NEW 2015 Brookville Historic Tour Brochure

Fairfield Ave
P E 9th St P
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E 8th St
W 7th St
Church St
E 6th St
W 14 5th St 15
High St
Cleaver St
E 3rd St
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Saint Michaels Blvd
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E 4th St
E 5th St
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Long St
Short St
Bank St
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Mill St
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E 8th St
River St
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Saint Ma
Stone walls and curbing of Brookville, Franklin Ave. and Main St.:
Remains of the mortarless, dry-set masonry walls built
by the early settlers can be seen throughout Brookville.
Of special interest are walls that have not been altered
with installation of cement mortar on the west side
of Franklin Avenue between 4th and 5th streets and
7th and 8th streets (to the east of Methodist Church
& Parsonage). Special features include an outstanding stone wall at the rear
of Tebbe’s Liquor along 7th Street just west of Main Street, in addition to a few
remaining curved sections of the Laurel stone curbing installed by the town in
1906. The latter are visible along several alleys. This curbing is most prominent
on Main Street and Franklin Avenue north of 9th Street.
Division St
Market St
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W 9th St 24 25
John St
Franklin Ave
Progress St
E 10th St
Court St
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on Rd
Pearl St./Murphy St.
1st St
High St
E 11th St
W 11th St W 11th St 32
W Klein St 30 31
Main St
Tour of Historic
Brookville Historic Sites
Water St
38. Hermitage, 650 E. 8th St.: Originally built in
1835 by James Speer, the house was purchased
in 1898 by two of the best remembered artists
of the Hoosier School art movement, J. Ottis
Adams and T.C. Steele. Libby Steele, wife of
T.C. Steele, named the house Hermitage. The
artists enlarged the original structure for use as both a summer residence and
a studio, where they also taught the arts to male and female students. The
accomplishments of the two artists made it famous in the art community. The
house is currently operated as a bed-and-breakfast and is open for tours by
appointment. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
Brookville, located at the confluence of the east and
west forks of the Whitewater River, was founded by
pioneers, Amos Butler and Jesse Thomas, in 1808,
prior to the establishment of Franklin County. It
became Franklin County’s seat in 1811, and boomed
when the federal land office was located here in 1820
and when the Whitewater Canal was constructed in
1836. The Brookville Historic District, which was listed
in the National Register of Historic Places in 1975,
encompasses most of the buildings in town. The
district’s concentration of well-preserved buildings
reflects the town’s continuous development over time.
Cliff St
37. Barrickman Cabin, Brookville Town Park near E 9th
and Market streets: Most of the history of this cabin has
been lost. A 1970 article by local historian Virgil Davis
suggests that this structure was the Barrickman Cabin that
once stood on Templeton’s Creek. It was moved here to
commemorate Amos Butler’s 1805 settlement of Brookville
that occurred near this site.
Historic Brookville
Phalen Dr Progressive St.
36. Grandstand, located at the ballpark on
Fairfield Avenue: Finished in 2008, the
current grandstand is a reconstructed and
slightly smaller version of the circa 1922
structure, which was destroyed by arsonists
in 2004. It had been built for the Southern
Indiana Baseball Association, which
included 10 towns and cities. The league dissolved shortly thereafter, but the
grandstand remained an integral part of Town Park, hosting local softball teams
and leagues and serving as a place for community events.
NOTE: More information on these sites and Franklin County
history is available at the Franklin County Public Library.
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Public Property/Commercial
Private Property
Front Cover:
Historic prints of the Franklin County Courthouse, the Fries House and the Map
adapted from: Atlas of Franklin County Indiana. Chicago, IL: J.H. Beers & Co., 1882.
Historic photograph of St. Michael Church adapted from: Gorman, Rev. Robert.
A Souvenir of the Centennial of the Parish of St. Michael, Brookville, Indiana.
Indianapolis, IN: The St. Michael Parish, 1945.
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62.5 125
Open by Appointment only
Dry-Set Stone Walls
Parking (Street parking available near most locations)
Local History and Genealogy Department - Franklin County Public Library;
Donald Dunaway, Franklin County Historian;
Franklin County Recreation, Convention and Visitors Commission;
Indiana Department of Transportation - Cultural Resources Office;
John Newman and other individuals.
Begin Tour of Historic Brookville
1. Fries Memorial, near 11143 U.S. 52: This marker is dedicated to the victims of the
1913 flood – one of the most tragic in Indiana’s history. Twelve Franklin
County residents, including eight members of the Fries family, were
reported to have lost their lives in the flood, at this spot. The Fries
homestead once stood near this location.
