Fairbury.com Exclusives

Loft Living In Historic Downtown Fairbury

August 2010 – Visitors marvel at the beautiful architecture that surrounds Fairbury’s historic downtown square. Stately two and three-story buildings, mostly constructed of brick, line the streets surrounding the Jefferson County Courthouse on all four sides.  Most buildings date back to the early 1900s, when Fairbury flourished as a regional commerce center. Fairbury’s downtown historic district is still the center of commerce today and the buildings around the square house retail shops, restaurants, and offices at street level. But there is another world housed within those historic structures, a world that exists after hours – a world that a few lucky residents call “home”.

In housing terms, loft living often refers to an open floor plan with lots of space. Once thought of as strictly for artists and bohemian types, loft living is now a sought after lifestyle accessory among certain groups of people. In city centers, artists, actors and young business professionals all love the idea of having a loft as their home. It provides maximum space, and improvements can be made to reflect individual styles and tastes. In Fairbury, most of the lofts are located within the downtown historic district. Before they were turned into stylish living spaces, the lofts were used as commercial space in buildings. Older buildings that have been left empty for years have now been given a new lease on life, thanks to loft living.

Loft living in Fairbury is not unlike that of the larger cities in the Midwest, however, in Fairbury it is still somewhat of an anomaly.  Many of the buildings’ second and third stories remain largely underutilized, mainly due to cost. But for those who have taken on the task of converting those spaces into residential living, the payoff is huge. Loft sizes can range from 1,000 to 2,500 square feet and the list of amenities is quite impressive – hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, high ceilings, tall windows, rooftop gardens and views that would rival those of any other metropolitan city. Another bonus of loft living is that the lofts are situated in the downtown historical district. This provides great access to businesses, shopping, restaurants, art galleries and entertainment options. In downtown Fairbury, everything is at your doorstep.

Resident Julie Katz has lived on the second floor above the former Hested’s (c. 1925) and Golden Rule buildings (c. 1923) since 1995, when her life-long dream of living in a loft began to take shape. “I had always been fascinated with the concept of loft living, ever since I was a young girl. When I first moved in, however, I was the only resident rattling around in a huge building that was dark, cold and full of strange noises. But the banging of pipes from the old steam heat radiators and the sound of rain on the skylights located throughout, gave me a sense that this building still had a lot of life left and it was worth preserving.”  Since then, retail has returned to the main floor which houses an antique mall, event center, professional offices and beauty salon and the second-floor space has now been updated and converted into luxury suites, loft apartments and office space. There’s even a ballroom where hundreds of children attend dance classes each week.

According to Katz, “Converting the upper floor space into office space and suites is a great way to create a consistent revenue stream and gives me an opportunity to share my passion for historic preservation with others, hopefully inspiring them to begin a love affair of their own (with an old building)”.

The Traveling Ebkes

The half-page story, entitled “The Traveling Ebkes,” features the ambitious couple, who have made it their goal to travel every paved road in Nebraska. The Ebkes were featured in Nebraska Life Magazine once before, back in 2004, for their Nebraska explorations, having already at that time visited every town, every state park and every courthouse, filling five photos albums from their travels along the way.

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Pure Sérénité Spa, LLC Receives Funding For Day Spa

An historic building in downtown Fairbury is home to a new business, with the help of local economic development incentives. Pure Sérénité Spa and Salon, owned by Chris Stewart of Fairbury, opened its doors in December of 2010. Pure Sérénité Spa is a world-class, full-service day spa and salon that offers high-quality spa services, some available for the first time in the Fairbury area.

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Fairbury’s Resolution

ONE THING CAN BE SAID ABOUT NEBRASKA: there is no shortage of adversity to test the mettle of our resolve. When adversity comes (and it will here on the Prairie), there are two ways to look at it: it will either wear you out, or it will sharpen you.

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TLC Creations Expands With Assistance From LB840 Fund

The Fairbury City Council voted unanimously to grant $20,000 from the LB840 fund to TLC Creations, owned by Tammy Cleary of Fairbury. TLC Creations is an event planning and party supply outlet for Fairbury and the surrounding area. TLC Creations began as a home-based business. Operations commenced in the basement, then moved into the garage behind home, where a small shop was set up for client consultations.

