Ever have a favorite uncle, one you adored because he was cool and wasn’t like your other uncles who just talked about work all the time and wouldn’t let you make noises at his place? Or worse, didn’t talk to you at all and relegated you and your siblings to the “kid’s table” during holiday feasts? It made you aware of your 2nd class kid status and you thought this other uncle was WAY boring.
Likely, the favorite uncle was creative and lived a different lifestyle than your other uncles. His house was always full of cool stuff and cool projects he worked on. He threw fun parties and was full of tales.
This is how we’ve come to view our newest neighbor, BobYapp aka the House Doctor. He bought one of the coolest houses in Hannibal and is restoring everything in it the way they used to back in the “olden days” – with care and the intention of making it last a lifetime.
The Doctor makes a house call.
Bob’s even made a school out of his house and is teaching other people how to restore things the right way. The school is called the Belvedere School for Historic Restoration.
The Belvedere School for Historic Restoration,
just around the block from us.
Bob’s wife Pat is cool too and displays nice artwork on the walls of the house. I wish I could see her entire art collection and not just the pieces she shows.
Even their dogs are nice and want to play. They aren’t like other uncles’ dogs who are old and growl and might even bite you.
Gee, am I sounding like a kid gushing about her favorite uncle? I guess I am.
Bob and Pat Yapp and their dogs arrived in Hannibal the earlier part of 2007. Bob is an expert on home restoration, a master carpenter, and a furniture maker. He even had a radio show and a PBS show called “House Doctor” in the late 1990’s, hence his moniker forever after.
Bob and Pat chose Hannibal out of the many towns they scoured looking for a place to settle. Here are some of their reasons:
- Hannibal, with its numerous historic districts is a town that has a good preservation ethic and track record to go with it.
- Their love of the Mississippi River and the culture that surrounds it. Hannibal with its long river history & Mark Twain connection is the quintessential Mississippi river town. The town is also within a couple of car hours within a major city, Saint Louis.
- An affordable lifestyle with reasonable property taxes, low cost of living and affordable historic housing.
- Quality economic development with low unemployment and expanding factories.
- A city manager form of government with a part-time mayor as opposed to the strictly “good ole boy” type of government.
These sound like very good reasons to us for moving to and living in Hannibal.
Next Posts: The “Barn Raising” Plan and Getting Down to Business.
Meanwhile, treat yourself to Bob's book, About Your House published in 1997. This is not just a do-it-yourself book. You'll also be introduced Bob's pioneering philosophy behind restoring older houses and how this is an essential part of the green movement today.