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Monday, May 2, 2016

Historic home goes up for auction Thursday

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

The historic 1887 Victorian home at 9 E. Poplar St., Greencastle, will be on the auction block Thursday night, beginning at 6 p.m.
As an air traffic controller, Charles Pritchett excels at creating order out of chaos and ensuring safety in the skies overhead.

Thursday evening he'll see how well his organizational skills play out on the ground as well.

Charles is executor of the will of his late brother David Carl Pritchett, the ill-fated 48-year-old Reelsville kayaker who drowned in Big Walnut Creek back in late April. And as part of that responsibility, Charles has been instrumental in helping prepare the historic home at 9 E. Poplar St., Greencastle, for sale.

Lawson & Co. auctioneers will handle the sale, which is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Thursday on the site of what has been known as the Old Doc Zaring Home (aka the Marie Aker House).

The two-story Queen Anne-style home was built for Dr. Zaring in 1887 and features 2,838 square feet of living space on a quarter-acre lot at the northwest corner of Poplar and Vine streets.

Also in the house and part of Thursday's sale is a huge, hand-carved oak leaf buffet reportedly carved by the wife of Dr. Zaring (it might be sold separately if the buyer of the house does not want it).

Pritchett's family has owned the home since 1945 when his grandparents, Dr. Charles L. and Marie Aker, bought it and its pocket and leaded glass indoor French doors and distinctive woodwork and hardwood floors.

"I am sad to see it go," Pritchett said. "It was sad to go through it and see it again. My grandmother kept that place spotless when she was around.

"She always had David and I out there trimming the lilacs and the barberry bush."

Charles lived in the house from 1962-1980 when he entered the Air Force. David lived there until 1999 with time out for a couple of side journeys to South Dakota and Indianapolis. But the home has been vacant the past six or seven years.

Still, it holds many memories for Pritchett.

"I remember sneaking out of the house at night when I was in junior high," he said. "You had to be very, very careful because the stairs were wooden and creaky and my grandmother slept on the main floor and was always on the lookout."

It was the late David Pritchett who added the surveillance camera to the balcony on the east side of the house, a conspicuous addition that drew attention of its own from passersby.

"I just took that down the other day," Charles said, indicating his brother had it installed during one of his "more eccentric moods."

Pritchett said he also removed about "50 years worth of junk" from the house.

"I salvaged quite a bit, although most of it was junk."

He said he found one of his grandfather's insurance payment books and an old prescription pad of Charles L. Aker, a general practitioner who covered Putnam County during the war years because he was too old to fight.

Charles can commiserate in a way. He's getting ready to retire from the FAA (due to the mandatory retirement age of 56 for air traffic controllers). "I'm too old to work," he said.

Maybe that's why he embraces the old house that will be up for auction Thursday night.

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Lol! David and ME. Thanks, though.

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 3:42 AM

One of the most beautiful homes I have ever been in. I was given the 25 cent tour back in the early 80's by Charles's mother and was awe struck by the craftsmanship and pride that went into the building of this home. It was a home not a house.

Charley its is not easy to sell, I know because I have the t-shirt. You will always have the memories.

Your scout camp neighbor, where the Indians roam.

-- Posted by ridgerunner54 on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 9:38 AM

By 'too old to work.' Mr. Bernsee meant to say that I have reached the mandatory age limit (56) set by the FAA for those working operational positions in live traffic. I'll be available, come February, for 'other' work. :O)

-- Posted by chazm_vet on Wed, Sep 21, 2011, at 9:14 PM

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