Once owned by
It wasn't always this attractive, though.
"It had been vacant for about 10 years. It was not nice, not a pretty sight," says
"I could do something with this," Biber told herself after a quick walk-through.
With the help of her sons,
Biber, 72, is a nurse and clinic manager of
Biber says she wasn't in the market for a house when this one found her. And when she told her sons, their initial reaction was "Mom, you're crazy!" But they soon realized the house's promise, too, and began shepherding more than four years of restoration work.
Biber doesn't know when the house was built, but the 18891900 Pueblo city directory lists
Information supplied by the historical society has Wigton and his family living in the big corner house from 1916 to 1952.
Puebloan Rebecca Housman is the daughter of Wigton and his wife
"It had a very interesting attic -- we used to play in the attic -- and a really big back porch. There was a cistern that my father built and we had chickens. The nicest thing is we had a goat and a cart. I don't know how we got that goat trained to pull the cart."
Housman says it was a "really neat" neighborhood. She walked two blocks to play at the John Thatcher home and one block to classes at
"My father bought that house because my mother was friends with
After the Wigtons moved, the residence became a boardinghouse and eventually stood empty and fell into disrepair.
Years of work
Restoring the house required jacking up the floors, stripping many coats of paint from window frames, doors and woodwork, installing reproduction tin ceilings, searching for and finding Douglas fir to match the original wood used throughout the house.
The Vigils and their crew rebuilt the staircase and made new banisters for it.
They made new crown molding and new exterior trim that replicates the original. They rebuilt the back porch and built a new, larger second-story front porch that catches the evening breeze. A backyard patio with a gazebo and a waterfall is yet to come.
Kitchen and bathrooms were updated, but the rest of the house retains its turn-of-the-century character.
"We used to frame houses, we put siding on new houses in
He's enjoyed bringing back the house and would tackle a similar project if the homeowner was prepared to pay the price. Re-creating the past is a costly endeavor, Vigil says.
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