While taking a walk in downtown Jasper several years ago with her husband, Jeff, she found the perfect place at 1605 First Avenue East.
“We walked by and saw that it was for sale. It had actually been for sale for a year,” Jeff Butts said.
The couple bought the home in January 2006 and spent six months fixing it up.
Their largest undertaking was modernizing the bathrooms and the kitchen, which held a potbelly stove and a vintage refrigerator with the motor on top when they first looked at the house.
“It had to be completely gutted,” Martha Butts said of the kitchen.
Today the kitchen boasts stainless steel appliances, marble counter tops and cabinets that were made locally.
Another significant change was moving the washing machine and dryer from a utility room on the back porch to a new walk-in closet that was made out of a former parlor.
Two of Martha Butts’ favorite pieces that she added to the home are the stained glass above an entryway in the foyer that came from a New York church and the circular dining room table, which seats 10.
Ten is an important number because the Butts have five children between them and Martha has five grandchildren.
“I have a large family, and we can all sit down and eat lunch together,” Martha Butts said.
The house, like others from its era that have stood the test of time, has several other unique features that the Butts have learned how to replace.
For example, the original hardwood floor in the living room is beautiful but it also slopes.
“I just tell everybody it has theater seating,” Martha Butts jokes.
The Butts’ residence is one of the stops on Pilot Club of Jasper’s Christmas Tour of Homes this year.
The annual fundraiser will be held Sunday, Dec. 2, from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Tickets are available from any Pilot Club member and are $10 in advance or $12 at the door.
Proceeds from the event will go to Equines Assisting Special Individuals (EASI), a local therapeutic horseback riding program.