Brady House, oldest display at Steam Engine Show
The oldest exhibit at the Missouri River Valley Steam Engine Show may not be any of the steam engines, but the house, which stands on the Brady Show Grounds.
The Brady House has stood since 1870 and was the primary residence of Arnold Brady. The grounds were purchased from Brady and converted into the present day grounds for the steam engine show.
The home is dedicated to the memory of Brady's mother, Martha Brady. She gave cooking, piano and sewing lessons while she lived at the home.
Individuals visiting the show can see the home and the restoration efforts being undertaken by a couple of determined individuals.
Home restorer Betty Bruns said the home would maybe a memory if it was not for a number of MRVSEA individuals who wanted to save the house.
"The women stood up and said, no," Bruns said. "We were told we had the raise the money to repair the home."
Home restorer Barb Wyss said most of the money was raised through bake sales and grants through Walmart.
Most of the labor to restore the home was done by MRVSEA members such as Wyss and Bruns. These efforts were not only subject to the show but during many parts of the year as Wyss and Bruns would get together to discuss their next steps in restoring the old farm house.
"The labor has all been put in because of love," Wyss said.
For the last 10 years work has progressed.
"We have gone all the way down to the plaster and fixed anything that needed to be fixed," Wyss said.
Once the walls were completed, the wallpaper was hung. For the first couple years choosing the right wallpaper was very important in restoring the home. Wyss said she often consulted with Bruns for period specific looking wallpaper.
Wyss said one of the hardest parts of the project was preparing the walls and hanging the wall paper.
"In the old houses everyone would paper their ceiling at least once a year because the stoves would blacken the paper," Wyss said.
Every room is wallpapered and restored to how the home looked when the Brady's lived there. Early 20th period electric lighting is also on display in every room as electricity was added to the home in the mid-1940s.
They added the restoration effort is never complete and in addition, fundraising is key for repairs and up-keep for the house. The next step in the restoration will be restoring the back porch to its original form, which was used for cooling off in the summer and for preparing garden goods.
While there are many original items in the home, many MRVSEA members have either donated or loaned items to be on display in the home. These efforts are to educated individuals on the way of life of late 19th and early 20th century farm life.
We don't want the young children or adults of today to grow up and not forget how life was like back then," Bruns said.