Little Brick House Moving Along, Slowly But Surely

By STUART HAMMER | shammer@tristatehomepage.com

Published 08/24 2016 10:42PM

Updated 08/24 2016 10:42PM

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Books of Indiana's history were barely born when the bricks were built.

An old house in Newburgh is still standing after nearly 200 years. But the hope is it will stand for another 200 – just in a different part of town.

Newburgh is moving closer to picking up this piece of history currently planted on West Jennings Street, not far from downtown. They aim to ship the house a mile down Water Street.

It's big plans for a little house and it's going to take patience and a lot of money. But those behind the plans say it's worth the effort.

“It's important to preserve [history] for today and for the people who live in Newburgh in the future,” says Ken Oliver, a Newburgh neighbor helping to lead the charge to move the little brick house.

Jim Renne is another local historian behind the effort. He says the house will soon turn a page in its own history book.

“It's such a worthy project, everyone loves it, we have a great spot for it, a great use for it,” he says.

Plans include jacking the house up on hydraulics and wheeling it to the Old Lock and Dam. The challenge for project leaders isn't so much the logistics itself – but funding it.

They need $60,000 to make it happen. The anticipate half of it will come from a state grant, but the other half will need to be from private donations or corporate sponsors.

To help seal the funding deal, plans for an amphitheater are being kicked around Town Council. Officials hope the two projects together will lock down the cash.

The hope is by next spring the little brick house will have its new home, and a new use as a potential concession stand or ticket booth to the amphitheater.

“With projects like this you want to get them done. I think the earlier we get this done the more it's going to help the amphitheater project,” Renne adds.

What will the history books say another 200 years from now? Thanks for the memories? “How charming, this is great little river town,” Renne wonders. “How far back does it go?”

And Newburgh of the future will tell them, 400 years.

So how about 200 more?

“It will be enjoyed by the people in the future,” Oliver says, “even if they are running around in spaceships!”

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