2. Brookville Power Plant, near 108 Main St.: The Greek
Revival style structure was constructed in 1891 at a cost of
nearly $2,000. On Nov. 26, 1891, the streets of Brookville were
illuminated for the first time with power provided by this facility.
3. Drive-Thru Visitor Center, 110 Main St.: This little
gas station building, erected by the Franklin County
Farm Bureau in 1930, was likely the only one of its kind
in the state to be owned and controlled by local farmers.
The motto of the station was “Service and Satisfaction.”
4. Wilson Feed Store, 146 Harrison St.: The
local candy and canning factory, Brookville
Manufacturing Company, originally stood on
and near this site. It burned in 1902, just 1½
years after it was built. Later, this site housed
the John Weber Milling, Ice & Fuel Company,
which was partially destroyed by a fire in 1937. The ice plant was rebuilt in the 1950s
and turned into a feed market. In 1998, Mike and Jeannie Wilson bought the property
to operate as a feed market, a function that it still retains under
new ownership.
5. Bergin Stone House, 168 1st St.: According to Paul Bergin,
who owned and lived in the house until he died, the house was
built around1829 by William Wheat. It is located near “The Basin,”
where the canal boats were loaded and unloaded.
6. St. Michael Church Complex, St. Michael Blvd. and
High St.: This complex consists of the Gothic Revival
Catholic church, which was originally designed by Edwin
May and dedicated March 25, 1862. May’s design was
significantly altered in 1902 when the structures roof
was raised during remodeling. The present Italianate
style rectory was built in 1878 on the site of the home
of former U.S. Sen. James Noble and former Indiana
Gov. Noah Noble. The St. Francis Sisters’ Center, built
in 1867, the school built in 1912 and expanded and rededicated in 1956, and the parish activity center, completed in 2003, are also part of
the complex. There are several historical markers with more information at this site.
The original Catholic burying ground that was once on the east and south sides of
the church was moved to a new location at John Street and State Road 101. This
cemetery is currently active.
7. Bracken Hill, 1 Bracken Hill: Around 1805, John Allen, the second settler of Brookville,
built his home on this site. After a series
of owners, the property was sold to
David Price, who likely constructed a
Greek Revival style brick house here
circa 1837. In 1882, William Bracken
bought the property and remodeled the
house. It was sold subsequently to the Browns , who moved into the house in 1939
after extensively remodeling. After a fire in 1992 gutted much of the interior, the house
was completely restored again.
8.Fries House, 273 Main St.: This Italianate style
structure was the home of the first Franklin County
National Bank president, Joseph Fries. Its unique
features were painted portraits of the Fries children
on the corner walls of the parlor and the floor-toceiling mirror. This room was also used as a dining
area during the heyday of the Fries mill, when as
many as 25 mill workers were fed their noon meal. A heated flower house once stood
on the south lawn, where specialty ferns were grown by Anita Fries Goyert. The
house was heavily remodeled and expanded when it was transformed into the Elsie
Dryer Nursing Home in the mid-1950s. The name Fries still remains on the front step
leading down to U.S. 52.
9. Ye Olde Shack, 300 Main St.: This building was originally a log cabin barroom
known as the Canal House. It then became a rooming
and boarding house. This establishment once boasted the
largest outhouse in town – a nine-holer, on the north side of
the building. The present building was constructed around
the cabin with a livery stable to the west.
10. Franklin County Jail, 371 Main St.: Built in 1883, is
the Second Empire style structure housed the sheriff’s
living quarters in the front, and the jail in the rear. The
Security Center is a modern addition constructed
between 1991-1993.
11. Franklin County Courthouse, 459 Main St.: The county’s first courthouse was
a log structure. It was replaced in 1817 by a brick building,
which was destroyed in a fire in 1852. A new Norman style
courthouse was designed by Edwin May, who also designed
the Indiana State Capitol, and completed in 1855. However,
most features of May’s design were hidden, when the structure
was enlarged on all four sides and modernized in 1910-1912 in
the Neoclassical style. Currently, the building houses the offices
of the judge, circuit court clerk and county prosecutor. All other government offices
have been moved to the Franklin County Government Center at 1010 Franklin Ave.
12. Valley House Hotel, 450 Main St.: This building was
constructed circa 1852 and originally served as an
inn for canal travelers. Its heyday was from the 1870s
to the 1900s. It was noted for providing excellent
accommodations and fine cuisine. It housed business
activity for more than 125 years, but it has remained
vacant more than 20 years.
