ST. LOUIS - Behind an iron gate on Russell Boulevard is one of our city's hidden treasures.
A house built in 1908 by Charles Stockstrom, the founder of the company that became Magic Chef Stove Company. But for the last 26 years, it's been home to Shelley Donaho.
"It's like walking back in time," Donaho explained.
When she purchased the place it was virtually empty and rather run down. So over the years she worked on restoring the home and searched for the original chandeliers, and found four of them.
Photos: Inside the Magic Chef Mansion
"It got sold at an auction, and I was able to buy back the top half and then some years later I got the bottom half, and we put it back together and there it is," Donaho said.
Each room is more impressive than the next.
"This room is called the library. We repainted the room back to the way it was in 1908 and there were all these little holes and we found this bucket of studs in the basement all tarnished because they're brass, and figured out, Oh my gosh they go in these holes," Donaho said.
But it's only on a private tour do you see the handy nooks and crannies.
"If you pull open a drawer it comes out at an angle," Donaho said. "Now this is where the dining room table leaves go," she pointed out opening a door.
Interestingly enough, entertaining was also done in the basement
"Well, there's a bowling alley down there," Donaho explained.
The original pins hang on the wall, the original balls are on a rack around the corner, but the bowling alley once again works like it did back when it was originally built.
Of course, not everything is period to the place.
"This is from 1958," Donaho said turning on an old game. "The jukebox over there is 1949," she added.
But even those pieces leave you speechless. Making what is now better known as The Magic Chef Mansion a true St. Louis treasure.
The Magic Chef Mansion is open for private tours and events, including weddings. Click here for more information.
The home will also be included in the 2016 Compton Heights House Tour on May 21 and 22. Click here for more information about to the tour or to purchase tickets.
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