For decades, the Gallup Poll has been the gold standard when it comes to gauging public opinion of all kinds of things. Whether you wanted to know the approval rating of the President or what people of a certain age thought of a major consumer brand, the Gallup Poll became synonymous with keeping a pulse on what was happening not only in America - but across the globe.
The founder of the Gallup Poll and the major worldwide data and analytics company it has become today was Dr. George Gallup. I would encourage you to read more about Dr. Gallup - he truly lived a fascinating life. Born at the turn of the century and raised near and educated in Jefferson, Dr. Gallup is regarded as the "father of public polling" and he was born and spent his formative years growing up in this beautiful family home.
Today, that Gallup family home, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has been beautifully and carefully restored and sits along one of the prettiest tree-lined streets in Jefferson, the county seat of Greene County.
On a recent Saturday, a couple of friends and I got a brief tour from the caretaker of the home. It is now available to be utilized as an events space or rented for overnight or weekend stays, among other uses.
The beautiful wrap-around porch offers cozy seating and an opportunity to enjoy the mature trees and views of other stately homes in the neighborhood.
The home is actually built as an octagon (8 sides).
Here's a model version of the home:
Once inside, you find a lovely combination of historic charm and modern amenities. The dining room has a beautiful octagon shaped table with chairs and a trio of windows that make the whole space quite charming.
All throughout the house, there are pictures about the life of George Gallup as well as accompanying information about the picture. I didn't have time to read through them all, but I am sure it is quite fascinating.
The kitchen is very updated and quite attractive.
Off the kitchen, there's a smaller room with a china cabinet that is now full of house merchandise and a custom made table (it looks like the work of Sticks) that depicts various aspects of Gallup's life.
His high school diploma from Jefferson High School even rests upon one of the walls.
Next door is a parlor or living room and it had some nice mission style furniture.
Heading out of the parlor and the dining room, you come to an area that leads you to a door to the wrap-around porch as well as a gorgeous stairway that takes you to the second floor.
Even the banister has a beautiful octagon newel post.
I don't know if this was original to the house (my guess is that it was not), but they stuck a small powder room underneath the stairs. That's the only toilet on the main floor. I found the sink base to be pretty unique.
At the top of the stairs is an area that is set up to be a bit more relaxed. There are a couple of chairs and a television.
There are three bedrooms and three bathrooms. They are all quite spacious.
We found a back stairway that was likely used by servants. It is certainly less ornate than the main stairway.
The house has an attic but we did not get to go up there. Perhaps in the future, it will be finished off to allow even more usable space. However, there is also a basement. It's mostly empty but quite clean. You can see the octagon shape down there as well.
This old board was leaning up against the wall and you can see where George Gallup, as a young boy, had carved his initials into it.
This is a gorgeous home and if you are looking to have a nice family getaway or maybe a girls weekend, this would be a great place to rent. I am sure there are lots of other small events that would work well too. According to the booking website, it is available at $150 a night.
This is the first of several upcoming posts about what kinds of adventures await you in Jefferson and the surrounding area and so if you did stay at the Gallup House, there's a lot of other great stuff to do in town. Check out their Facebook page to learn more and to follow along.
As always, I welcome your suggestions of places to visit and profile whether in Greene County or any of the other 98 counties in Iowa. If you have a suggestion or would like to host the Iowa Adventurer, please drop me a note through my website.