Col. C.F. Drake House beautifully restored

Perhaps you’ve noticed all the wonderful changes over the past several years to that gorgeous yellow “Victorian” home in Weiser on 516 E. Main St, adjacent to Monroe Creek.  
 It’s got quite a history that might interest you.  
 Identified as the “Col. C.F. Drake House” on the National Register of Historic Places, this “Shingle-Style” home was designed and built between 1899 and 1900 by a fellow named “Altman” for Darwin Utter and his wife.  
 At the time, Utter had just opened a civil engineering office in Weiser and “went on to construct the electric light and water plant in Weiser, install the sewage system, and was the chief engineer of the Weiser Irrigation District No. 1.” 
 He “brought about the expansion of canal irrigation systems in various parts of the state” and was eventually appointed as the U.S. Surveyor General for the State of Idaho. 
 According to the “History of Idaho, A Narrative Account of its Historical Progress,” he is credited with perfecting a new method of survey which was approved by Congress following presentation by Gov. Heyburn.  
 By 1907, his career took him away from Weiser, at which time he sold the house to Colonel Drake and his wife for whom the home is now known.  
 The house passed through several more owners during the 20th century, eventually being purchased by Doug and Sherry Massongill in 1977. 
 After 42 years of ownership, they sold the home to Brian and Paula Snider in 2019, and the couple immediately embarked on a major restoration/renovation on both the home and grounds.  
 While modest about their accomplishments and appreciative of all the local support they’ve encountered, a recent open house left members of the Weiser Architectural Preservation Committee, Inc. in awe of the work they’ve completed.  
 Not only has the home been tastefully restored inside and out, but major landscaping has also been completed to both stabilize and take advantage of the spectacular creek side location. If you’ve been curious about all they have accomplished, even better is the news that they are making it accessible to the public as an Airbnb!  
 It features three bedrooms, with ensuite, period woodwork, complementary furnishing and décor, historic photos, and architectural features, as well as a stunning creek side garden with private terrace.
 Though Brian and Paula do not live on site, they are no strangers to Weiser. Brian’s maternal grandparents acquired the regionally famous Starkey Hot Springs outside of Council back in the 1970s. He spent many summers there as a kid growing up as did his own family. Though the recreational complex itself has since passed to new owners, the family retains their ranch across the river.  
 They have also renovated other properties here in Weiser, which Brian has worked on even after his recent retirement from a career in law enforcement. 
 Their energy and enthusiasm for Weiser is a gift to our community, but don’t look for them to slow down anytime soon. Brian has an old car hobby he pursues along with other business interests while Paula continues to work for a veterinary clinic near their family home. In fact, they have plans to rehab and incorporate the cottage next door to the “Col. Drake House” as part of the Airbnb operation.  
 Next time you have visiting friends or family, suggest they consider this lodging alternative!          
 Edmondson is a board member of the Washington County Historic Preservation Commission and a board member and representative of the Weiser Architectural Preservation Commission and the Weiser Architectural Preservation Committee.


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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