Columbia Gingerbread House FOR RENT
COLUMBIA- The 100-year-old cottage on the corner of West Boulevard and West Ash St. is now available for nightly, weekly and monthly rental. Kristin Bourgeois and Adam Kaiser closed on the house at the end of Nov. 2011, which was noted as a historic property by the Columbia Historic Preservation Commussion in 2004.
Bourgeois and Kaiser fixed up a few things in the well-maintained 1400 square foot home after purchasing it. They named it "Creekstone Cottage." They are the fourth owners of the home, as the cottage was originally built in 1911 by Arch McCard (McHarg in the original property title) outside of the city of Columbia. In 1935, the creek stone structure was built around the cabin, which still stands today. The Coleman family owned it after McCard and ran a preschool out of the home. The Coleman children grew up in the house. One son hand-dug the crawl space to put running water inside, according to Betty Tice, the realtor that closed on the house with the most recent owners.
In 1954, Herb and Betty Brown purchased the home and made it their own, living in it for half a century. Thanks to the Brown family, the cottage was known for its beautiful garden and Bourgeois plans on keeping up with the gardening.
Bourgeois and Kaiser did not originally plan on buying the cottage as they were looking for land to develop. The home was on the market for a year before being purchased. Bourgeois noted some of the reasons it could have been on the market for so long were that the home is older, it doesn't appeal to a single family and it is located on a busier corner. But they fell in love with its charm.
"When I first walked into the property, I was intrigued, of course, by all of the details of the home." Bourgeois said. "The woodwork stood out, the fireplace was gorgeous, the size of it, the doorways, the very short doorways. All of those things were just things that I looked and and thought this was a very unique property."
Tice closed the deal on the house with the most recent owners and said it was sentimental when she did a final walk through of the cottage and took the "for sale" sign down in the front yard. She describes the home as a warm and happy place and has hopes for its future.
"I can forsee very easily that somebody will lease it for the whole football season and just spend weekends there, it's a wonderful little place. It's a great place to visit," Tice said.
Bourgeois says she receives five calls a day from prospective renters. She hopes to find more renters for the middle of the week, perhaps professors or visiting lecturers. The rates are $225-$325 per night. More information on rental availability can be found on the cottage's website, www.creekstonecottage.com.