History, Road Trips

Whispering Winds on the Brookville Road

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

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!

Standard

19 thoughts on “Whispering Winds on the Brookville Road

  1. Joe says:

    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

  2. Kurt Ingham says:

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

  3. Kenneth G Reinhardt says:

    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.

  4. Ann M Miller says:

    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!

  5. 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.

  6. Johannes Smith says:

    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

Leave a Comment

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