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538 N. Randolph Street, Macomb, , 61455 Dated Posted: April 22, 2017



Nick Curtis

RE/MAX Unified Brokers


o: (309) 837-2273

m: (309) 255-6731

Circa 1902

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About This Old House

Seller financing is available!

This gorgeous 3-story Victorian has been completely remodeled and modernized. It is currently a 7-unit boarding house — with 8 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms — capable of generating over $49,000/year in gross income. The property has been used as a bed and breakfast and, before that, a private residence, and it easily could be converted back to either purpose with minimal changes. The incredible 3rd-floor unit (formerly the innkeeper\’s quarters) has two bedrooms, as well as a living room, kitchen, dining area in the rotunda, and private entrance.

Frank Blount, secretary of the Macomb Stoneware, and his wife Ida built this home around 1902. Later the home was purchased by Ira O\’Harra, who served as mayor of Macomb from 1912 to 1914. His wife Anna served on the Macomb School Board.

The O\’Harras had four children and raised them in the house with the help of Anna Murphy, an Irish maid, and Price Mayo, an African American houseman who had been born a slave.

In 1926, the O\’Harras sold the house to Howard Deems and his wife. The Deemses spent most of their time on the first floor, and their daughter and her husband lived upstairs.

In the mid-1960s, Cyril and Ludessa Gooden lived in the house with two of their children and converted the upper floors into rooms for rent to teachers at Western Illinois State Teachers College (now Western Illinois University).

In 2002, Karl and Dorothee Gossel bought the house with the interest of welcoming visitors to the area and preserving a piece of Macomb’s history. They came to the United States in 1988 and currently own and operate a farm north of Macomb, where they live in a 90-year-old farmhouse, which they have restored. When still living in Germany, Dorothee had operated a bed & breakfast on the island Fehmarn in the Baltic Sea. The Gossels named their Macomb bed and breakfast \”Inselhaus\” (German for \”island house\”) and operated it for 10 years.

The Gossels have taken fastidious care of the house and are known throughout the community as hard workers who love old architecture. When the Gossels made the decision in 2013 to convert the Inselhaus to a boarding house (due to a desire to travel and semi-retire), a Macomb alderman said at a city council meeting he wasn\’t in favor of creating a boarding house, the first of its kind in Macomb. But because the Gossels were the ones making the request, he said he was willing to allow an exception, as he knew they would keep the house in stellar condition.

The best part about buying this property? You will get to meet the Gossels. They are colorful characters who could have sprung from your favorite novel set in small-town America.

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