By Kathleen Swift
Jeremy and Lori Haun have lived in their home for 10 years, but the historic Queen Anne-style house has a long history. In 1890, the house was built by Simon Schwartz, a Joplin merchant who sold supplies to local miners. In 1898, a carriage house was added as a stable for horses. In the 1920s, the carriage house was converted to an office for owner Dr. Sam Grantham, and it remained an office for two other doctors until 2005. Legend has it Bonnie and Clyde held Dr. Grantham at gunpoint while he attended to a wounded gang member and then told him to wait 10 minutes after they left before he called the police.
Today, the carriage house serves as a studio for Jeremy, a comic book artist and writer. At Christmas, the old carriage house, of course, is decorated with a comic book theme.
“We’re not too traditional,” said Lori, describing the family’s Christmas style. “We have a mix of fun items along with some traditional things.”
One traditional item that fills the house is greenery. “We have greens on the stair rails, a wreath on the front door, which has leaded windows, and several trees,” added Lori. “We use a lot of natural greenery on the porch and inside. I use the ivy, holly, magnolia and other shrubs with red berries that grow in our yard.”
The rooms are set aglow with white lights. “I love the nice, warm glow of the lights on the mantel and the tree in the living room,” said Lori. “I put them up along the two fireplaces and the bookshelf and leave the lights on 24/7 until I take them down.”
Along with the living room, the Hauns’ favorite rooms to decorate are the foyer and the landing at the top of the stairs. They also decorate the long dining room table with greens, candles and ornaments.
“The boys help bring up the boxes of decorations from the basement and help take them back down,” said Lori. “I start decorating right after Thanksgiving, and it usually takes two days to get it done. I add a few more things each year that reflect what is in style as far as color. For example, I added a big tube of lime green ornaments last year. This house lends itself to decorating, and I think of it as a Christmas house.”