The English mansion on Highway 48, just west of Akron, IA, in South Dakota, stands out with its red tile roof and concrete walls. The century-old manor, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is a curiosity to travelers and many area residents.
Its owners, Roger and Angela Price, will open their home next month for a tour that will benefit the Akron Area Museum, which needs a new roof. The tour will be held Saturday, Oct. 6, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The mansion is located at 48113 South Dakota Highway 48, across the Big Sioux River from Akron. Because the mansion is a private residence, the tour will be strictly limited to the scheduled time.
Tickets are $10 each if purchased in advance and $15 at the door. To order tickets, send payment and a self-addressed, stamped envelope to: Akron Area Museum, P.O. Box 252, Akron, Iowa 51001. Tickets will not be mailed out unless a SASE is included with payment. All ticket requests by mail must be received by Sept. 30 to insure the purchaser receives them in time. Tickets also can be purchased at the Akron Veterinary Clinic and at Peoples Bank in Akron.
People with questions about the tour should call Angela Price at 605-565-2717.
The mansion was originally the home of F.P. Baker, one of several English settlers who came to the Akron and Le Mars area during the 1880's. Although many of the settlers returned to England in the 1890's, Baker remained on the farm he purchased near Akron.
In 1912, he contracted with G.W. Burkhead, a Sioux City architect, to design the house as a replica of his home in England. Many of the items used in construction were imported from England. The house was completed in 1914.
Features include a glass-enclosed porch that wraps around three sides. Three of the six upstairs bedrooms open onto a second-story, open porch.
The "great hall," or living room, measures 36×22 feet. It has heavy wooden crossbeams on the ceilings, an elegant fireplace and open staircase. Wood paneling or built-in furniture is in many of the rooms.
The third floor of the house, a billiard and ballroom, measures 60 by 23 feet.
All proceeds from the tour will be used toward a new roof for the Akron Area Museum, which is located at 601 Main Street in Akron.