Rising Hall on US 40

On the National Road in western Indiana, overlapping the Hendricks-Putnam County line you’ll find Rising Hall. It’s an Italianate home built 1870-72 by Melville McHaffie, a son of pioneer Putnam County settlers. McHaffie and later his son farmed the surrounding land.

In the decades after the McHaffies owned the house, it passed through several owners before being abandoned. It was in deplorable condition by the early 1980s when Walt and June Prosser bought it, completely restored it, and got it listed on the National Register of Historic Places. (Here is its nomination application.)

Rising Hall on US 40

In 2000, the house and its restoration was profiled on television. The video tells the house’s story and shows the stunningly beautiful restoration the Prossers undertook.

As the video explains, the Prossers gave the home its current name, after all of the staircases (“rising halls”) inside.

Rising Hall on US 40

It’s not common to see a barn made of brick in Indiana.

Rising Hall on US 40

Walt passed away in 2010 at age 86. I am unable to find information about his wife, June, so I presume she is still alive. Here’s hoping the Prosser family continues to give this home loving attention.

I’ve driven the National Road from its beginning in Baltimore, MD to its end in Vandaila, IL. To read everything I’ve ever written about it, click here.

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10 responses to “Rising Hall, a true gem on the National Road in Indiana”

  1. J P Avatar
    J P

    It will be interesting to see what happens with the house in the coming decades. I get the feeling that there is much less interest in strict preservation among younger generations, who seem to like the classic look outside but prefer a total gut and modern reconfiguration inside.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      You definitely do see that a lot more now. Frankly, in many older homes that were fairly common, I’m not sure it bothers me that much. But a house like this deserves to be fully preserved for the ages.

  2. Greg Clawson Avatar
    Greg Clawson

    I have always loved these type of homes, but always balked at the expenditure of money, labor, and time it takes to maintain them as they deserve.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Agreed. I’d love to own an older home, but it’s a time and money commitment to be sure.

  3. Steve Mitchell Avatar

    They did a wonderful job, hopefully it will be looked after as it deserves!

  4. brandib1977 Avatar

    I’m so glad this couple found this house and gave it the care it deserves. This video is wonderful!!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      How fortunate that the video exists! Someday I’d love to go inside this house.

      1. brandib1977 Avatar

        It certainly is fortunate to have this video, especially since the gentleman passed on. His enthusiasm is inspiring.

        And I always want to see what’s behind a closed door- especially when it leads to an amazing old home!

  5. K S Avatar
    K S

    This beautiful home is well appreciated by the children of Walt and June. Sadly June passed away May 10, 2023.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m relieved to hear that Walt and June’s children are keeping the house up — but saddened to hear that June passed.

      Researching Rising Hall, I discovered that Walt and June lived in an Indianapolis neighborhood that I moved into many years later, after they had left to begin their restoration of this lovely home.

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