13. George’s Pharmacy, 480 Main St.: This building has
served as a drugstore for most of its existence. In 1907-08,
the Carter Drugstore was enlarged and remodeled into the
basic structure visible today. In the early 1900s, the drugstore
employed Maggie Wright, considered to be the first licensed
female pharmacist in Indiana.
14. Farmers Mutual Insurance Building, 500 Main St.: This
Romanesque Revival style building was constructed as the
National Brookville Bank in 1890-1891. A law firm was on
the second floor and the local newspaper, the Brookville
American, was housed in the basement.
15. Siebert Home, 115 E. 5th St.: This two-story brick home was built in 1908 by Francis Xavier Siebert, who served for sometime as the sheriff
of Brookville. Commonly known as “X” or Frank, he is said
to have never carried a gun and apparently preferred to
carry the accused to jail over his shoulders. Siebert eventually learned the stone carver’s trade and the attached shop
housed his monument and grave marker business.
16. Clarkson House, 221 East 5th St.: This circa 1839
house was either built as a replacement or more
likely was expanded by Coker F. Clarkson, who
was a leading Whig editor and owner of the Indiana
American newspaper from 1833 to 1853. His editorials
were copied by a number of Indiana newspapers. In addition, he was a pioneer
in developing scientific farming. Clarkson sold this property in March 1856 and
moved to Grundy County, Iowa. Soon after his family moved to that state, they
developed the Des Moines Register into Iowa’s leading newspaper, and Clarkson
continued writing as agricultural editor. His son James, born in this house, later
became Republican national chairman.
17. Franklin County Seminary, 412 5th St.: This Federal style building was
constructed in 1828-1830 under the provisions of the
state’s 1816 Constitution and was partially funded by tuition
and fines “of breach of the penal code.” It functioned as a
seminary until 1851 after which it was used by the Indiana
High School for two years and then by the town as a public
school through 1873. It then functioned as a private residence
until 1968, when it was purchased by the Franklin County Historical Society. The
building was restored in 1979-81and today functions as a museum, which is open
by appointment. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.
18. Ritzi Jewelers, 556 Main St.: This Neoclassical style
commercial building is unique because it retains almost all
the original store fixtures. The jewelry store, started by Caspar
Ritzi, began business in 1881 and moved to this location in
1900. The family business was sold several years ago, but the
store retains the original name.
19. Winans’ Print Shop, 613 Main
St.: Local photographer, Ben Winans,
operated a print shop in this one-part commercial building from
1910 to 1947. Winans was a gifted photographer, who took
more than 2,700 photographs of Franklin County, predominantly
in Brookville. Many of his photographs are referenced today by
researchers interested in local history.
20. Methodist Church & Parsonage, 156 E. 8th St.: This Gothic
Revival/Collegiate Gothic style church was constructed in
1883. The Methodist Church Annex was built in 1924. The
original church steeple was likely removed and the current
bell tower built at that time. The current parsonage was built
in 1907. In 1968, the Methodists and Evangelical United
Brethren merged to form the United Methodist Church.
21. Goodwin House, 813 Main St.: Originally constructed in 1850, this Greek Revival
style house has been expanded and modified over the
years. It served as the residence for three generations of the
Goodwin family. They were descendents of Samuel Goodwin,
who came to Brookville in 1816 and was known as the town’s
father of Methodism. Today, the welcome center of the
Franklin County Recreation, Convention and Visitors Center
and the Gift Shoppe are housed in this building.
22. Buckingham McMillan Office, 814 Main St.: This Italianate
style building was built circa 1884 by Dr. George Buckingham.
He used it both as a residence and as an office for 46 years.
The building was later divided for rent by multiple tenants, but in
the 1980s it was restored back to its original grandeur.
23. St. Thomas Lutheran Church, 823 Franklin Ave.: The
German Lutherans used the old brick church in the cemetery on
10th and John streets from 1848 to 1924. In 1922, the congregation
began construction of this Gothic Revival style church and moved
into the building in 1924.
24. Tyner House, 900 Main St.: This brick I-house, built circa
1820, was the boyhood home of James N. Tyner, who
served as postmaster general during the Ulysses S. Grant
administration. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, this
structure housed a well-known and respected millinery shop
operated by two sisters, Kate and Molly Tappan.
