Historic Allen house to sell, antiques up for auction Saturday
November 23, 2016
One of Cassville’s oldest homes, the Allen house, was recently put up for sale, and an auction will be offering up countless antiques collected by the more recent owner during her life.
Georgia Writer was the most recent owner of the historic Allen house. Writer purchased the home that faces the Barry County Sheriff’s Department in 1973. After Writer passed away in 2005, her son, Gene Writer, occupied the home. Writer’s youngest daughter, Linda Mitchell, said they had listed the home for sale before locally, but there wasn’t interest at that time.
However, when the family listed the home this time, a contract was drawn up fairly quickly, and Mitchell said the home was purchased by a woman from California, sight unseen. Since the home is for sale, Writer’s children opted to hold an auction for the huge antique collection Writer had accumulated over her lifetime.
As Mitchell walked through the home, she pointed out pieces that will be for sale Saturday. “Some of the furniture is original to the house, and that is for sale, but any family pieces we have already removed.”
Each piece has a story associated with it, and Mitchell said her mother always loved antiques and collected things. One book shelf she recalled coming from an auction of furniture from the Barry County courthouse.
“It’s just a lot of history,” Mitchell said.
Both the Allen home and Writer have lengthy, interesting histories in the area. Writer was born and raised in Barry County. She was a well-known nurse locally and eventually opened the first licensed nursing home in Barry County, The Sunset Valley Nursing Home. Her dedication to the area continued as she preserved antiques and other things in the Allen house after she purchased it. Writer was very active in community groups, including the Cassville Chamber of Commerce, VFW Ladies Auxiliary, Genealogical Society and more.
The Allen house was constructed by attorney and banker Thomas M. Allen in 1895. Allen was the son-in-law of John M. Bayless, the man who constructed the Bayless-Salyer home on Townsend Street in Cassville.
The Victorian-style home has changed hands a few times over the years, going to a doctor, Dr. Samuel Wilson Chandler, and his wife, Rebecca McClure Chandler, and eventually his second wife, Eva Webb Chandler. Writer was the most recent owner, and she kept the house true to the original structure, except for an addition put on in the mid-1990’s.
Writer’s additions to the house included her antique furniture collection, but also included glassware. Her collection is one of the largest of antiques and collectibles in the area.
Mitchell said, “There is a lot of history here. There’s even rumor of the underground railroad running in a cavern below the house.” Rumors of the underground railroad running through a cave on the north-facing hill by County Farm Road have been circulated for years, but not corroborated. Stories say the cave connects to a cavern running under the Bayless-Salyer home, Allen house and another old home that burned near the current ballfields in Cassville by Flat Creek.
The auction of Writers’ collection will be at the home on Saturday, November 26, at 10 a.m. Donnie Stumpff will be auctioneering. The Allen house is located at 507 East Street in Cassville.