The Paper Merchant
Owners, Stephen and Patricia Burnham
The Paper Merchant resides in what is known as the 'Loveday House'/'Gothic House'. It was originally built in 1868 for Chicago Attorney, Charles D.F. Smith as a summer home. Smith purchased the lot from Eldridge Hall. Hall purchased the land from William LeBaron, who acted as administrator to the estate of Mary Ann Castner, who originally bought the lots back on April 26, 1850. Once the home was completed, Smith sold the house for $5,000 to William Loveday in 1870.
The building got its nickname from the style in which it was built, known as Gothic Revival. The Gothic Revival began in 1740 and became extremely popular well into the 19th century. It sought to revive medieval forms, and contrast them with the neoclassical-ideals prevalent at the time.
The Loveday House includes several projecting wings, a high roof interrupted by dormer, gable ends decorated with trefoil-shaped vents, and round-ended bargeboards with applied zig zag molding and open card leaf designs. The Geneva Historical Society presented the Loveday House with a plaque in 1971.
After William Loveday, the house became a private residence for a judge and then a local attorney from 1884-1912. In 1913, the local druggists, Mr and Mrs. George Johnson, moved in and made it their private residence. Their pharmacy was located on State Street, where Erday's and Kiss the Sky reside today.
In 1953, the building was sold to Esther Dames, a Chicago Milliner. She turned the main level of the house into a retail shop, where she specialized in hats and dresses. Ms. Dames used the upper level as her private residence. In 1971, a group of land developers known as Tiburon moved into the house. The building was then sold off to Angelo Dangles as a private residence in 1978. It was during this time period the house was extended with the addition of two extra rooms and a garage. This remodeling was done over the course of six years. Evidence of the original siding can be seen in the card room of the Paper Merchant. In 1985, Terry Bucki converted the house back into a retail shop called Clay n' Caboodle. Then in 1990, Stephen and Patricia Burnham bought the building and moved in with their already popular shop.