by Jennifer Finch
Seven years ago, a vacant farmhouse in a northern Greeley neighborhood caught the eye of Mary Ann Welzbacker. Though empty and quiet, the home’s charm was still evident and it drew Mary Ann in for a closer look. “I was drawn to the house by its uniqueness,” she said. “I looked through the windows and knew it was the house I wanted to buy.” The house, as it turns out, was once the home of Andy Epple.
Mary Ann was told a little about the house before she purchased it, but it wasn’t until after the deal was done that she really learned of the home’s past. “I asked my husband to go with me to the museum to research the information on Andy Epple. We stood there for hours researching the history about our home,” said Mary Ann.
“The house has been very well taken care of,” she explained, “and has the original wood floors throughout the whole house. It has one and one-half-inch planks which I was told have not been around in over 50 years. On the east of the house, from one end to the other are the original French windows which make the house very bright. It has two original French doors, and the towel bars in the guest bathroom are glass – very unique.”
The basement is still home to the original shelves where Blanche (Hoskins) Epple, Andy’s wife, would store her canned goods. Her labels that helped her organize her jars of canned fruits and vegetables are still there as well.
“It is a cozy home to live in,” explained Mary Ann. “Someday I would like to open it up for tours; that is a long term goal.”
And it isn’t just the house that holds historic charm. It seems that Andy, who was said to have a ‘mischievous streak in his nature’ left a few surprises on the grounds as well. “It appears that every year some type of flowers pop up,” Mary Ann said. “This year, we had tulips under the peach tree that came up out of the blue.”
Mary Ann Welzbacker has worked for the Weld County Human Services Department for the past 13 years. Currently, she is a Case Manager in the special programs unit. She enjoys helping people better their lives and seeing them become successful.
She and her husband enjoy their historic Greeley home and have continued Andy’s tradition but on a smaller scale – they have enjoyed a small vegetable garden they maintained in their yard and plan on having more gardens in the future.