CARTHAGE, Mo. (KTVI) – A pair of Victorian-style mansions in southwest Missouri have caught the attention of Zillow Gone Wild, a Twitter account dedicated to sharing odd and ostentatious home listings. The homes are situated on nearly 13 acres. They have a combined 8 bedrooms and 11 bathrooms (10 full, 1 half) over 16,851-square feet.
Realty Executives Tri-States posted 222 photos with the listing, showcasing authentic Carthage marble, stained and beveled glass, ornate chandeliers, and intricate woodwork. But we suspect it’s not the late 19th-century architectural features you’re here to see. The oddities are in the details when it comes to this listing.
A virtual tour of both three-story mansions shows there’s a walk-in safe, as well as a long tunnel connecting the two homes’ basements.
There’s also a full-sized caboose stationed on abandoned train tracks behind an unassuming grey carriage house on the property. The carriage house was an old radio station building.
In addition, there is an enclosed brick gazebo containing a wooden throne that appears to have been carved from a large tree growing through an exposed opening in the floor.
Looking through the gallery at the top of this story will reveal more ostentatious and quirky touches.
The eccentric property has quite a bit of history behind it. Dr. John Carter had the original mansion (with the wrap-around porch) built between 1893 and 1896. A veteran of the U.S. Civil War, Carter served as both soldier and physician in the Union Army. He moved to Carthage after the war and married.
Carter ultimately became the largest landowner in Jasper County, Missouri, with 3,000 acres to his name. Much of that land was given away and the city named a nearby park in Carter’s honor.
Carter died in 1913 at 79 and the brick mansion was eventually painted over.
Many decades later, cable and radio businesswoman Ruth I. Kolpin Rubison bought the Carter mansion and sought to restore the home. She succeeded in having the paint removed and lived out her remaining years in the carriage house. According to Realty Executives Tri-States, she had it made to look like a train depot since she purchased the old caboose and placed it behind building.
Kolpin Rubison died in April 2019 at 96.