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The Kritser House

Our office is in the Kritser House, on Walnut Street off of the Historic Independence Square.

The house was built in 1847 by Martin Kritser, a grocer who moved to Independence to sell to the wagon trains preparing to go West on the Oregon, California, and Santa Fe trails. Patrick McCarty, a saloon keeper on the square, purchased the house around 1850, and owned and maintained it through the Civil War and Order 11, to which many of the other buildings in the area fell victim. Following the Civil War, when railroad men looking for land came while McCarty was at work, his wife held them off from the front window with a shotgun.

The house survived the Civil War unscathed, and went through a series of owners and absences, eventually falling into a state of disrepair. Kritser House was added to the National Historic Register in 1985, and the City of Independence bought it in the 1990s, by which point parts of the house had completely fallen down.

Once the city had purchased the house, they rebuilt the fallen parts of the house and patched up the brickwork, then sold it to private owners who stripped the inside of the house in preparation for further work. However, they never followed through with the full restoration.

In 2000, the house had sat unused for several years, just walls and a roof, with floor and ceiling in places. When looking for a new location for the office, we purchased the house, and after a long and arduous restoration project, moved into it in 2002.

 

 


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