About 1.5 years ago, I shared with you one of my favorite obsessions, the website, Instagram, and now TV show known as Cheap Old Houses. Today, I want to share a specific project instigated by them that is turning a house from the ugly duckling it had become back into a swan. This is 75 E. Main Street in Orange, Massachusetts, affectionately known as The Wheeler Mansion. It was listed on the Cheap Old Houses site in 2020 with the caption “Save me,” and that’s exactly what this enterprising young woman did.
Though it was purchased in 1996 for $240,000 (which still seems ludicrously low to my New Yorker eyes), the couple who bought it fell on hard times, and eventually abandoned the property. It fell into serious disrepair, but when it was put on the market in 2020, Cynthia Butler of Los Angeles bought the near-derelict home for just $98,000. Here’s a bit of the building’s history.
“Built in 1903 by John Wilson Wheeler who was a rags to riches story. A few short years after his death in 1910, it served as a rest home for The Ladies of the Order of the Eastern Star until 1990. It was privately bought in 1996 to a local family but due to economic circumstances, it was abandoned in 2015 until recently purchased with the intentions of reviving, renovating and restoring this beautifully neglected piece of history into a Bed and Breakfast, Event and Retreat location. This is an ambitious project by an equally ambitious and optimistic woman who has relocated from Los Angeles with her family to dig in and begin the process of bringing some life back to this mansion and bringing some adventure to her life. For that reason, she has selected the name Revival Bed and Breakfast at Wheeler Mansion, sharing a bit of the history while hopefully creating some of its own for future generations to enjoy.”– Revival Wheeler Mansion’s first post