A lonely little petunia in an onion patch

When you drive Indiana’s back roads, it is not yet uncommon to come upon great old houses like this one.

Old house, Hamilton County

Can you imagine the complete bucolic scene? There’s probably a barn off to the right, and cornfields to the left, and cows. There must be cows somewhere.

Yeahhhhh, not so much.

Old house, Hamilton County

This great house, which I figure must have been built in about 1860, give or take 20 years, is surrounded by vinyl-village subdivisions and office parks in Fishers, Indiana. You can hear the traffic on Interstate 69, which is just out of the photo to the right.

I drive by this house every Thursday morning on my way to work. I live in northwest Indianapolis, but my sons live with their mom in Fishers, 22 miles away. My boys stay with me overnight Wednesday while school is in session, so we get up in the dark Thursday morning and drive across town so they can catch their school bus. Most of the year my drive is entirely in the dark, but in May and August the sun rises as I head back across town to go to work. The morning light was perfect last Thursday, so I pulled over for these photographs.

Except for the overgrown bushes in front, this house looks to be taken care of. But there’s no evidence anybody lives in it. I wonder about its history.

Like old houses? Then check out The Boardman House and The Fairmount House.


8 responses to “A lonely little petunia in an onion patch”

  1. dmswriter Avatar

    I just wonder what stories this house could tell – that’s part of why I enjoy old houses so much. They have such character and a sense of place. If you figure out if anyone lives there, let us know!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I feel the same way — I always wonder who built the house, and what their lives were like, and how the house passed to later owners. The house looks not to be lived in, though it does appear to be cared for.

  2. Bernie Kasper Avatar

    Walking thru Madison you get that feeling as well, many old stories never to be told or revealed in all these wonderful buildings, wonderful images and I love the warm light in these as well !!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Madison is a dream for people who love old buildings!

      The rising sun was juuuuuust right that morning. It’s why I stopped!

  3. Chris Rowland Avatar
    Chris Rowland

    Looks like it is known as the “Flannigan House” built in 1861. Although the website flanniganhouse.org is no longer online, you can read a little about the house on a historic snapshot of the website: http://web.archive.org/web/20050324022803/http://flanniganhouse.org/

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks for the Web fu, Chris! That site says the house was built in 1861 of bricks made from clay dug at the site. The walls are 13 inches thick. The Flannigan family was the two parents (names not given) and they had six kids. Just capturing the pertinent info here in case the site disappears from the Wayback Machine.

  4. Mark Avatar

    Its Italianate architecture, so your estimate of an 1860 construction date is pretty accurate. This is very reminiscent of many places in Southern Ontario…..anachronistic, token bits of history that seem bizarrely out of context. I remember one historic home, suspended on blocks, that was supposed to be placed temporarily in a shopping mall parking lot while they figured out what to do with it. Well, it sat there for 4 or 5 years and was completely engulfed by brand new development. It was pathetically out of place.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks for confirming, Mark. I’m a bit of an amateur at identifying architecture. That “temporarily” parked house must have been a sight.

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