1886 Italianate – Lagrange, IN – $289,900

For Sale
Added to OHD on 2/20/19   -   Last OHD Update: 2/20/19   -   71 Comments
212 W Factory St, Lagrange, IN 46761

Map: Street

  • $289,900
  • 5 Bed
  • 5 Bath
  • 3680 Sq Ft
  • 0.4 Ac.
This home is rich in LaGrange County history. Built in 1886 by Samuel Shepardson the design of the home was duplicated after the Court house with the curvature of the door ways the beautiful Ash woodwork throughout the home, the hardwood floors continue upstairs. The ceilings of the home are 10ft on main floor and 13 ft on 2nd story. Some of the original chandeliers that were once carbide gas lights have been converted, the original speaking tube system is still in tact.
Contact Information
Denise Scott, Lewis & Lambright Inc
(260) 463-2013 / 260-463-1244
Links, Photos & Additional Info
Status, price and other details may not be current and must be independently verified.
OHD does not represent this home.

State: | Region: | Associated Styles or Type:
Period & Associated Styles: ,
Features: , | Misc: ,

71 Comments on 1886 Italianate – Lagrange, IN – $289,900

OHD does not represent homes on this site. Contact the agent listed for details including current price and status.
  1. Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10324 comments
    Admin

    1901 Folk Victorian
    Chestatee, GA

    This one makes a top ten list of the best value for the most original home ever on OHD. I’m not sure where I should start first with what I love most, it’s all fantastic.

    92
    • AvatarSinead Mcguigan says: 1 comments

      I have to agree it’s definitely one of my top 10, it’s beautiful

      14
    • John ShifletJohn Shiflet says: 4708 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1889 Eastlake Cottage
      Fort Worth, TX

      One of my all-time favorites in the Italianate style. I soon run out of “Wows” after looking at all the fine period details remaining in this house.

      5
  2. AvatarStevenF says: 757 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1969 Regency
    Nashville, TN

    It seems unusual that the second floor ceilings are higher an the first floor; it’s usually the other way around. Makes sense though because it probably made the second floor more pleasant for sleeping. The price is worth it for the curved internal shutters alone!

    30
    • Kelly, OHDKelly, OHD says: 10324 comments
      Admin

      1901 Folk Victorian
      Chestatee, GA

      Perhaps the 1st floor was lowered when electrical, water, etc. were installed?

      14
    • AvatarDavid Sweet says: 233 comments

      I will be saving this one for my top 3. It’s just fabulous in every way! BTW the 1st floor ceilings are lower because the AC ducts run in the ceiling. You can tell by all the small return grilles mounted in the baseboards. In my area, we try not to do this with historic homes, rather talk the customer into UNICO, or one of the other less invasive duct systems. The other reason NOT to do it this way, is you have to tear out a LOT of plaster walls. Not Good.

      11
    • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 543 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1918 Bunkhouse
      WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

      This house is a very late example of the piano nobile (Italian for “noble floor” or “noble level”) in which the most formal and public rooms were located on an upper story (usually the second floor in American terms). While common in Renaissance Italy, one doesn’t expect to see this in Indiana! The concept was embraced to a lesser extent in many American cities prior to the mid-nineteenth century.

      I’m astounded that so much delicious originality has survived here… this house is exceptionally swoon-worthy! The arcaded facade, unpainted woodwork, period lighting, speaking tubes, interior window blinds, cast brass hardware…. it’s total preservationist nirvana!

      14
      • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 543 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1918 Bunkhouse
        WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

        It’s not just the higher ceilings that differ from those of the lower level; note that the woodwork is more elaborate on the upper level than the lower level… further evidence of the piano nobile intent.

        12
      • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        This. The court house is more than likely the same design.

        3
        • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 543 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1918 Bunkhouse
          WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

          Very possibly! Many public buildings employed this concept as many of them were inspired by Classical Renaissance architecture. There are definite similarities between the house above and the courthouse as JimH and CharlestonJohn note below. I actually think the exterior detailing of the house is more interesting than that of the courthouse!

          1
      • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1875 Italianate cottage
        Noblesville, IN

        Here’s a great, very dramatic, example of the same; quite obvious on the exterior. Interestingly enough, it also was built contemporaneously with, (and near to), the Carroll County courthouse:
        https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2014/02/26/c-1880-italianate-delphi-in/

        http://bontragerhome.com/CarrollCoCH.jpg

        There was another great example of an Italianate with piano nobile, in ruins, (tatters anyway), we saw a few years ago, but I can’t remember where it was.

        3
        • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          The house I’m, (still), thinking about had what looked like most of the ironwork taken down and stacked up against the house; maybe even on the upper level of a double gallery. I’m recalling it as an almost Creole/Italianate and really interesting: naive in the sense that it was okay, frame construction; but almost very sophisticated in it’s design. Kind of schlumpy in curb appeal. Maybe it had undergone stabilization – or something.

