Historical Photos

The Swenson House was built in 1910 by W.G. and Shirley Swenson on 58 acres.  Today the grounds cover a two-acre city block. In 1928, the Swensons completed a major remodeling of the home, adding brick veneer, a grape arbor and many Spanish Colonial Revival architectural features. The Swenson home is unique because so many of the original features have been preserved. The Swenson House has a beautiful historic grand piano for your use. Sue Stubbeman and her family helped to provide a new driveway and sidewalks. They continue to give priceless treasures to the Swenson House including the beautiful replica of the original arbor built on the grounds of this historic home. Thanks to the Stubblemans' contributions, the community will continue to experience the beautiful Swenson home and gardens as they attend events.

William & Shirley, were both, exceptional artists.  The dining room displays photographs taken from the Swenson's 1914 vacation in Yellowstone National Park, WY.  Capturing "Old Faithful" so beautifully, any digital camera toting modern photographer would be envious!  The photos age & quality add to the amazing story of the Swenson House.  Every square foot of the house is a window into the early history of one Abilene & one of it's most prominent families, The Swensons.

The house's is original cypress siding was covered with buff brick veneer in 1928, exterior cypress columns were replaced with brick columns, and the wood shake roof was converted to clay tile. Also during this renovation, a porch on the south side was enclosed and the second floor sun room was added.

When you step into the Swenson House, you are in are greeted with an elegant grand staircase that ascends, three quarters of the way up to the second floor, before splitting off in both directions, for the final steps.  Beautiful deep wood grains, expansive rugs with rich tones, antique wallpapers & lighting finishes representative of the times, keep your eyes feasting on this amazing home built in 1910.  Looking further, the visitor will notice, Shirley Swenson's personal artwork on display, sensational antique furniture & naturally lit corner nooks, that any avid book reader would love to nestle into, while sipping a cup of coffee & enjoying their favorite read.  All of that & you realize, you are just inside the doorstep!

The home is available for tours & as you can see the home is still to be considered as a premiere venue in Abilene, for weddings & events that will stand out in the memory of every guest in attendance!

The Prairie School Architecture influences are evident in the massive masonry piers supporting the broad overhanging front porch roof, strong horizontal exterior lines, broad overhanging eaves, an open flowing interior & low-pitched roofing.  The adding of the tiled roof in the renovation of 1928, speaks to the commonly found secondary influences of Missionary, Italian Renaissance & Tudor Styles in the early 1900's.  Mission style elements include a covered dormer over the front entrance. The upstairs features forward facing, quatrefoil windows.  Quatrefoils are the ancient symbol for good luck, latin for four leaves.  In the Christian faith, the leaves represent the four evangelists of the Bible; Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.  Although, typically associated with European architecture, Native Americans have used the quatrefoil as a symbol of the four ends of the earth & other cultures see the symmetry as a sign of harmony.

Historical Photos

swenson couple
Swenson House Historical Society
office desk
men in bank
mother son
on the fence
three kids
front elevation
Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary Celebration of W.G. and Shirley Swenson, 1952
Yellowstone
faded older kids
graduate