Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

What Once Was - First Installment

One of the most exciting parts of redoing an old building is finding clues and remnants of what once was. We are so lucky with this property to have so much of the original to work from that I almost feel guilty every time I wish that we had more information about something that is missing. But while I haven't seen the fairy godmother who's been granting these wonderful wishes, she's gotta be hiding somewhere as the answers just keep popping up!

A few weeks ago we had Steve and John out doing some metal detecting on the property. And while they never found the buried treasure that was going to pay for the house repairs, they did find a few interesting items...

The first, we are told, is a Civil War era bullet. The one thing that the pictures don't show is how heavy this thing is! And while we do know that there were no battles fought in this area,we also know that Abraham Horner (the original owner) was enlisted in the Union Army for six days. (Yes, that's another story that you can read here: Did this bullet belong to Abraham? We'll never know, but it's fun to speculate.

And then Steve came to me with this:

It was found buried at the base of the bay window. Way back, when the house was new, there was a railing, or cresting, that ran along the top of the bay windows and on the 4th story tower. It is long gone and has been one of the things that I was wishing we had even pieces or good pictures of. So now we have at least one piece. Wish granted!


  1. Yes, finding clues about a home's past is like working on a mystery. When I first mentioned that I intended to decorate our 160 yr-old home in French Country, my daughter didn't think it would be authentic to the history of our area & for an Italianate home. A few days after getting possession, I began peeling the red & white 1970's era wallpaper in the hall, then 2 other layers to reveal the original paper. It was gold fleurs de lis & laurel wreaths on an ivory background! Then I read some of the documents passed down from past owners & learned Emily Proffit Morgan was of French descent. Her father came to IN from Baton Rouge, then served in the State House representing SW IN before 2 terms in US Congress. I couldn't wait to call our daughter to let her know what I'd found---almost like the house revealed the story! :-)

    1. That's so cool! Finding those little bits of history is just amazing. Finding some of the cresting was the best Christmas present I could have asked for.

      Thank you for sharing your story. We love to hear from others that have had similar experiences. And it's even better when the unexpected appears!