Historic Homes of Ava

Ava, Missouri
Douglas County

The small town of Ava is the only incorporated city in Douglas County, Missouri. The town was founded in 1871 as “Militia Springs,” named after a Union encampment based there during the Civil War, renamed as Ava 10 years later. Like many small communities in Missouri that prospered during the railroad years, Ava has many historic homes from this era – and, like many small communities in Missouri, the town could greatly benefit from a preservation commission – which it lacks. One at-risk historic home in Ava is also one of its oldest, originally the home of Rev. George R. Curry (c. 1870) at 403 North Fleetwood Street. Today the stately, 2-story home shows signs of significant disrepair. Much of the wood siding is rotting, several windows are broken, and the upper balcony is starting to collapse. While the roof protects much of the interior from the elements, the property is in dire need of security as vandalism and squatters on the property are prevalent. Until recently, the house was slated for demolition. The new owner wants to renovate and sell the property, but it is not known if the process will preserve the many historic details still remaining in the house. Another significant home, the Basil Vernon Spurlock Home (constructed in about 1940) at 203 West Garfield, is a beautiful example of native Ozark rock masonry. Unfortunately, the home has been neglected for years. The roof leaks and many of the windows and doors are broken which has led to significant deterioration inside, including the collapse of ceilings in several rooms. Like the Curry House, this property was slated for demolition and purchased with the intention of being renovated and sold. Aside from the increasing need to prevent further deterioration, the nominators hope that these two dwellings’ designation as Places in Peril will encourage subsequent owners to rehabilitate these properties, retain their historic details, and help set a precedence for future preservation and rehabilitation of the many historic homes in Ava.

These historic properties are now for sale. More information available soon.

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