9 buildings remain from capital period
Karen Schwartz, Special to The Corydon Democrat
There are nine buildings in Corydon that were here during the capital period (1816-1825) that are still here. These buildings, listed in alphabetical order, are: Adams-Payne House, Cedar Glade, First State Capitol, First State Office Building, Harrison Log Cabin, Hendricks House, Heth House, Posey House and Westfall House.
The following paragraphs will provide addresses and brief information about each of these historic structures. Three of the buildings are part of the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site and the other six are privately owned.
The Adams-Payne House, 112 W. Walnut St., c. 1817, was built by Dr. Benjamin Adams and later operated by the Shuck family as a bustling hotel which was successful due to its proximity to the Corydon train depot. In the early 1900s, the building was separated into two houses and the eastern portion was torn down in 1984. The western portion remains and is operated as Emery’s Ice Cream.
Cedar Glade, 1 Cedar Glade off North Capitol Avenue, c. 1808, was built by Jacob Kintner Sr. The name Cedar Glade was derived from the towering red cedars growing along the banks of Indian Creek. Kintner traded the property to the McGrain family in 1849 for storefront property in Louisville. During the Battle of Corydon, cannonballs fell into the yard of Cedar Glade, which is owned by the Bennett family.
The First State Capitol was built of native blue limestone by Dennis Pennington between 1813 and 1816 at a cost of $3,000. It was originally designed to be the Harrison County Court House but served as Indiana’s First State Capitol from 1816 to 1825. After the capital moved to Indianapolis, the building was used as the county courthouse until 1929. Today, it is recognized statewide as the centerpiece of the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site.
The First State Office Building, 417 N. Mulberry St., c. 1817, was built by Davis Floyd. The State of Indiana rented space for the state auditor and treasurer’s offices during the capital Period. Later, it operated as the Harrison County Seminary, was home to the Brewster family and is now part of the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site.
Harrison Log Cabin, 419 N. Capitol Ave., c. early 1800s, was built as a surveying office and residence for William Henry Harrison then sold in 1808 to William Branham who operated a tavern. It then served as the parsonage for Corydon Presbyterian Church, along with other uses. It is now a retail establishment.
Hendricks House, 112 W. Walnut St., c. 1817, is named for Indiana’s third governor, William Hendricks, who used it as his gubernatorial headquarters from 1822 to 1825. The Porter-Griffin family owned the house for 134 years until it was acquired by the state in 1975 and became part of the Corydon Capitol State Historic Site.
Heth House, 227 N. Mulberry St., c. 1817, was deeded by Harvey Heth to Nathaniel Holdcroft and then became the property of Henry Wilford Heth, who served as the Harrison County Clerk for 35 years from 1817 to 1852. It was restored by the Walters family.
The Posey House, 225 N. Oak St., c. 1817, served as the home for Col. Thomas Lloyd Posey, son of Indiana’s last territorial governor, Gen. Thomas Posey. Col. Posey, who raised 14 orphans in this house, also served in numerous local offices and capacities. Several families lived in the house at various times until 1925 when it was acquired and operated as a museum by the Hoosier Elm Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR donated the house to State of Indiana in 2000, which, in turn, donated it to the Historical Society of Harrison County in 2013. Restoration is currently underway through a grant from the Harrison County Community Foundation.
The Westfall House, 210 W. High St., c. 1807, was built in 1807 by Hiram Westfall. Later, it became the home of Col. Lewis Jordan, who commanded the Home Guards during the Battle of Corydon. The Constitution Elm memorial stands in the south yard of the Westfall House, which is owned by John Butte.
Look for these historic buildings as you travel around Corydon. The Historical Society of Harrison County has produced a free brochure, which includes a map and photos, which is available at the Blaine H. Wiseman Visitor Center and the Fred Porter Griffin Genealogical Center, both in downtown Corydon.
Karen Schwartz, president of the Historical Society of Harrison County, serves on the legacy group of the Harrison County Committee for the Indiana Bicentennial. In preparation of Indiana’s bicentennial in 2016, she is providing a monthly column ‘ focusing on a person, place or event from Harrison County’s history ‘ that gives insight to our history. She said the columns should serve as an introduction and/or summary of a topic but are not intended to include all known facts and information. To suggest a topic, contact Schwartz at 736-2373 or 738-2828, by e-mail at [email protected] or by regular mail at 5850 Devil’s Elbow Road NW, Corydon, IN 47112.