Created By: PocketSights Ruthmere Tours
This video link shows a brief insight to the work required for the reproduction of the base-board moulding in the Havilah Beardsley House.
This video link shows before and after clips of one of the floors in the Havilah Beardsley House during its reproduction.
John Kistner grew up in the Havilah Beardsley House during the 1940s. This video link is to our 2012 interview with him on YouTube where he gives his recollections of the home, particularly its in-floor heating system in the east wing living room (presently the East Gallery).
You’re looking at the Havilah Beardsley House, home of the father of Elkhart, Doctor Havilah Beardsley. He was a physician who came to this area because of the business potential of the local water power. He arrived here in 1831, and by 1832, he’d purchased land from a local native Indian chief, Pierre Moran, and had launched the little town of Elkhart. This house, built in 1848, is the oldest house in Elkhart, and was the first brick home built here. Originally, the house looked a little different. The central portion was the entire house, and it was built in a classic Georgian Colonial style with smaller windows “six over six pane windows” and a simple front step. Some of these original windows can still be seen on the kitchen building on the northwest side of the house. Like many older homes, the Havilah Beardsley House changed over time. The west wing was added in the 1850s, as living quarters for a grandmother. In 1874, the house underwent a larger transformation to update it from a Georgian Colonial style to an Italianate villa style. The roof on the west wing was flattened, windows were lengthened and given rounded tops, and the large porch was added. Inside, the house was made more ornate with a stunning new grand staircase and new woodwork throughout. In the 1890s, the east wing was added. By this time, it was referred to as the Beardsley Mansion. Havilah Beardsley died in 1856, and his wife Rachel continued to live in the house through all of its changes until her death in 1890. It remained a private home until 2006 when the Ruthmere Foundation purchased it and began restoration. As one of the most important pieces of Elkhart’s history, the Havilah Beardsley House and the story of its original owner will inspire generations to come.
This Tour has been sponsored by Wellfield Botanic Gardens, located at 1011 North Main Street, Elkhart, IN.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Elkhart's Beardsley Tour (Blue Tour)