          Speaking again about Italianates of a very similar time period which feature a piano nobile.

          Anyone? Eric? 🙂
          Jim? He’s so good at remembering the really interesting ones.

          4
          • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 543 comments
            OHD Supporter

            1918 Bunkhouse
            WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

            Hmmm. Doesn’t ring a bell. I’d forgotten about that house in Delphi – love it!

            1
          • JimHJimH says: 4197 comments
            OHD Supporter

            I don’t recall another example as pronounced as this one (although my memory can’t be relied upon). There are a lot of Italianates that emphasize the Renaissance proportions with taller windows on the 2nd level but the actual use of the 2nd floor for the public rooms is pretty rare I think. I can’t see for sure that was the case here despite the high ceilings and fancier trim upstairs.
            As CJohn pointed out, raising the main level was a practical consideration more often seen in cities to get above the noise and stench of the street (or canal), or in country houses to collect the breeze. In courthouse design, the courts are often upstairs for different reasons – I think it’s just coincidental in this case that the designs are related.

            3
            • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
              OHD Supporter

              1875 Italianate cottage
              Noblesville, IN

              Rats. It’s going to drive me nuts until I find it. Thanks’ for the consideration.

      • CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 846 comments

        Great observation. I agree it’s very interesting to see applied to a house (likely dating to the late 1870’s rather than 1886) in Indiana. The concept is routed in practical reasons (think Venice) and is found in English half basements, French bel étage design, German die Beletage, and even modern American inverted floorplans and elevated, drive-under construction. Today, people do it for the views or to get above the FEMA floodplain. In the past, streets were muddy, disgusting, and sometimes used as sewers. You’d want to elevate above that, too.

        3
        • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 543 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1918 Bunkhouse
          WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

          Yes; lots of practical reasons to have built in this way, though when done in the Midwest it appears to have been embraced just for pretense. A recent expression of this concept in action which will be familiar to many may be seen in suburbia’s “raised ranch” houses, also known as the “split entry”. These were designed for financially practical reasons as builders could save money by not having to construct a full basement yet still offer buyers two levels of living space. There truly is nothing new under the sun! I agree that the house reads more as a product of the 1870’s.

          3
    • AvatarScott says: 8 comments

      The second floor ceilings in our converted Italianate are 11.5 foot, our first floor ceilings are only 10.5 feet (actually just a bit shy of that number). I can say without a doubt it still gets hot as hell on the second floor, and there is now nearly a full third story above that floor (added in 1902). I thought the original architect messed up, until I experienced my first summer in the place with no A/C. I have had contractors literally passing out working upstairs in the house!

  3. AvatarSteve H says: 165 comments

    That newel post is to die for (and it’s a miracle the finial never broke off after 100+ years of moving furniture up and downstairs)

    17
  4. AvatarAnne B says: 4 comments

    A beautiful old home! I wish there were more pictures available, but what is shown looks lovely. Looks as though the kitchen is missing a range and/or fridge? I love those old speaking tubes.

    10
  5. AvatarKevin says: 48 comments

    Beautiful well intact Mansion Grade home! I truly hope the next owners appreciate and care for her well!

    6
  6. AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

    WOW. Speaking tubes with the whistle!! I wonder if they work still or have been cut off.
    This house is a masterpiece.

    21
  7. AvatarRandy C says: 422 comments
    OHD Supporter

    2015 Reverse Ranch 1/2
    Olathe, KS

    OMG, this has got to be the bargain of the century. Absolutely beautiful inside and out. I love the original light fixtures and glorious woodwork. Kelly, you shall not be forgiven for my sleepless nights drooling over this one! I have no idea what shape the mechanicals are in, but I’d go for it if I were seriously looking to move. What a find…….

    9
  8. TGrantTGrant says: 553 comments
    OHD Supporter

    New Orleans, LA

    As everyone has stated this is a wonderful property at an excellent price. Looking at the pictures, I’m surprised the ceilings aren’t more elaborate. Usually with one of these beauties there’s some serious plaster work up there.

    6
  9. HeidiHeidi says: 137 comments

    This place is amazing. The wood. The stairs. The curves. I’ve poured over these pictures a dozen times. I wish there were more!!!!!

    7
  10. AvatarRon G says: 167 comments

    The interior trim is beautiful. I’ll bet that all of the trim used on the doors and windows were manufactured at the same time and was included with the window and doors. The reason for the high ceilings on the second floor was to keep the exterior symmetry on the same plane. Lowering the ceilings on the second floor wood have added to a cost that wasn’t necessary since the roof joist doubles as the ceiling. Even though the roof looks flat the builders probably added a slight pitch starting at the center of the roof to divert rain water from standing in pools since the gutters are built into the overhang of the house.

