The Herald Bulletin

September 1, 2012

Keep it in the family

Moores can't let go of grandparents' home on north side of Anderson

By Emma Bowen Meyer
For The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Donna Moore can remember running through the halls of her home when she was a child. Once owned by her grandparents, the house was a favorite spot for impromptu visits as she lived just across the street.

“I couldn’t bear for anyone else to live here after my grandparents passed away,” said Donna, who purchased the home in 2008. She works for The Anderson Center for the Arts.

“My family was also glad we decided to buy it. It seems like every weekend we have a family get-together in the yard just like we did when I was growing up.”

Donna and her husband, Mike, were very comfortable in their previous home on the south side of town. Mike had a number of reservations about the move but ultimately allowed nostalgia to reign.

“We had been there 30 years and I thought I’d be buried there,” said Mike, who works for DSE Trucking Co. in Daleville. “But I really like it here. It’s funny — we moved closer to town and now we get deer, raccoons and rabbits in the yard.”

They’ve been known to enter the house, as well. Mike installed a doggy door and a couple of raccoons read it as an invitation.

Historic setting

The 2-acre lot is unusual for the neighborhood, tucked away off Cross Street between Broadway and Scatterfield. As the original home built in the mid-1800s on 200 acres of land, the residence has earned boasting rights for the biggest yard.

“We have land abstracts from 1830, but there is no information on the age of the house itself,” said Mike. “At one time the Indiana Gas Co. owned it.”

While remodeling, Donna’s grandparents uncovered a secret room and suspect the home may have been part of the Underground Railroad.

As a child, Donna remembers the second floor to be an apartment. Possibly divided up during the Great Depression (as many large homes were), the second living area was used by family members in transition. While a home was being built or address changes were taking longer than usual, the space was offered as a temporary solution.

Organ is ideal addition

Once the Moores purchased the home, they transformed the first floor bedrooms into a parlor and sitting area and replaced the apartment with their bedrooms.

“My favorite area is these two rooms,” said Donna, indicating the parlor and sitting rooms. “They are just comfortable. I like the atmosphere and being able to look out and see the big trees through the big windows.”

With the tall ceilings and beautiful woodwork that accompany old homes, character flows through every turn. The angled walls with large windows are only outshined by the stunning organ that perfectly suits the time-period of the home.

“It took six of us to get that organ in here,” said Mike. “It weighs a ton.”

No matter the weight, the piece is the ideal addition to the parlor.

Nearby is a door that confuses the grandchildren — because it leads nowhere. During a renovation years ago, siding was added to the house and the opening was closed off from the outside. The doorway remains and Donna can remember running through it to the front porch.

“I like everything about the house — Mom lives across the street and my aunt and uncle live around the corner,” said Donna. “It would have been so hard to come and visit Mom and see someone else in this house.”

Each week, Emma Bowen Meyer features a Madison County home. If you know of a home that should be showcased, email