I had no idea that this house was historically significant when I photographed it. It stands among many others along the Michigan Road on the north side of Plymouth, Indiana. I took pictures of many of these houses, but lingered longest before this one. It had the strongest presence.

Corbin house

When blogger Hoosier Reborn saw this photo in my Old US 31 trip report, he pointed out that this house was built by Plymouth’s “first mayor/judge/state senator/land speculator.” I had stumbled onto some history without knowing it! And then, while doing research on the Michigan Road, I came upon this image of the house as it stood in 1876. It’s from the David Rumsey map collection; click here to see the page from the Indiana atlas from which it is taken. While the house appears to be out in the country in this image, today homes are tightly packed along this block, and you have to drive a couple miles north from here to reach the country.


I’m sharing this image because I thought it was nine kinds of cool to have stumbled upon it after having photographed the house in modern times without knowing its significance. I also really enjoy comparing then to now as I follow the old roads.

The atlas called this “the residence of Judge Horace Corbin.” I did some Internet sleuthing on his name and learned that he came to Marshall County in about 1852. He became a prominent lawyer, which launched his career in government, including his stint as Plymouth’s first mayor when the town became a city in 1873. He built this house in 1865 and lived in it with his wife until 1903.

The house has been restored in the past twenty years. My hat is off to the current owners for the effort and expense involved in keeping this link to the city’s history alive.

Two other significant older houses on the Michigan Road are the Boardman house in Indianapolis (here) and the Fairmount house in Madison (here).

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


4 responses to “The Corbin House”

  1. hoosier reborn Avatar
    hoosier reborn

    Sweet! That is a great old picture. Attended the by-way conference in Indy yesterday….let’s just say we have a lot of work to do for a Michigan Road Historic Trail. We’ll get there.

  2. […] Plymouth’s first mayor, Horace Corbin, lived here: […]

  3. Mike berger Avatar
    Mike berger

    Hello excellent read, how do I find out if the place I live was indeed a school in the 1900’s

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m sorry, I just don’t know.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: