Save This Old House: Jeffersonville, Indiana
This huge farmhouse, dating to the Civil War era, can be yours for only $1
Published April 2011
Price: $1 (must be moved)
Location: Jeffersonville, Ind.
Contact: Greg Sekula, 812-284-4534
The Civil War was still raging in 1864 when farmer Thomas Benton Jacobs built this rather formal-looking Georgian Revival–style farmhouse on the outskirts of Jeffersonville, Indiana. Just across the Ohio River from Louisville, Kentucky, the town was used as a principal gateway to the South for the Union Army, so we're guessing many a Yankee soldier passed by the place on his way to war. After Jacobs died, in 1919, the house became the headquarters of a prison work farm. In 1923, it was sold back into private ownership. Keep reading to learn why it's worth saving, and what work it needs.
Shown: With its dentil molding cornice and side entry porch, the Jacobs residence is downright elegant for a farmhouse. It's big, too, with a total of nine rooms, including two bathrooms.
It was abandoned in 2006 and acquired by a water company, which is looking for someone to move the place so that new wells can be dug on the site. The still-sturdy 3,400-square-foot house has withstood the test of time and has tons of room for a large family.
Shown: An original 1864 brick fireplace (one of two) in the front parlor is flanked by built-in bookshelves, which were added later.
Plenty of original Georgian Revival details, including doors, windows, and a wide cherry staircase, are ripe for restoration.
Shown: The house's millwork is a combination of pine, poplar, and cherry. Like this cherry staircase, most of it has been painted over.
Saving it means relocating it. There's a 1.2-acre plot just down the road that's available for $89,000; moving the house will cost around $30,000.
Shown: A five-panel door leads to one of the house's three large bedrooms.
You'll also need to update the kitchen, two bathrooms, and all of the house's systems. Finish the job and you've got yourself a fine farmhouse near the banks of the Ohio.
Shown: This side entry porch retains its original posts and hand-sawn railing.