Located in the Spring City Historic District, this two-story red brick Victorian house was constructed in 1903 and built for John Baxter, Sr., who was a successful merchant. It stands diagonally across the intersection from the building which housed the Baxter and Blain Mercantile. This home has had very little alteration over the past 110 years, but that all changed in January of 2013. The plumbing froze, pipes broke, and water ran full force in the unoccupied house for nearly two weeks. With considerable damage to the center load-bearing walls that happened to be adobe brick, and a flooded cellar, the insurance company considered the house a total loss.
The owner decided there was too much work involved and decided to try to sell the property or have it demolished. Craig Paulsen, a long-time preservation advocate and contractor in Spring City, offered to help the owner make it safe so it could be saved. With the owner still showing little interest in preservation, Paulsen decided to purchase the property himself and began restoration.
There was a considerable amount of debris to remove from the house, and everything had to be dried out so mold would not become a problem. Once the necessary framing was completed to adequately shore the building, the real work started. Emphasis was put on reusing existing features and replicating what was lost and with the project completed and ready for occupancy, the house sold this spring to a new Spring City resident.
After an incident that could have spelled the demise of a significant piece of history, the Baxter House was saved and has been preserved to serve for many more years as an asset to the Spring City Historic District and the community.