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Mossy Oak Pro Staffers Greg and Marty Gill of Fairbury Living a Bow Hunter’s Fantasy

Bob McNally |Visit Mossy Oak Website | Reproduced with permission

Marty Gill of Fairbury NebraskaWith 30 years of successful marriage behind them, and a pair of grown children to be proud of, Marty and Greg Gill pretty much have it all in their rural hometown of Fairbury, located in Southeast Nebraska. But after the pair of record bucks they tagged last year with their bows, they are floating in a hunter’s happy dream.

Greg has been a bow hunter for over 30 years, and Marty not much less. Both have collected an impressive number of whitetails, some huge, like the pair of 150-inch class deer Marty has to her credit, and the 70+ animals Greg has collected with his bow – all from Nebraska.

But 2008 was special for both of these hard-hunting Mossy Oak pro staffers.

Marty was first to hit pay dirt, and it happened early one afternoon, just minutes after an October hunt began. It was hot with temperatures in the 80s, so the Gills chose a pair of water hole stands near a milo field. Marty got in her stand at 5:40 p.m., and only 15 minutes into her hunt she called Greg on their walkie talkies saying she arrowed a nice buck.

The buck Marty had taken had come to water with a pair of 120-inch animals almost as soon as she got in her stand.  She patiently waited for a good chance at the bigger buck as the trio of deer milled around the water hole.  The best buck stopped to drink broadside at 27 yards, and Marty drew her 44-pound pound bow, and sent a 100-grain Muzzy broadhead through its chest.  She heard the 10-point buck fall 80 yards away.  Greg joined Marty, and they collected her 133 3/8s buck.

Greg hunted hard following Marty’s success, but couldn’t close the deal on a good buck until late November.  The day prior to the state’s firearms deer season, Greg had a nice 8-point buck within bow range, but the deer was on a trail concealed by brush and no shot could be taken.

Greg Gill of Fairbury NebraskaFrustrated, Greg later cut two shooting lanes in the brush, then left the area hoping the buck would survive the surge of gun hunters, and he might get a chance again with his bow.  It happened on Thanksgiving Day.
With temperatures mild and in the 40s, Greg climbed into the tree stand where he saw the 8-pointer at 2 p.m.  Not much happened until just after 4 p.m., when Greg decided to rattle and grunt call.  Just like that a good buck was coming down the same trail where Greg had seen the 8-point.  Greg stood, came to full draw, and when the buck crossed one of the open shooting lanes Greg had cut in the brush, the hunter touched his arrow release.

The shaft dashed across 32 yards and passed completely through the buck.  The 100-gran Muzzy “MX-4” did its job quickly, and the deer ran only 90 yards before falling.
Greg called Marty on their 2-way radios, and soon the husband-and-wife team were admiring the buck, which gross scored at 147 7/8s.  It was one of the greatest Thanksgiving memories of all time for these deserving Mossy Oak pro staffers.

In the Photos: Marty and Greg Gill represent a hard-charging husband-and-wife Mossy Oak pro staff bow hunting team in Southeast Nebraska that collectively has taken about 100 whitetails over the last 30 years.  Some have been heavy-horn animals in the 150-inch range, and in October Marty used her archery tournament prowess successfully when she tagged a 10-point, 133+  buck (top). Greg Gill, second from the top, with his great 2008 Thanksgiving Day buck from Southeast Nebraska.

LVS Utilizes LB840 Funds for Expansion

Lambert Vet Supply (LVS) is pleased to announce the grand opening of Main Street Animal Clinic and retail center, a new urban style center for animal health care. Located at 504 E St, in historic downtown Fairbury, the clinic is a first for the company; combining primary, limited-practice veterinary care for companion animals with a retail outlet for their extensive catalog line of animal care products and medications.

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City Grants LB840 Funds to Attitudes Apparel

The Fairbury City Council has voted unanimously to fund the installation of a new HVAC system in the historic building located on the north side of the downtown Square. The building, owned by Cheryl Schroeder, is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in Fairbury’s Downtown Historic District and houses Attitudes Apparel, a retail clothing store.

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