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Twister House Movie Site/ Follet Mansion
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|Heated Sq. Ft.||2,992|
|Unheated Sq. Ft.||2,808|
- 1st Floor Bedroom
- Bonus Room
- Dining room
- Living room
- Unfinished Basement
- Storage Building
- Built-in Cabinets
- Ceiling Fans
- Grand staircase
- Original wood windows
- Walk-In Closets
- Wood floors
- Shingle Roof
- Gas heating
- Septic Tank
- Pocket Doors
- Wrap Around Porch
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History of the Twister House
The "Twister House", as it is now known, was built in 1886 by Luther M. Follett, a prominent Wisconsin businessman. When it was completed, it was widely heralded as the grandest home in Hardin County, Iowa. It featured many amenities that were considered very modern at the time including indoor plumbing and duct work to all the rooms for heating. Luther Follett lived in the house and farmed the land for many years, and upon his death, the house passed through the hands of several family members.
In the 1960's the current owners, Raymond and Floris Follett, retired to Arizona and left the house as rental property. After a few years, with the house needing repair and updating, the decision was made to close it down. The house was emptied and boarded up and remained that way for the next 30 years.
Upon the death of Raymond Follett in 1994, the house was put up for sale outside of the family. It was purchased by a local man who was later put in touch with the production crew from Warner Bros. who were in the area scouting sites for the "Twister" film. They were looking for a farm site with an old house that they could tear down during filming, and this boarded up abandoned home fit the bill perfectly. A deal was struck between the parties and filming was set to begin.
Hearing the news that this historic old home was set to be demolished, people of the area became upset and began fighting to save the house. After a bit of a battle, they were successful in their efforts and the plans were changed to only demolish the barns and outbuildings. This actually worked out positively for the crew as well, leading to one of the key lines in the movie..."Look, it didn't take the house."
After filming was complete, a local man took over ownership of the house. He did enough renovations and updating to be able to open the house as a bed and breakfast, which he ran for ten years.
This beautiful Victorian features close to 3000 sq ft of living space on two stories. The first level consists of a gorgeous foyer with the original hand-carved Italian staircase, and pocket doors leading into the living room and large dining room. There is also one bedroom with a walk in closet that could also be used as a family room, office or den. The large kitchen has an attached summer kitchen which could easily be transformed into a mud room or large laudry room. Off of the dining room is an entryway to the basement and a back staircase leading upstairs.
The second story of the home has a wide open hallway leading to a large bathroom and 4 large bedrooms, all with walk in closets. Each bedroom has several windows which bring in tons of light and have beautiful views of the surrounding land. Additionally, there is one smaller bedroom that was originally the maid's quarters. This room sits at the top of the back staircase and does not have a closet, but is still a very useful space for a child's room or as an office or reading room.
From the second floor, there is a staircase going up to a full walk-up attic. This is an indredible space in the house which could be beautifully finished and would easily add another 1400 sq ft of living space.
The oringinal 3 inch hardwood floors are still throughout the entire home, although some areas are in need of repair. Also, much of the original woodwork is intact. Every window in the home features raised wood panels underneath, and all of the doors, interior and exterior, have transom windows.
This property is a quiet country setting but is just off the main road outside of town. The house sits on about 29 acres of land, of which about 24 is pasture land. The house sits off the road with a long drive and a huge front lawn. All of the foundations for the original outbuildings are still in place. Additionally, there are 17 RV hookups and a mobile home hookup. There are two propane tanks, two septic tanks and two wells, but only one well is currenty in use. The pasture is fully fenced and has several springs and a creek running all the way through.
In 1995, all of the plaster was removed from the interior of the house, paneling was hung, and drop ceilings were installed. All of the plumbing and wiring was updated with two 250 amp boxes placed inside the house.
In 1996, the RV hookups and second septic tank were installed.
In 2000, both septic tanks were cleaned.
In 2006, the roof was completely replaced with new architechual shingles. One well was completely redone with new PVC piping, new wiring, and a new pump and pressure tank. Part of the paneling on the interior of the house was removed and the lathe board was removed in preparation for insulation and sheetrock.
The potential of this property is enormous. The house could be ran as a Bed and Breakfast with a gift shop and tours. It could be listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and surely could be featured in magazines and home renovation shows.
There is plenty of land to plant wildflower gardens, an orchard and fruit garden, or a pumpkin farm. The creek could easily be dammed and a pond built and stocked with fish. This would create a beautiful setting for nature walks, canoes or paddle boats.
Archived in September, 2012
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