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Frederick visits restored childhood home

Frederick visits restored childhood home
Frederick visits restored childhood home
Andrew Hendrich, right, along with his wife, Erica, welcomes Fred Frederick into a house they restored that was Frederick’s childhood home. With them are Frederick’s daughter Gail Bennett, granddaughter Katie Johnson and son Tim Frederick. Photo by Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor
Jo Ann Spieth-Saylor, Editor, [email protected]

When Andrew and Erica Hendrich bought the house at 202 Elliott Ave. in Corydon to restore, they thought they knew the basics about what they were purchasing. However, thanks to social media, they learned a lot more from a former occupant.

Erica said they initially believed the house, which features a rounded front-entry door with two similar doorways off the living room, was built in 1948.

Katie Johnson happened to see a post about the Hendrichs’ restoration project on Facebook, which included the 1948 date, and let them know the house was older than that.

See, Katie’s grandfather, Fred Frederick, who was born in 1928 and still resides in Corydon, lived in that house. His parents were the first occupants.

As the restoration project neared completion, the Hendrichs wanted to give Fred the opportunity to see his childhood home before a new occupant moved in. (The house is for sale through Hendrich Construction LLC.)

So, on a bright, sunny late October afternoon, Fred, along with his granddaughter, son Tim Frederick and daughter Gail Bennett (son-in-law Sam showed up later) got a look at the interior of the three-bedroom, 1-1/2-bath home. Some family members admitted to peaking in the windows the past several months to check the progress.

“We’ve been watching you for two years,” Fred told the Hendrichs.

Andrew said the removal of carpet revealed the original hardwood floors, which he restored. He also restored the original doors throughout the 2,171-square-foot house (1,608 square feet are finished) and kept the original plastered walls.

The dining area has the original built-in china cabinet, and a built-in ironing board is still located in the kitchen. However, Fred noted some reconfiguring of the kitchen layout. An 8-foot by 14-foot deck was added off the kitchen, “to make it feel bigger,” Erica said.

Gail checked out the closet in the master bedroom, which still goes through to the closet off the living room.

One of the other two bedrooms was used as the nursery. It was in that room that Fred explained about the border the Hendrichs found in the room. The nursery rhyme characters and other drawings were done by his mother, Fred said.

The Hendrichs, who had opted to keep a small section of the original border, featuring toy soldiers, said they had often wondered about the house’s former occupants.

Underneath the main floor of the house is a one-car garage and a basement, which is partially finished with a half bath added.

Gone is the coal furnace, which Fred said stoking it was one of his jobs as a child.

“You’ve put a lot of thought and time into it,” Tim said of the restoration project. “It looks completely different than it did three years ago.”

Standing inside the garage with the overhead door up, Fred recalled swinging on a tire swing across the street and told how he swung too far and fell off, breaking both of his arms.

He also told of playing basketball with the neighbor children, one of whom was the late Frank O’Bannon, former governor of Indiana.

Turning his attention back to the house, Fred assured Andrew there had been a drain to keep water away from the house. Andrew said he dug for hours trying to locate one but never did.

“We want a family to move in and live here for a long time,” Erica told the visitors.

Before the guests departed, there was one last bit of business to attend to: posing for pictures on the front stoop.

Erica said she is hoping to have the more recent tenants visit the house before it is sold.

For more information about the house, see Hendrich Construction’s Facebook page.

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