25. Hubbard-Seal House, 901 Main St.: Milford P. Hubbard, a
well-known lawyer and second president of the Franklin County
National Bank, built this Free Classic style house around 1909.
The house was later purchased by Dr. Perry F. Seal and his wife,
Mary, in 1946. The doctor, who served the Brookville area for 47
years, died in 1996.
26. Butler House, 911 Main St.: This Federal style
house was constructed circa 1840 of locally made
brick. It was once owned by William. W. Butler, the
son of Brookville’s first settler, Amos Butler. When
constructed, it was plainer and it did not have the front
semi-circular porch.
27. Morrow-Swift-Tague-O’Byrne House, 912 Main St.: Completed in 1854, this
Greek Revival style structure was once the home of
Estella Armstrong O’Byrne, who helped organize the
Twin Forks Chapter of the Daughters of the American
Revolution (D.A.R.). In 1947, she became President
General of the D.A.R. and is best remembered for her
work on compiling the roster of all of the patriots and
soldiers of the American Revolution who are buried
in Indiana. This house has also been called the House of Judges since it has
been the home of three judges: Ferdinand S. Swift, Cecil Tague and Roscoe C.
O’Byrne, as well as attorney Wilson Morrow.
28. Franklin County Public Library, 919 Main St.:
This Neoclassical style library was constructed
in 1912 through a financial grant from Andrew
Carnegie obtained by Brookville’s prominent
banker, businessman, and civic leader, John
C. Shirk. In 2003, a new addition to the existing
structure was dedicated. Funding for the addition
was made possible by the Franklin County Community Foundation and Receda
Schilling Fund. The library houses a wonderful collection of artwork, including
pieces by J. Ottis Adams and T.C. Steele.
29. Matson House, 932 Main St.: This hall-and-parlor/
Federal style house was built in 1843 of locally made
brick. It retains much of its architectural integrity and was
originally the home of John Matson, an unsuccessful
Whig contender in 1849 for Indiana governor.
30. Albert Kaiser House, 1034 Main St.: Lily Kaiser Lindsey
inherited this Italianate style house from her father,
Albert Kaiser, one of Indiana’s most notable Masonic
historians. In 1902, she married local photographer Ben
Winans, owner of a print shop at 613 Main St.
31. Rockafellar House, 1041 Main St.: This Craftsman style house was built in the
early 1900s by A. H. Rockafellar who was postmaster
and vice-president of the Brookville Indiana Historical
Society. It still possesses its original pocket doors,
unique windows, and stained glass. Although this private
residence served briefly as a funeral home, it is unlikely
that it was altered significantly. Only funerals were
held in the house, while embalming and other funeral
services were possibly undertaken in the outbuilding.
32. Brookville Inn, 1049 Main St.: This Free Classic
style structure has been a local landmark since it
was constructed in 1900. Initially built as a private
residence, this house was purchased by Howard
Willhite and his wife, Faye, in 1949, and turned into
a tourist home for many years. It still possesses
its intricate fretwork, pocket doors, stained glass
windows, and a spectacular oak staircase. The building was refurbished in 2006
and painted a non-white color for the first time in more than 100 years.
33. Franklin County Government Center, 1010 Franklin Ave.: The Brookville College,
which was built on this spot in 1852-53, later served
as the Brookville Public School for grades 1-12. The
original building was torn down and in 1912 and the
current Craftsman style building was erected, which
functioned as a public high school until 1989 and a
middle school until 2002. The building then remained vacant for a few years until
the Franklin Community School Corporation sold it to the county for $1. The facility
reopened after a $3 million renovation as the Franklin County Government Center
in 2006.
34. Governor Ray House, 212 10th St.: This I-house was
built in 1821 on the outskirts of Brookville by James
Brown Ray. There is some dispute regarding whether
Ray actually lived in the house due to his quick rise to
political popularity. He was elected to the State House
of Representatives in 1821, the State Senate in 1822,
and completed Gov. William Hendricks’ term prior to his
own election as governor in 1825. In 1917, the Brookville Church of Christ was
built on the property’s front lawn, and the house served as the rectory.
35. Old Brookville Church and Cemetery,
10th and John streets: The Methodists built the
church in 1821 in a cemetery that was located
outside city limits at the time of its construction.
Different denominations used the church over
the years until the Franklin County Historical
Society acquired the building and restored it in
the mid-1960s. The society currently maintains it and rents it for special occasions.
Some of Brookville’s pioneers and other notables, including a state supreme court
justice and one of the signatories of Indiana’s first constitution, are buried in the