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Boles Street was named for the family of Thomas D. Boles who was the owner of a large store located on the South side of the Fayetteville Square. 

Thomas D. Boles’ second wife, Mrs. Clementine Boles, was a sister of W.A. Watson, for whom Watson Street was named. At one time, the siblings owned all of the property from St. Charles Avenue down to Rollston Avenue. Mr. and Mrs. Boles had three children who died in infancy. One of the children’s name was Charles, who died at the age of 3. Mrs. Boles named St. Charles Avenue in his memory. One of Washington County’s best-known women of the time, a leader in church and civic work, Mrs. Boles died October 14, 1921. 


While renovating Boles 114, we couldn’t help but notice the forlorn neighboring property. Hoping it might be a home we could restore, we sought out the owner: Maxcyne Gangstad.

Maxcyne had purchased the property in 1973 to be used as a rental property. Now in her 80s, Maxcyne indicated an interest in selling the home. Her health was declining and she was struggling to keep up with the properties she owned. It soon became apparent that the young man she had trusted to manage the property had been stealing from her and allowing family and friends to live in the property rent-free. Despite her assertions that she didn’t have any family, we learned from Maxcyne’s neighbor that she did have family: a niece, Judy Hayden. Judy lived in Minnesota, but was able and willing to help Maxcyne work through the process of selling the various properties she owned.

After discussing the terms of the sale, we were able to agree on a purchasing price and Boles 114 officially became an Old Buildings property.

We worked with Alison Quinlan of Flintlock Architecture & Landscaping to develop a plan for the home. We wanted to keep the character of the home while bringing it up to date and improving the infrastructure. Alison and her husband, Scott, live across the street and had great interest in seeing this eyesore cleaned up. Boles is a street you rarely find in a city and it was everyone’s interest to fix the broken and forgotten pieces. 

Before work could begin though, we first had to remove the squatters and drug addicts who had taken up residence in the home and ensure the home was properly cleaned and decontaminated. The squatters had been hoarders. The home was infested with fleas and cockroaches. In addition, there had been no running water and the inhabitants had taken to relieving themselves in the home. The odor was overwhelming and noxious. It quickly became apparent that a professional biohazard cleanup company would need to be hired to safely decontaminate the home. 

Once decontaminated, the restoration could begin. Every renovation is a challenge and this 800 square foot home was no different. Though we first planned to keep the plaster, it was determined that it needed to be removed. While unfortunate, the removal did allow us the opportunity to add insulation into the exterior walls. Overall, the footprint didn’t change. We made room for an HVAC unit to be set in the attic and closed in a side door to help with the kitchen arrangement. The kitchen was redesigned with the efficiencies needed in a small home: providing maximum comfort and function within the limited space. The bathroom was also reorganized and a sliding barn door was used to help the bathroom feel larger. We were also able to salvage the wood floors. 

Outside the home, we discovered areas of rot that needed to be repaired. More significantly, the home needed a new roof and the front porch was on the verge of decay and structurally unsound. The landscaping was also a challenge: the amount of overgrowth was excessive and drainage issues also needed to be addressed. A gabion retaining wall was installed providing for a second parking space along the alley that runs behind the home. 

In the end, it turned out to be a great project with a remarkable result. Restored and renovated: the quaint, cozy cottage home remains a fixture on Boles Street. With its unique cedar shake siding and cozy disposition, we are proud to have had the opportunity to rescue it.

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