Destruction of Doctor’s Dwelling

A structure with historical significance to East Perry County history went down in flames yesterday in Altenburg.


Back in the early 1900’s, this was the home of Dr. Theodore and Louisa (Neubeck) Estel.  A few previous blog posts have been written about this Estel/Neubeck family.  One was Dealer and Healer in Downtown Altenburg.  That story was not only about Dr. Estel, but also the Neubeck Store which was located very near the Estel home.  The other post was titled, Mom’s Namesake.  That story told about the unusual fact that all five children in this Estel family, whether boy or girl, had the middle name of Neubeck, their mother’s maiden name.

First, I will show some photos that I consider pertinent to this story.  Here is a wonderful photo of Main Street in downtown Altenburg.

Neubeck store looking west

The Neubeck Store was the first building on the right.  The Estel home was located just behind that store.  The next building farther back on the right is now Grayson’s Bar & Grill, which still operates in Altenburg.

The photo below shows the Estel house.  It is the last house in the background.

Fiehler Bank

The building on the left is the old Altenburg Bank, which is now the Old Bank Coffee Shop.

The next photo shows the Estel children sitting on the front porch of the Estel house.

Estel children on front porch

Below are the parents, Dr. Theodore Estel and his wife, Louisa.

I took this photo of the Estel house when I wrote a previous blog.  It’s the older building in the background surrounded by plenty of bushes and trees.


Last night, I got a call from my wife who was heading through Altenburg.  She said there were fire trucks blocking her way, and a house behind the Old Bank Coffee Shop was on fire.  The first thing I said was, “Is it the old Estel house?”  It was.  I got in my truck and headed in that direction.  I wanted to document this event with some photos.  By the time I got there, the fire had mostly been extinguished and the house was in ruins.  The Altenburg/Frohna Fire Department had responded to this fire rather quickly and had kept the fire from impacting other nearby buildings.

Here is a gallery of thumbnails which can be enlarged by clicking on them.  They show the ruined house, the efforts of the fire department, and an excavator that came to bring down the remains.

I took a short video of the excavator doing its work on the remains of the house.

As you can see in the photo below, Main Street in Altenburg had to be closed down in order to make it possible for our volunteer firemen to do their job.


I love to see so many very old buildings that still stand in the Altenburg vicinity, many of which are still in use.  Even though the Estel house has been unoccupied for many years, it saddens me to see its destruction.  I am at least glad that we have some photographs to document it existence as part of Altenburg’s history.

3 thoughts on “Destruction of Doctor’s Dwelling

  1. Sad to watch the destruction of a house that had once belonged to my great grandfather.
    Thank you for your very informative blog – I am enjoying reading about my family history (Estel/Neubeck)


  2. I was three years old when Mom and Pop bought that house. Lived in it for sixteen years. Cannot say I hated it or lived it. For the past ten to fifteen years, it needed to come down. Finally, fate did it for us. Thank God it is gone.


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