Clark-Robidoux House

Site Information

Location: 4th & Clark Street, Wallace, Kansas Approximately 1 mile north of US-40

GPS Coordinates: N 38º 54.927' W 101º 35.659'

Intrinsic Qualities:

Site Logistics:

  • The house is being restored to its original state by the owners. Open for tours and special occasions by appointment.
  • The interior has been completed.
  • Restrooms available when open.

Approximately 1 mile north of US-40 A very unusual home on the Great Western Plains of Wallace, Kansas! The Gothic Revival style home, with a widow‘s walk, was built in 1880 by H.A. Clark for his Vermont bride-to-be, Lila Carpenter. He chose this style of architecture, which is similar to the homes on the east coast. Mr. Clark, a state representative in 1895, owned a large ranch south of Wallace and also the lumber yards in both Wallace and Sharon Springs. He was instrumental in building some of the first business places in Goodland, Kansas, hauling lumber by horse and wagon from his lumber yards.
The home boasts a winding walnut stairway, period chandeliers, original yellow pine floors and consists of seventeen rooms, fourteen of which have been restored to their original beauty. It also has front and side porches. At the time the home was built the population of Wallace was 3500, largely due to the Fort and the railroad. The first Fred Harvey eating establishment was in Wallace (1875), located in the Wallace Hotel.

In 1909 the home was sold to Peter Robidoux, a French-Canadian entrepreneur who came to western Kansas where he became a very prominent and influential business man. He modernized the home by putting in electricity and indoor plumbing, which was a luxury in the early 1900’s. Owning the largest mercantile store between Kansas City and Denver, Robidoux advertised as selling anything and everything, from postage stamps, spices and beer to saddles. He said that if the day ever came that no one came in the store, he would lock the door. Eventually that happened and he locked up and never returned to disperse the merchandise. He became very wealthy and acquired 32,000 acres of Wallace county range land and developed a large herd of cattle. He was president of the Wallace State Bank and George R. Allaman was vice-president. After losing several thousand head of cattle in a blizzard, Peter lost his land and returned to work. He started a realty business called Robidoux Land Co. which was located in his home. Peter died in 1927 and his wife, Alice (Barry) Robidoux died in 1947.

The Robidoux heirs owned the home until November, 2000, when it was purchased by Buddy (grandson of George R.) and Glenda Allaman. It had been vacant since 1982 when Ramona Bowman, a daughter of Peter and Alice passed away. Buddy and Glenda accomplished having both the home and the unique outhouse listed on the State and National Register of Historical Places on April 25, 2001. Since there acquisition of the home it has been rewired, replumbed, and beautifully restored on the interior. Exterior work has included new porch foundations, new roof, widow‘s walk and balcony restoration coupled with the addition of storm windows.

To date, there have been in excess of 5,000 signatures of people from across the United States and foreign countries touring the home. Some special rooms include the bridal suite with private bath, the Calamity Jane room, a western theme bedroom where Martha Jane Canary, aka Calamity Jane, stayed enroute to South Dakota, the Tea Room, Magnolia Room, parlor with beautifully painted ceiling and the music room, both adorned with lace curtains and velvet drapes. There have been two weddings held in the home along with anniversary and birthday celebrations, reunions, and hosting of families following funerals.

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