Charles Wolf House

Also known as: Parkersburg Historical House
401 5th St., Parkersburg, Iowa

Brick Victorian mansion, built as a residence and now serving the community as a museum


Overview Looking Southeast

Although this is the back of the house, it faces the main highway, so it's the logical place for a sign.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning in March 2014




This stunning Victorian mansion was built in 1895 as a wedding gift to Charles C. Parker and his bride, Mary A. Wolf. (Beats 14 toasters and a re-gifted set of steak knives, doesn't it?) The house features a tower, ornate woodwork, and several leaded glass windows, including curved glass in the tower. Leaded glass is also used in the dormers that adorn the roof line.

It was Mr. and Mrs. Parker's home until Mr. Parker's death in 1921. Due to financial difficulties, the house and all its contents were sold at auction in 1926.

The house was turned over to the City of Parkersburg and was remodeled in 1930 and was used as the public library until 1970. (Note the fire escape and lower level entrance that was added to the original structure. The doghouse style entry was built with red brick that doesn't quite match the original and the fire escape looks strangely out of place.)

Saved from demolition by the Parkersburg Historical Society, the house today serves as a museum and headquarters for the society. According to the museum's website, the house is open for tours on Sundays during the summer.

Visit the museum website for photos of the house in its early days, the elegant interior and samples of the museum's collection of artifacts.

(Parkersburg was devastated by an EF5 tornado on May 8, 2008. One third of the town was completely destroyed. 282 homes, 22 businesses and 37 assisted living facilities were lost. 8 people perished in the tornado, that wreaked havoc for 43 miles to the Buchanan and Blackhawk County lines. Today, almost no trace of the damage can be seen in Parkersburg.)

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on October 1, 1979
Reference number
NR name
Wolf, Charles, House
Architectural style
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
C - Design/Construction
Property type
Historic function
Single dwelling
Current function
Period of significance
Significant year


19th Century (37,272)
Brick (42,460)
Built 1895 (668)
Built during 1890s (7,454)
Butler County, Iowa (7)
Harry Netcott (2)
House (27,180)
Iowa (2,498)
Museum (102)
Parkersburg, Iowa (3)
Private owner (54,396)
Slate (5,715)
Stone (26,161)
Victorian (19,697)

Update Log 

  • August 6, 2015: New photos from Dave King
  • March 29, 2014: Updated by J.R. Manning: Updated Status, Added Photos and Added Description