Historic New Carlisle, Inc.
Preserving the Past for Our Future...
The house was purchased in 1968 by Robert and Dixie Fish. Fish excavated the land in front of the house and installed a used car lot. The bank foreclosed on the property in 1970. The bank held the property for a few years, until James Kile purchased it in 1973 with the intent to restore the home. The home had already begun to deteriorate several years prior. Unfortunately, the owner wasn’t able to follow through on the restoration.
The house remained vacant, used mostly for storage, and continued its steady decline into deterioration for nearly 30 years. Considerable damage had been done on the exterior including holes in the roof, broken windows and deteriorated porches. The interior had been vandalized with spray paint, and had suffered from water damage with falling plaster. The original fireplace mantels, pocket doors, and light fixtures had previously been removed from the house. The old home was crying out for help. Because the house was a safety hazard, the Town of New Carlisle was considering condemnation and had erected a tall chain link fence around the property to secure it. The owner was also threatening to tear the house down.
The house suffered increasing deterioration from weather and vandals for nearly 30 years.
Time for Action
After several attempts to offer assistance to the owner, Historic New Carlisle, Inc. knew time was running out to save the structure. The group needed a plan. Historic New Carlisle worked closely with Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana who listed the Old Republic on their "10 Most Endangered" list in 1998. Working together and with the New Carlisle Town Council, legal action was taken to try to save the home. The Town’s case was successful with the judge awarding receivership to Historic New Carlisle, Inc. contingent upon plans for stabilization of the property. In the process, the owner decided to sell to Historic New Carlisle, Inc. who with a loan from Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana purchased the house and the remaining 3.5 acres in November 1998.
Historic New Carlisle, Inc. imagined the decaying Italianate home coming to life. After almost three years of planning, fundraising, and applying for grants, the Old Republic Rehabilitation project officially began in April 2001. To date, the exterior and interior of the building are complete. The front yard was returned back to its original gentle slope that had been excavated in the 1960s. The second floor was finished in March 2004 by many volunteers who converted the upstairs bedrooms and maid’s quarters into inn rooms and an innkeeper’s suite. The brick icehouse and smokehouse remain to be restored. To date, over one million dollars has been invested into the project including grants, loans, private donations, fundraisers, donated supplies and thousands of hours of volunteer labor. The vision of the Historic New Carlisle, Inc, the Town of New Carlisle and the entire community has allowed the Old Republic to stand proudly for future generations to come.
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