AAUW Vacation Homes: The O’Donnell House | News, Sports, Jobs

Photos by Mr. Ellie O’Donnell, AAUW-Escanaba


By Ellie O’Donnell

The O’Donnell House

601 avenue Ogden, Escanaba

Welcome to 601 Ogden Avenue. The front part of this Italian-style house was built in 1875, with the rear part of the house added in 1890. Built by Fred Harris, a local carpenter, the exterior features double front doors, an asymmetrical one-story porch and fringe between brackets along the eaves.

In 1936 Thaxter and Lucy Shaw purchased the house and made many structural changes, including converting the back annex into an apartment for Mr. Shaw’s two sisters. It has continued to remain an apartment to the present day.

Ellie O’Donnell purchased the Shaw Estate home in 1994. Over the years, she has added a fireplace, modernized the kitchen, and increased the number of bathrooms. Throughout these changes, Ellie has remained consistent with her focus on the “closed” origins of the house.

Visitors should be aware of these remarkable elements: in the music room there is a stroller and a doll that belonged to Ellie’s mother, Mim Ammel Kobasic; the fabric singers on the pump organ recall the many beautiful sung voices that were and still are in Ellie’s family.

The living room is home to the nine-foot Christmas tree, filled with unique ornaments donated by friends and family, and guests should note the abundance of red cardinals and nativity scenes throughout the house.

The dining room features a lovely light fixture that Ellie discovered in an antique store in St. Charles, Illinois. The kitchen table set dates back to the early 1900s and is the perfect place for young people to listen to Santa’s reindeer on the roof.

Enjoy your visit to 601 Ogden and merry Christmas.

– – –

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) to present its biennial “Houses for the holidays” December 12, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are available from Gust Asps in Escanaba and The Frame Farm in Gladstone. Ticket holders must be 16 years of age or older. Profits are intended for two AAUW scholarships at Bay College. Ticket holders are asked to wear face masks to protect themselves and others.

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