Speakman House tour benefits local Historical Society-October 22

The Ohio County Historical Society will be hosting a tour of the historic Speakman House on Sunday, October 22 from 1:00-4:30 p.m. The house is located at 10405 Old SR 56 in the Ohio County portion of Aurora.

Tickets for the event are $15 for museum members/$25 for non-members and are available at the Ohio County Historical Society and online through Eventbrite.  Proceeds from ticket sales go to the Historical Society. Wine will be available.

Once one of the most attractive historical homes in Ohio County, the Speakman House is now on the Indiana Landmark’s list as one of the “Ten Most Endangered.”  Built in 1846 by Stephen S. Speakman, the house was constructed for a young “Kentucky belle” who agreed to marry him if he built her a magnificent home.

After Speakman’s death in 1853, his widow remained at the property and relied on the labor of freed slaves to maintain the home. It is believed that the farm was part of the Underground Railroad.

Through the years several families have owned the property including the Millers, Kittles and Tallentires. The Speakman House currently has two owners–Mr. and Mrs. W. W. Johnson and an owner with a life estate.

The house was once the location of a home for underprivileged boys who were interested in agriculture. A small statue of a young boy can be found near the roof at one end of the house.

Local legends suggest that the Speakman property sits upon an Indiana burial mound, and that it is haunted by a young man who drowned in the nearby Laughery Creek.

Now unoccupied and in significant disrepair, a new “renovation-minded” owner is being sought. The 17-room interior suffers water damage and the exterior contains collapsed porches and a leaking roof.

For more information on the Speakman House and the upcoming tour, contact the Ohio County Historical Museum at (812) 438-4915. Additional information is available on their website at ohiocountyhistory.org.

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