My great-great-grandfather immigrated here from Ohio in 1854," McRoberts said. "He bought his first tract of land to the north, and he made several trips back and accumulated more land."

McRoberts said the home was considered a weekend home for the family, and she inherited it and the land in 2014.

She decided to turn the home into a bed and breakfast in 2015, where the rooms, home and grounds can be rented for events and weekend getaways.

"I thought, you know, it's such a pretty place, why am I doing all of the work, and other people ought to enjoy it," McRoberts said. "That's why I decided to make it a B&B and event rental."

She said she originally planned to redo the barn outside as a barn venue, but thought there were already a lot of them around and that she would be a little behind the curve. Instead, she created a garden in front of the house and repurposed a grain bin into a gazebo, or "gazebin." She also plans to redo another grain bin.

The Christmas tour began in the foyer, where an organ sits, adorned with holiday church mice, handcrafted by McRoberts' mother.

"This organ was from a Methodist church in Florence, Missouri," she said. "My mom played the organ and my dad was a student at Warrensburg, and he had a couple of churches that he was a minister at. She played the organ and he was the minister."

She added that most of the other furnishings are original to the home, and some of the hanging artwork was done by her great-great-grandmother.

A room off the foyer is considered the "parlor bedroom" and is filled with elegant greenery.

"This was originally the parlor, and when my parents moved here, we made it into a bedroom and bathroom," she added.

Next is the living room, also known as the Bingham room, due to a majority of the artwork in the room being Bingham reproductions. Stockings hang on the mantel, along with even more holiday greenery.

Kosy Groves Farm's dining room can hold up to 18 people, and is filled with smaller Christmas trees, with the table topped with red foliage. (Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News)

The dining room, able to accommodate up to 18 people, is filled with small Christmas trees and red foliage. The largest tree of the home also stands in the dining room.

McRoberts said her long-time friend Jaymie Bonavia helped decorate both the inside and outside for the holiday season. Bonavia also helped with the redecorating and design of the house after the remodel.

The kitchen is filled with smaller red decorations, with the kitchen table holding a three-tier stand full of "snowballs" and peppermints. A shelf lined with Santa cups and mini Christmas trees also hangs in the kitchen.

The cosy side porch off the kitchen includes wicker furniture, a round corner table holding a Santa in a truck, another table holding a square glass vase full of red Christmas balls, among other decor.

Four bedrooms are situated upstairs, each named after a different relative.

"The last McRoberts to live here were my Uncle Ernest and three aunts," McRoberts said.

A specially designed wreath, filled with Anne McRoberts' mother's old cookie cutters, hangs on an upstairs door at Kosy Groves Farm in Malta Bend. (Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News)

She added that when they were redoing the home, there was often confusion differentiating between rooms, so they named each room after a relative.

Uncle Ernest's room is decorated to be more "masculine," with two sleigh beds topped with Christmas bedding, and outdoor photos hanging on the walls. A saddle also sits in the room.

Aunt Alice's room is mostly decorated with horse-themed decor. Horse pictures adorn the walls, most of which feature McRoberts' own horses. A horse-themed Christmas wreath hangs on one of the doors, with a candle tree sitting on a nearby table.

In between Aunt Alice's room and another bedroom hangs a specially designed wreath.

"I'm pretty proud of this wreath," McRoberts said. "I had my mom's old cookie cutters and I said, 'Jamie, could you make a cookie cutter wreath?' So she did and added all of this other stuff. It's even got a little nutmeg grinder."

The next room, named after McRoberts' Aunt Grace, is painted a soft blue and white. The room's mantel is outlined in greenery topped with matching blue ornaments.

A four poster bed sits in "Aunt Nan's room," surrounded by holiday decor at Kosy Grove Farm. (Jessica Crabtree/Democrat-News)

The last bedroom, Aunt Nan's room, includes red, green and white bedding, rugs and decor. The four poster bed sits amid Santa Claus figurines and red and green greenery over yet another mantel. A small Christmas scene sits in a hexagon tray. A wreath comprised of miniature Christmas-themed items, such as mittens, pinecones and bird houses, hangs on the door, concluding the tour.

Although the home has gone through several renovations, each was meant to help preserve the home's integrity, while still updating the home from time to time.

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