The Larnerd Case house (also known as Rose Hill) at 3111 Easton Boulevard is said to be the oldest home in Des Moines. Different sources cite the original construction date from the early 1840’s to 1850.
Owners appear to have loved the home, one even after moving across country from it. A widowed Elizabeth Davis sold the property in 1914 to move west. When she died, her will instructed that a mirror made out of walnut from the home’s bannisters be returned. The Borg family accepted the delivery and hung it on their wall.
The Larnerd Case house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 for its architectural and historical significance:
Ohioan Larnerd Case built his house in 1846 using black walnut cut from his property, but his son, Philo, had taken up residence in the county by 1843. It was not until 1845 that the government allowed legal settlement there, following a treaty with the Sac and Fox Indians. Larnerd Case lived on the 160-acre farm until his death in 1857, and the house remained in the family until 1881, although portions of the original land, entered in the county records in 1848, were gradually sold off. In 1890 Hannah Hollingsworth sold the house to Langdon and Elizabeth Davis. A former city clerk, Davis was a railroad ticket agent at the time of the purchase. Mrs. Davis had admired the Case house since the late 1870s when she passed the house while on Sunday drives to the country. Despite her admiration for Rose Hill, she undertook alterations in the prevailing style of the period. The Davises lived at Rose Hill until 1914 when Dr. Lenna Meanes and Essie Hathaway, an English teacher, bought the house. The women, who added the two-story sleeping porch in 1914-15, lived there until 1921 when architect Elmer H. Borg took possession. Rose Hill remained in the Borg family until 1990.