Some years ago I photographed this old house on Brookville Road, US 52, in southeast Indianapolis.

House overlooking abandoned Brookville Road

I was with my buddy Sherrel, and we were on our way back from The Kopper Kettle restaurant on our Indiana Fried Chicken Tour. What we didn’t know is that for many years, this house was also a family restaurant that served fried-chicken dinners.

We stopped here because I saw an abandoned segment of the old highway, and because I’m a roadgeek I wanted to photograph it. This photograph is westbound. The photo of the house above is from about the same place, but I was facing the other way.

Abandoned Brookville Road

This house used to be the Whispering Winds restaurant. I didn’t know that until someone found information on my site about Brookville Road, and emailed me to ask if I knew anything about the Whispering Winds restaurant. She ate there many times while it was open, and wondered if the house still stood. I did a little research and found this photograph on a Facebook group. The poster said that the people in the photo were her grandparents and aunt, and they owned and operated the restaurant.

The house was built by Andrew Morehouse, although I’m unable to find exactly when. Morehouse’s family was said to live here for many years, and his wife died in 1864, which leads me to think the house predates that. Indiana University Library posted online a newspaper article telling some of this house’s story here.

Brookville Road is a historic road from Indiana’s early days. It connects Indianapolis to the town of Brookville, which is near Cincinnati. A historic marker is posted at this abandoned alignment that tells the road’s story in thumbnail.

Abandoned Brookville Road
Abandoned Brookville Road

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26 responses to “Whispering Winds on the Brookville Road”

  1. brandib1977 Avatar

    I love stories like this and the way one thing leads to another and a delightful discovery results. Very cool!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I could not believe I had a photograph of the house! How random.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        Serendipity hard at work!!

  2. Khürt Williams Avatar

    What?! A fired chicken 🍗 tour? That’s a weird but interesting road trip.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      We worked on it for a couple years, here and there. It was fun.

  3. Joe Avatar

    As many years as i have driven by that house, i have never guessed at the age or that it was moved 4 miles. I need to figure out the original location in the Pennsy Yards. Cool article. Thx

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Can you imagine what it must have taken to move something this large that far?

  4. Kurt Ingham Avatar
    Kurt Ingham

    We (‘my wife and I’..[Randy Newman My Life is Good])are regularly charmed by your snippets of Midwest lore, Jim. Thanks

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Happy to oblige!

  5. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    History is fun! I bet there is a big kitchen in that house ;)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar


  6. Kenneth G Reinhardt Avatar
    Kenneth G Reinhardt

    The restaurant originally was located at Brookville Road & Hunter Road, but was moved, I believe, because of the building of the Road 100, later Shadeland Avenue bypass. The current owner is Colonel Dave Mikkelson. December, 2021.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thank you for adding these details!

  7. Ann M Miller Avatar
    Ann M Miller

    I ❤️ this kind of Indiana history! Such a beautiful house. I’ve gone by it all my life, and always admired it. Never knew anything about it. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m pleased you like it!

  8. Suzassippi Avatar

    The Indianapolis Star, Nov. 30, 1930 ran a feature story about Whispering Winds by Agnes M’Culloch Hanna. She reported Albert, the oldest son of their children, designed and built the house as well as the numerous outbuildings. According to Indiana census records, Albert was 23 in 1850, living in the home with his parents. In the 1860 census, he was identified as a carpenter and was 32, also still in the home. The article stated the family lived in the house for “many years.”

    Andrew Morehouse died in 1864 at age 68 per his gravestone and Ms. Hanna, and Mrs. Morehouse lived past 90. Albert served in the Mexican War 1846-48, so one could assume he was not building a house then. In the 1830 census, Andrew and Theresa (“Thurssy), who married in 1825, had 5 children already, and in 1940, 7. The first house Andrew built was a log cabin, 18 feet square. I could not locate anything that specifically identified the year, but it seems likely that it was between the years 1842-1850, when Albert would have been 15-23. At least, by 1860, when he was indicated as a carpenter, age 32, and would have had substantial experience.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Wow, thank you for providing all of these excellent details!

  9. Johannes Smith Avatar
    Johannes Smith

    I’ve lived 2 blocks from this house most of my life and knew very little about it except a reverend and his wife lived there in the 80’s

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      With any luck, soon there will be that documentary about it that will tell all!

  10. tonyeckert Avatar

    Mother lived in the little cottage off to side of the main house around 1985-1986. The house was owned by a military couple

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Nice. Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Betty Flagle Avatar
    Betty Flagle

    My Grandparents owned the house and restaurant. Russell and Estella Flagle. My parents were married there. I have lots of old pictures of Whispering Winds.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      What wonderful memories you must have! I hope someday you’ll share your photographs.

  12. Vicki Veteto Sawin Avatar
    Vicki Veteto Sawin

    My Grandparents & my Mother, pictured above, bought Whispering Winds from Mrs. Flagle’s Grandparents. My Grandparents moved in 1960, my Mother & Daddy owned it & ran the restaurant from 1960-1966. In 1967, my Mother & Dad closed the family style restaurant & they opened an Antique Shop, housed in the small cottage at the back. My sister & I were raised there. The newspaper article does explain when the house was moved to 10622 Brookville Rd.,& Senior Rd. US Hwy. 52. My parents lived there until 1983, at which time The Mikkelson’s bought the house from my parents. Thank you for posting the beautiful photos of Whispering Winds. My parents worked very hard in restaurant business. I appreciate your blog, Jim.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m so pleased you found my article. What lovely memories you must have of growing up there.

      I met the current owner of the house last year after he found this article. Nice fellow.

  13. Vicki Veteto Sawin Avatar
    Vicki Veteto Sawin

    Yes the Mikkelsons such nice people. I heard he sold the home recently, but I do not know the new owners. It does have a large kitchen, the old original Garland gas stove & oven with grill top my Mother & Dad used for restaurant & Family. My Dad built the brick rotisserie as well as the old oak dining table my Mom wanted with light going through the center. Again I so appreciate your blog. The picture of the old road…just to the right was a huge Weeping Willow tree. I do not think it is there now. Thank you again for welcoming me to your blog, Jim.

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