By Alanna Radle Rodriguez
|The finished Kivlehen House in 1910
|Original 1902 Specifications
Because every piece of wood was cut by hand, the house wasn’t completed in 1910, eight years after construction started. James, Mattie, and young Colleen, moved into what the newspaper called “one of the largest residences in Edmond.”
Over the years, Mr. Kivlehen took an active role in the community and local government. In 1917, he became the 16th postmaster, served as Edmond’s City Treasurer for 18 years, sat on the City Commissioner’s board, and the Chamber of Commerce. James also served as President of the, now UCO, Central State University Alumni Association. He died in his home in 1957.
The Kivlehen house has seen many owner over the years. As with most stories, there is a dark period when the Kivlehen house devolved into serious disrepair. However, Mariana Lloyd and her son, Ben, had plans to change that. They purchased the house with the intent to restore it to its former glory and set up their real estate office inside it. The original estimated cost to build the house back in the early 1900s was $5,000. The Lloyds purchased it for $175,000 in 2006, and over the next two years, spent $400,000 in restorations. Mariana described it as a “Labor of Love”. They also wanted it added to the National Register of Historic Places. Within the application, they had to include pictures with detailed descriptions of every big and little change they had done. Eleven pages, forty three subjects, approximately one hundred and twenty pictures, and two years later, the process had been completed.
|Holes they drilled to add blow-in insulation
|One of many sections of the Application for National Register
|The old front stair case, being renovated
|Finished hall and stair case in 2016
Mariana Lloyd wanted to keep as much of the original wood, walls, floors and windows as possible. Much of the southeast parlor had to be redone because it had been eaten by termites. Ben found a company in Wewoka, Oklahoma, that
|Front Parlor Original windows
|Back staircase with railing, no support wall
|Back Staircase with new supporting wall and stairs too steep to use
|Bedroom above kitchen closet door
One interesting thing they discovered was related to the flooring. The outer part of all the rooms was made of pine while the center was oak. Pine was more costly than oak when the house was built. The family would cover the center of the floor with a rug to hide the less costly oak wood, leaving the pine exposed.
|Pine boards going horizontal where they can be seen, oak boards vertical to be covered by rug
|Original Pocket Doors
|The Kivlehen House in its new life
|Placard in front yard
|Pictures of Mrs. Mattie and Mr. James Kivlehen
hang in the front hall
You can contact them at:
Mariana Lloyd and
525 Realty Group
525 N. Jackson
Edmond, OK 73034
|The Kivlehen House at Christmas, 2010
Born and raised in the Edmond, OK area, Alanna Radle Rodriguez is the great, great, granddaughter of one of the first pioneers to help settle the area in what is now Seminole, Oklahoma. The fourth generation in a line of women in her family to be born in Indian Territory/Oklahoma, she has lived in her beloved state all her life. With her knowledge of surrounding area history, her heart relishes in volunteering at the Oklahoma Territorial Schoolhouse in Edmond. She lives with her husband and parents in the Edmond area, currently working on a historical romance set in pre-statehood Waterloo, Oklahoma.