Madison Inc. readies
its tour sites for a new season
on Judge Sullivan, family
(April 2011) Some surprises await heritage
tourists when they return this spring to visit Historic Madison Inc.s
historic properties. The biggest changes will be to the Judge Jeremiah
Sullivan House at 304 W. Second St., said Heidi Valco Kruggel, HMIs
Director of Programs.
The preservation organization on April 16 will re-open five of its historic
properties to the public for the 2011 season.
The Sullivan House has been the object of HMIs attention in recent
years because of the extensive damage it sustained when the remnants
of Hurricane Ike swept through the city on Sept. 14, 2008. A tree fell
on the roof in that wind storm. Much of the third floor had to be rebuilt.
Jeremiah Sullivan House at 304 W.
Second St. has a new look after
cleanup and repairs were done in
the aftermath of Hurricane Ike
in September 2008.
Newly exposed wood members presented the opportunity to
investigate the real age of the 19th Century Federal style home. The
staff called in Dr. Darrin Rubino, a biology professor at Hanover College
who specializes in dendroarcheology, or the science of using tree rings
to date wood specimens.
We say that the house was built in 1818, said Kruggel. We
found out that some of the members used in the roof date to 1822, so
maybe the house was built later than we think or it was built in stages.
An exhibit explaining the dendroarcheology project is now on display
on the third floor of the Sullivan House.
Whether built in 1818 or 1822, the home is known as Madisons first
mansion. Sullivan was an early member of the Indiana state Legislature,
a judge of the Indiana Supreme Court and a judge of the Jefferson County
The third floor now displays additional information on the Sullivan
family the Judge, his wife, Charlotte, and their two famous sons,
Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan.
Visitors can now learn about the divergent paths taken by the two Sullivan
sons during the difficult Civil War period. Algernon married a Southern
woman, became a lawyer and was known as a Southern sympathizer, while
Jeremiah Cutler Sullivan became a brigadier general in the Union Army.
We interpret the house during the Federal era, but this gives
us an opportunity to share a different side of the family, said
In addition, HMI recently discovered that Jeremiah and Charlotte Sullivan
had indentured servants who were children. At least one of them was
African-American. This information gives another dimension to the interpretation
of the Sullivan House. Kruggel said she has written a grant application
for funds to explore that aspect of Sullivan history more deeply.
Other properties that will open for the season on April 16 include:
Dr. William D. Hutchings Hospital and Office, 120
W. Third St. This small brick Greek-revival building is the late 19th
Century office and hospital of a horse-and-buggy doctor.
It contains most of the original equipment from Dr. Hutchings
practice as well as Hutchings family furnishings.
Francis Costigan House, 408 W. Third St., was the
home of the master architect who designed it along with the Lanier Mansion,
St. Michael the Archangel Church and other Madison buildings. It is
considered a masterpiece of 19th Century design. Only 22 feet wide,
the two-story house is Greek Revival in style. This year visitors will
see additional artwork on the walls, from the HMI collection of fine
Ben Schroeder Saddle-tree Factory Museum, 106 Milton
St., is Americas last 19th Century saddletree factory. From 1878
to 1972 it produced tens of thousands of wood frames for saddle makers
as well as wooden clothespins and other products. Tours and demonstrations
African Methodist Episcopal Church Building, 309
E. Fifth St. This is one of two churches established in an African-American
settlement known as Georgetown. The area served as a stop
on the Underground Railroad. Several of the AME Church members were
active in Underground Railroad operation.
Admission to any of the Historic Madison Inc. properties is $3 for adults;
students and HMI members are free. The season extends from April 16
to Oct. 31.
As always, volunteer docents, or guides, will keep the properties open
to the public.
We are always looking for more docents, said Kruggel. A
lot of our docents have been with us for 20, 30, even 40 years.
She said the docent organization has formed a recruitment committee
to search for additional volunteers.
Anyone interested in volunteering time at the
historic properties may call (812) 265-2967.
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