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A 'princess' home with 122 years of history is for sale in St. Charles

The home was built in 1900 just before electrical power surged through the town in December 1903. According to oral history shared with the owners Dan and Michelle Hamiel, their garage once housed the St. Charles Post Office at another location. The property itself dates back to 1857.

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A colorful home at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles. The home is for sale for $280,000.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota
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ST. CHARLES — If you’ve visited St. Charles, a green and maroon home might pop into memory. The house has stood at 331 East Fifth Street since 1900 but it’s painted the town with a few other colors.

When owners Dan and Michelle Hamiel moved in 15 years ago, the house was completely white. Its first chameleon shift became blue and yellow. The colors now pop with green, magenta and yellow.

“It just brought life to it,” remarked Deanna Tollin, Property Brokers of Minnesota realtor GRI, on the home’s colors.

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The colorful hues extend around the home at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota

But more than anything, the history of the house has remained through the various owners. Throughout the home, Michelle “wanted to kind of stay with the feel of the house” like in adding textures, woodwork and embellishments.

“A lot of the main floor is a lot of the original from when it was built,” Michelle described. “I know with a lot of older homes they have a tendency to paint a lot of the woodwork … but the people who have owned it through the years have taken really good care of it. So, you still have the beautiful wood and the pocket doors and just all that charm that can come from an older home.”

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The home was built just before electrical power surged through the town in December 1903. According to oral history shared with the Hamiels, their garage once housed the St. Charles Post Office at another location. The property itself dates back to 1857, Dan noted, which sits around when the city was founded .

Now, the four-bedroom and two-bathroom home is for sale for $280,000.

“Just walking in from the front of the home, it’s the tall ceilings, it’s just massive,” Tollin said. “It reminds me like walking into a house that a princess owns because of the older era, the old Victorian home vibe that it has.”

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The upstairs bathroom at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles includes an 800-pound clawfoot, cast iron bathtub.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota

With the Hamiels’ slice of history in the home, they focused on many updates, from the downstairs bathroom to the kitchen, hardwood floors and wiring. They revamped the downstairs bathroom and added a touch of the past with an 800-pound clawfoot tub upstairs.

“You have a vision, you’re a visionary and you saw something and you knew what it could do and you’re not afraid to tackle that and pursue that,” Tollin shared with Michelle.

In owning their first historical home, the couple started with mounds of wallpaper removal. The living room alone had five layers, and the last layer shone with gold elements.

With the goal of preserving the nature of the home, Michelle selected wallpaper similar to the original. A young son, however, thought the new wallpaper looked exactly the same.

“It’s been a great old house,” Dan said.

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The Hamiels stayed even after their move-in day during the August 2007 flood , when over 9.2 inches of rain soaked the city. At the time, emergency responders estimated 70 people were evacuated from their homes that day.

“We had the house 12 hours and then the whole town flooded,” Dan said.

While working on the home, Michelle said finding people who worked in historical styles was one of their challenges. For example, cabinets were engrained into the home rather than added later to walls. A woodworker who had lived in England custom-made the downstairs bathroom cabinets.

A previous entryway, possibly an entrance for people who served in the house, is marked with a stained glass window near the front of the house. The window has a flowery pattern in a rectangular shape.

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A stained glass window near the front of the home at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota

“When we looked at the home what I fell in love with was … you walk in and you have these big, large rooms with a real tall ceilings and I just fell in love with the woodwork too. Just the beautiful crown molding and just the floorboards that are taller, they’re much larger than what you see in homes nowadays,” Michelle described.

Local business owners like Kevin Decker and Jim Kieffer have worked on many projects at the home.

“From the basement all the way up to the upstairs everything, there isn’t a room or floor or ceiling that hasn’t been touched. The basement was unfinished, that’s all finished now, and new windows all down in the basement,” Dan said.

The detached garage, with room for two cars, also houses a second layer, which Michelle describes as “your own little tree house but better.” From a deterioration rescue, the house is now brought back, and loved.

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“The house is so over-engineered it’s going to be here a 100 years after any of the new houses they built in town,” Dan said. “It’s been there a long time but it’s going to be there even longer.”

MORE HOME PHOTOS:

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The bold wallpapers throughout the home pay homage to the house's 122-year-old history at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota
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The dining room at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota
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A St. Charles home at 331 East Fifth Street.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota
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The basement at 331 East Fifth Street in St. Charles.
Contributed / Deanna Tollin / Property Brokers of Minnesota

Rebecca Mitchell started as a Digital Content Producer for the Post Bulletin in August 2022. She specializes in enhancing online articles as well as education, feature and health reporting.
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