Tourist And Student Field Trip Site Improves

Restoration project complete at Bess Streeter Aldrich Home.

A partial restoration of the author’s home in Elmwood has recently been completed, thanks to grants from two area organizations. The project included new vintage-style vinyl tiles in the home’s kitchen, breakfast room, and hallway, and a complete renovation of the downstairs bathroom, now used as the home’s public restroom. A highlight of the restoration is the return of the bathroom’s original plumbing fixtures, bringing the room back to much the way it looked when the home was built in 1922.
Grant monies were received from Cass County Tourism’s Improvement Fund and the Nebraska Questers organization. Additional funds were donated by members of the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation, and discounted services were provided by Terry Lorensen Contracting of Avoca, and Todd Valley Plumbing and Heating of Ashland.
The home has been owned by the non-profit Aldrich Foundation since 1992. Numerous restoration projects have been completed in the nearly 20 years that the home has been open for guided tours, including renovation of the upstairs bathroom, refinishing of wood flooring, a new roof, and exterior painting and window restoration.
“It takes a great deal of time and money to maintain, and hopefully continue to restore, a historic building like this. We are very thankful to everyone who helped make this project possible,” said Teresa Lorensen, Aldrich Foundation Executive Director.
The home is open for guided tours from 2pm-5pm on weekends through April, and Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from May to November. Guided group tours are available at other times by appointment. To learn more about the Bess Streeter Aldrich Foundation, visit

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