The Roff Home in 1895 Watseka Wonder & Roff Home: America's First Documented Case of Spiritual Possession
The Watseka Wonder Mary Roff Lurancy Vennum Roff Home Your Visit: Tours, Ghost Hunts and Paranormal Investigations Press & Publications Store Contact Us  
blank TwitterFacebook blank blank blank

The Roff Home

» Timeline of Ownership
» The Renovation
» Victorian Italianate Style
» A Tale of Two Porches
» Around the Home
» Out Buildings
» The Grounds

Visit the Roff Home

» Paranormal investigations
» Public events

Read it!

» FREE download: original Watseka Wonder pamphlet

"Possessed" trailers

More on "The Possessed"


Renovation, Restoration and Historic Preservation

Roff Home: 1895The last renovation of the Roff Home occured in 1941. Although the home is now undergoing a long-term renovation, no renovation work is currently being performed that will interfere with your visit to the home.

The goal of the renovation is to take this gem and restore its original luster. The picture to the right was published in a history of the area in 1895 and is the guide for exterior restoration work.

Work on the home largely follows historic preservation standards and guidelines as recommended by the National Park Service's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties.

In the first five years of our ownership of the Roff Home, we first performed work that stabilized the home and stopped further deterioration. We then developed a master plan for the restoration of the home. We are now slowly executing that master plan.

Here's a samplling of what's been accomplished so far:

On the exterior:

  • Removal of all prior roofing and replacement with roofing that is similar in style and color to the original
  • Paint removal from exterior brick to expose original, unpainted brick
  • Repointing of exterior brick with mortar that matches the original mortar, in both consistency and color
  • Analysis of paint, plaster and decorative details to determine original Victorian color scheme and interior design
  • Restoration and repainting of exterior windows and doors
  • Replacement of all broken window panes with leaden glass similiar to original

On the interior:

  • Replastering of all interior walls
  • Paint removal from all woodwork (doors, windows, wood trim)
  • Removal of all non-original flooring
  • Restoration of original Victorian flooring
  • Removal of the prior boiler and replacement with a new boiler
  • Restoration of steam heat radiators
  • Installation of green insulation in the attic, for an insulation factor of R-60
  • Replacement of all electrical wiring
  • Repair of existing plumbing

We are archiving evidence of original paint colors, wallpaper and interior design so we can document our historic preservation efforts and guide future design efforts:

  • Wood shingles that were still present from the original roofing
  • Paint chips from multiple exterior woodwork (doors, windows, eaves, brackets, porch posts, balustrades)
  • Paint chips from interior woodwork showing evidence of whitewash, graining, and other original color schemes
  • Wallpaper samples from the front parlor, the ceiling of the father's bedroom, and the room that Lurancy Vennum stayed in
  • Removal of plaster in the mother's bedroom to determine the character of a border of hand-painted flowers that runs along the top of the walls of the room.

We have also compiled a significant collection of photographs of the home dating back to 1876, which help piece together the decorative and design history of the home.

Learn more about renovation efforts on the Roff Home blog.

More on the Home


Copyright (c) 2014-2015 Roff Home. Watseka, IL. All Rights Reserved.