Public can tour two Queen Anne houses in Jennings County


Two Queen Anne-style houses will be open for public tours in North Vernon.

Indiana Landmarks, which helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns, has organized Jennings County Landmark Look for 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The tour features the Joseph Cone and the Robert and Mary Ann Leavitt houses.

A year ago, the Cone house, built in 1894, was in bad shape. Porch rails were falling off, windows were boarded up, paint was peeling and the house faced demolition, Indiana Landmarks said in a news release.

Indiana Landmarks saved the house in late 2018, and today, exterior renovation is nearly complete. Queen Anne features visitors will see include towering brick chimneys, a decorative slate roof, patterned gable shingles, a wraparound porch and gingerbread everywhere.

The Leavitt House overlooks the Muscatatuck River. The original exterior is hidden under siding, but the interior hints at its former grandeur. Woodwork and hardwood floors are original. It has pocket doors, built-ins and a corner fireplace. Preservationists believe it was built before 1884 by carpenter Robert Leavitt, according to Indiana Landmarks.

Indiana Landmarks is hoping a preservation-minded buyer will purchase the house for $64,500 and take on its renovation.

The Leavitt house is about a five-minute drive from the Joseph Cone house, and visitors will need to provide their own transportation. Neither home is handicap accessible, as there are steps required to access the first, second and third floors of each home.

Landmark Look tours allow visitors to tour historic places not normally open to the public.

Tickets are free for Indiana Landmarks members and $10 for others and may be reserved by calling 317-639-4534 or going online at The deadline to reserve or buy tickets is Saturday.

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