Queer Places:
The House Next Door, 11219 N Webster St, Evansville, WI 53536

Marvin Raney (April 7, 1919 - March 9, 1980) resided in the Duncan House (the famous “House Next Door”) with his partner Chester Holway for 35 years, during which he carried on many of the same “antiquarian” undertakings as the house’s previous owner Ralph Warner, which were collecting, researching and preserving Cooksville-related material objects, village history and local genealogy. Raney also learned to weave rugs, which he sold along with other crafts in the shop that he and his neighbor and artist Dorothy Kramer established in the 1950s in the Duncan House barn. He operated two antique businesses, the first in Cooksville was the “Cooksville House” in the Duncan barn (then moved to the Backenstoe-Howard House) in the 1950s and 1960s; and the second near Cooksville was the “Only Yesterday Shop” in the historic granary on the Joseph Porter Farmstead (then known as “Ady Ruth’s Apple Basket”) east of Cooksville in the 1970s. The village proved a perfect place once again for someone who loved history, antiques and gardening. (In Raney’s time there were four antique shops and three commercial gardens and nurseries in or near the village.)


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