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ST. LOUIS - Behind an iron gate on Russell is one of our city's hidden treasures.

"It's like walking back in time," explained Shelley Donaho, homeowner of The Magic Chef Mansion.

A house built in 1908 by Charles Stockstrom, the founder of the company that became Magic Chef Stove Company.

"And there's the Magic Chef," Stockstrom pointed out.

But for the last 23 years, it's been home to Donaho.

"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.

When she purchased the place it was virtually empty and rather run down.

"This caribou head here, he or she is original," Donaho added.

So over the years she searched for the original chandeliers, and found four of them.

"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.

"If you pull open a drawer it comes out at an angle," Donaho said.

And only on a private tour do you see the handy nooks and crannies.

"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.

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