This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Ruins east of town

A few months ago I ventured east of Rensselaer to photograph an old barn sign. On the way back I noticed ruins of an old windmill on the corner of SR 114 and the Marion School Road. I decided to investigate.
In the undergrowth was the foundation of what appeared to be a house. The bricks scattered over the site suggested that the house was either brick or had a brick facing.
The same foundation from a different angle.
Also on the site was some confusing stonework. This appears to have been a stone pillar or column, probably decorative.
There were stones arranged in rows in several places. It appears that when the house was occupied, there was a decorative garden around it. Stonework of that sort was quite popular a century ago--the best surviving example in Rensselaer is the grotto at SJC.

I was startled by this well, but then decided that it might have been part of the decorative garden, not a source of water.
The day lilies had not only survived but thrived. Day lilies mark the sites of many old dwelling places--in the end, they may outlast the stonework. They can be considered an invasive species.
I asked around a bit about this history of this place, which is kitty-corner to the old Marion School (now the Bethany Church.) Someone told me that they thought Frank Fisher once owned it, but did not know if he ever lived there. Someone who reads this probably knows the history of this place--please feel free to comment.


Anonymous said...

That is a beautifully wooded corner. I wish someone would build a home there again.

Anonymous said...

One of your daughter-in-laws would like to photograph the large patch of daylilies and the rest of that area ;). Can we plan an excursion?

Anonymous said...

I grew up in Rensselaer and remember that at least part of the structure was still standing. Something tells me that it belonged to the Lehe family at some time over 50 years ago.