The Mackay Mansion, "Stacy House" (1902)
The town of Mackay has it share of historical landmarks, but perhaps its most well known in the stately Victorian style home located at the corner of Spruce and Elm Streets. This beautiful old home, known as the "Stacy House" until this last decade, was built the turn of the century in 1902-1903 shortly after the town came into being with the coming of the railroad in 1901. The house was constructed at the direction of Wayne Darlington, founder of Mackay and then superintendent of the White Knob Mining Co. ,which owned the mining activity and smelter on the "Hill".
Looking for investors to expand mining activities of the company, Mr. Darlington had the home built as a place to lodge and entertain wealthy potential investors, usually from back east or San Francisco. It also catered to influential mining engineers and bigshots visiting on company business. No elegance in construction was spared in his effort to impress these important guests who would spend a few days looking over the mining interests of the company.
Only the finest of building materials were used in the construction of this showplace. The house features two full stories, plus and attic room, 11 rooms, 2 baths, 5 fireplaces, and a full basement. The very latest in window styling, wood moldings, unique fireplaces tiling and mantels, Oak staircase, and solid wood doors with transoms, were high lighted throughout. The exterior wood clapboard siding, large wrap-around porch, special galvanized metal "fish scale", shingles and extraordinary masonry work of the fireplace chimneys made it stand out from even the nicest of homes of the period. The ground to roof chimney on its west side even features a window in the chimney's center. Never intending the structure as a permanent home, only a caretaker and maid occupied full; time quarters there. That is until 1905.
In 1905, with Wayne Darlington's mining venture on the "Hill" in serious financial trouble, he sold the house and furnishings to John H. Greene an investor and employee of the mining co. as well as a very prominent store owner and business man of the area. The Greene family resided in the house until 1920, at which time Mr. Greene sold his Lost River Commercial store, and the house, to F.A. and Maude Stacy.
The Stacy family would call the place home for many years including the though "depression" years. The raised a large family there and would claim ownership until, after the death of Maude Stacy in 1952 and a number of renters, The "Stacy House" was sold to Bill and Lula Shaffer of Mackay in 1962. Time had taken its toll and the palatial structure had fallen into disrepair and it is understood that the Shaffers were very instrumental in making many repairs and performing a lot of maintenance on the place.
In 1982 after almost twenty years in the big house, the Shaffers sold the home to present owner, Lowell and Carol Frauenholz. They, like the Shaffers, have done what they could to maintain the elegance and unique history of the place; to furnishing their formal living room with Victorian style furniture, to restoring fireplaces, to the costs of replacing to original detail the chimneys that were destroyed in the earthquake of 1983. In 1990, to commemorate Idaho's centennial, they renamed the house" The Mackay Mansion" and opened the house to tours by the public. Most of the original lighting fixtures still adorn the rooms, some original wallpaper is still intact, and many of the original curtains and draperies and trappings are still with the house. And of course the original wood work, moldings and fireplaces are still there.
The future of the "Mackay Mansion" is unknown, but its storied past lives on. The Frauenholz's have expressed, they feel that they are merely taking care of the place for posterity and that it really doesn't belong to them.
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