The house at 512 S. Judson has recently been approved for the Kansas State Historical Register.
The current owner, Ronda Hassig, and husband, Rob, moved in in February 2019.
“We are both history teachers and moved from Olathe to Lawrence for retirement,” Ronda said.
They were there for one year when a native of this area and friend, Carmen Streeter Misse, showed her the house.
“We drove right down and bought it outright,” she said. “It was the house we had always dreamed of owning and putting our Victorian antique furniture in.”
It had been up for auction two times since Ken Lunt died, she said.
Ken and his wife, Charlotte, were well-known volunteers in the community. Lunt who was the mayor of Fort Scott died in 2013, Charlotte in 2007.
“Both times (it went up for auction) there was interest from a salvage company in Kansas City,” she said. “We decided to get it on the Kansas Historical Register, once we settled in. Once on the register, it would be protected from such a fate.”
Ronda was a middle school librarian, and is a historical fiction author and “all-around research nerd,” she said and began researching the history of the house.
History of the house
“The Thomas and Anna Herbert house sits at 512 Judson Street, the sign on the house says it was built in 1887, but it was built in 1888,” she said. “Thomas bought the property in 1870 and married Anna in 1873. They waited a while to build the house though.”
“He owned a successful home design business at 2nd and Wall and sold paint, wallpaper, household items from all over the world, and anything dealing with decorating your home,” she said. “He was a painter. In my research, I found that he helped decorate some of the most beautiful homes in Fort Scott.”
The couple had no children and Thomas died in 1913. Anna sold the house in 1917 to a banker, C.D. Sample.
In seeking to be on the register, Hassig thought she could do the architecture piece on the application.
“It became apparent after trying to use the dictionary for every other word when explaining the features of the house, that this was a job for a professional,” she said.
Hassig hired Susan Fort, a preservationist, and architect from Kansas City, Missouri to help her with the application.
On November 13, 2021, she found out the application was approved.
Now it is on the Kansas State Historial Register, but is heading to the U.S. Park Service for approval for the National Register of Places, she said.
“We should know in three to six months,” she said. “Then a plaque will be put on its’ beautiful facade.”
“I hope that Ken and Charlotte Lunt are happy in heaven with the exciting news and won’t mind too terribly that the house will now be called the Thomas and Anna Herbert House,” she said.