Doug McPike didn’t know he was pulling up to his future home when he arrived at a historic house in the countryside of Mexico, Missouri, three decades ago.

The former Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper was there to respond to a traffic accident, but as he looked at the property, he thought to himself that it would be nice to live in the rural area someday. Ten years later, in 1998, the home was for sale, and Doug and his wife, Lori, jumped at the opportunity.

Built in the early 1870s, the two-thousand-square-foot Colonial was moved to its current location in 1978. Before that, the land was home to Botts School—a 1903 one-room schoolhouse that is now on display at the Audrain County Historical Museum.

Over the past twenty years, the McPikes have done the necessary upkeep to maintain the home, such as installing new insulation, siding, windows, and updating the kitchen. However, after Doug retired in 2018, the couple decided it was time to make some bigger renovations to their three-bedroom, two-bathroom abode.

For the lower-level bathroom, Lori’s must-have item is a ninety-year-old cast iron clawfoot tub.

“We thought about leaving Missouri and moving someplace warm,” Doug says. “But we still have parents who live nearby, and we love this house. So we decided to stay and make it exactly what we wanted it to be.”

The eight-month project included filling the crawl space under the house to shore up the structure and level out the floors. They also tore down walls, opened up rooms to maximize the layout, added a covered front porch, and converted the screened-in back porch to a covered deck.

Inside a farm home located in Mexico, Missouri“We are proud of the fact that we were able to stay away from the big-box stores and get 90 percent of the work done by local contractors,” Lori says.

Most of the home’s original architectural features were lost before the house was moved to its current location, but the McPikes have put a modern spin on the traditional farmhouse charm. The McPikes incorporated barnwood and barn windows from Doug’s family farm to add their own touch of family history. They used the wood to craft a welcome sign for the entryway, accent the staircase landing, and make picture frames to display recipes from Lori’s grandmother. They chose weathered wood shiplap for the laundry room walls, entryway, and part of the kitchen. White Shaker-style cabinets bring a timeless feel to the laundry room, kitchen, and bathrooms while a deep shade of navy blue is featured in the family room and Doug’s den.

a kitchen in mexico missouri that was remodeled to look more modern
Hardwood floors and dove gray walls are showcased in the kitchen, laundry room, and bathrooms. For the lower-level bathroom, Lori’s must-have item is a ninety-year-old cast iron clawfoot tub.

Considering the age of the home, it’s surprising to learn that the McPikes are only the fourth family to live there. Previous residents have visited to see the updates, share the history associated with the home and the country school, and thank Doug and Lori for taking care of the structure and the land.

“The house speaks to us, our family, and our heritage,” Doug says. “The results of the remodel are better than we could have ever imagined, and we feel so blessed to be here. The more we learn about the history, the more we feel responsible to preserve it for another hundred years.”

Photos // Doug and Lori McPike