July 09, 2016

Steenblik house remnant of old dairy farm

Steenblik house remnant of old dairy farm
By The West View

The large covered porch of the old Steenblik farmhouse gives off a cozy glow as the inside lights shine through the glass panes on the front door, lighting the entryway. There is no doorbell, so I knock on one of the glass panes on the large front door. After a few moments Legrand and Cindy Steenblik welcome me into their home.

Once inside, warm wood accents meet the eye at every turn; hardwood floors below, built-in wall shelves to the right and wood window frames above. Legrand mentions that his father helped build the home for Legrand’s grandparents in the 1920s and that his father was a cabinetmaker by trade. All of the wood treatments suddenly tell a story about the home’s history and as we explore the house it becomes clear that almost every element in the home tells a tale about the generations of Steenblik’s that have lived there.

Legrand pulls off a oil painting from the wall and hands it to me. At first I don’t recognize the house in the painting, but he explains that it is the very house I am standing in. It is understandable that I do not recognize it at first, considering the house in the painting is surrounded by a bending river and fields of grass and trees, not the rows and rows of the brick bungalows that are now there.

The house I'm standing in has changed quite a bit too. Parts of the large outside porch have been enclosed decades ago as the house was expanded to create rooms for the growing family. Legrand grins as he points out that one of the kitchen doors was once the back door of their house. It seems that each generation has left their mark on the house as the family added-on to it.

A large kitchen with all of the modern amenities takes center stage in the house. Cindy Steenblik laughs, and tells me that the kitchen sink used to be inside a pantry-like closet in the old kitchen. When she and Legrand decided to take over the family home she refused to do dishes in the small room, so the kitchen floorplan was opened up and the kitchen sink moved into the main kitchen with a few other modern kitchen updates.

A lot of the vintage elements from the original house are still very apparent, bedroom doors still have the original hardware; golden knobs and skeleton key locks and the family even kept many of the vintage air-intakes from the old coal burning furnace. A few of the older door frames are charmingly ascue, a result of digging under the house to install the old coal furnace, a modern amenity of its time.

The house has stood in the neighborhood long before it was known as Rose Park. When the house was built, the Jordan River flowed naturally, right up next to the property; tall trees in the backyard mark the old river banks. Located on the corner of the lot, the house is just one part of a larger Steenblik homestead that once included a barn and the family-owned dairy business. Longtime Rose Park residents might fondly remember when the family’s dairy was operational, but newer residents might also recognize the family name from the small pocket park with the colorful dairy cat sculptures, located at 1100 North and 800 West, which was named after Joseph F. Steenblik.