On this piece of land in the town of Manchester, Missouri, stood a modest old farmhouse. The Martin Engler House was built as a residence in 1906. It looked about like any other early 20th century white clapboard farmhouse. This one had a small screened porch that protected a beautiful wooden door. There were majestic maple trees in front of the house and a shed and garage out back. Now back in 1906, there probably wasn't much in the way of suburbs surrounding this farmhouse. It would have been on the edge of Manchester proper. This proud old farmhouse looked out of place once its farm was covered with postwar ranch houses, all looking the same, boring babyboomer style. You know, with the fancy picture windows and carports.
I loved that old farmhouse. It came on the market a couple of years ago. We could have bought it. Alas, it wasn't practical - too small really, and no airconditioning. That old white clapboard farmhouse was my favorite house in all of West County. Driving home from God knows where the other day, I saw the pile of splintered wood in the lot and the big scoop in the yard crushing what was left of that grand old house. Today, they were removing the last bits of the rubble. The old radiators had been removed and set aside - I'm sure so someone could sell them to someone doing a refurbish job. Those big beautiful trees have been pushed over. The whole lot cleared. By now, I'm sure it's all gone. I just found where the city granted the owner a variance to create two non-regulation lots where this old house once stood. That can only mean that soon, two brand new, 21st century, cookie cutter retro-style homes will soon be standing on this treeless lot.