    If there’s one flaw in the house, its the updated kitchen with its dark stained cabinets.

    20
    • MichaelMichael says: 1304 comments

      If you go to the street view and pull back for an ariel view, you can see how the roof is put together. It’s pretty much as you describe it.

      I love the exterior with the brick and brackets. The icing on the cake is the wrought iron fence that looks to enclose most of the property. Amazing it’s still there!

      9
  11. PhillipPhillip says: 183 comments
    1910 Tudor/craftsman mix

    I agree Kelly, so much bang for the buck. To me the icing on the cake is that the woodwork has survived the paintbrush. The natural woodwork just makes this house. If you are right about them perhaps lowering the ceilings I would sure be apt to reclaim the higher ceiling. The outside is just pure art.One of my favs on here for sure.

    11
  12. Avatarddbacker says: 382 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1971 Uninspired split-level
    Prairie Village, KS

    It’s so imposing yet cozy and charming at the same time. Would love to see more interior photos. Streetview has a summertime view, much better when not buried in snow.

    3
  13. Ed FerrisEd Ferris says: 311 comments

    Having a taller 2nd floor was a common choice in the Italianate style. The idea was that your living quarters were more important than the public rooms downstairs and should be more luxurious. It does make a difference on hot, humid days, too.
    Why are some of the receptacle covers missing?
    Personally, I can’t stand those side-hinged inside blinds. They are always in the way.
    No mantelpieces? There is one chimney with two flues.
    Apparently hot-air heating through grates.

    4
    • AvatarMJG says: 528 comments

      I’ve not seen this a lot where the second floor is taller than the first. Its not common where I live or northern states I’ve visited. Is it maybe more common in hotter climates? Majority of Victorians I’ve seen and read about, and have visited in my travels across the country have lower ceilings on the second floor. Old architecture books recommended it for keeping the room comfortably heated in the winter. I wouldn’t expect this in Indiana. Anyone have anymore information on this?

  14. JimHJimH says: 4197 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Samuel B. Shepardson (1839-1914) was a builder and real estate man who survived the Civil War as an infantry sergeant and prisoner. After the war, he married young Martha Huss and they had 2 children, Kit Carson and Ella Pearl. Shepardson was elected County Treasurer in 1868 and Auditor in 1874.
    The state SHAARD file says that the house was built during the construction of the county courthouse in 1878, and the style is consistent with the earlier date. Shepardson held the purse strings for the courthouse project as Auditor and shrewdly directed the work on both projects simultaneously.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LaGrange_County_Courthouse

    9
    • CharlestonJohnCharlestonJohn says: 846 comments

      The man who built this beautiful house:
      https://images.findagrave.com/photos/2014/44/27503186_1392440219.jpg

      Although I didn’t see definitive proof, the house appears too fine not to be the work of a professional architect, perhaps either A.J. Smith of Chicago, who started the courthouse project or T. J. Tolan & Son who finished it. Regardless, records indicate that Shepardson, along with county clerk Samuel P. Bradford, generated the initial courthouse design prior to engaging the services of an architect. I imagine he liked the design enough to want to both live and work within it.

      6
  15. AvatarStacy says: 210 comments

    Absolutely amazing & beautiful!!

    3
  16. AvatarKeith Sanders says: 104 comments

    What can be said but “Beautiful!” One of the absolute best newel posts and a guy riding a flying fish! All it needs is a replica replacement railing on the one second floor door and a sympathetic kitchen redo. Wish we had something like this where I live…

    6
  17. AvatarRick says: 78 comments

    Ok your a delivery driver, you pull up, go through a single yard entrance that leads to two front doors… which one do you go to? Automatically to the left stoop that protrudes the furthest out or to the center stoop?

    4
  18. Kimberly62Kimberly62 says: 458 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1980 board & batten modern

    I love the arched detail in the brickwork around the windows. Many great comments about this home.

    5
  19. AvatarMichele says: 92 comments

    Mouth drops open….hits floor!!!! LOVE it!

    8
  20. AvatarMimi says: 196 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Rochester, MN

    This house s definitely in my top 10 favorite houses on OHD! Love the beautiful woodwork, stairway and the newel post is amazing!
    The “updated kitchen” I didn’t care too much….
    Amazing— amazing home and it was fun reading the additional history pieces as well

    2
  21. AvatarBethany otto says: 2656 comments
    OHD Supporter

    Escondido, CA

    Indiana strikes again! What a dream home!

    5
  22. AvatarMaggie says: 10 comments

    Indiana has the best historic homes!! This is amazing!!

    3
  23. AvatarCindy Belanger says: 142 comments

    Impressive house with the pediments, brackets and cement railing posts on the exterior. Inside, wow! just gorgeous. The arched doors, woodwork, original shutters and love the double doors to the bathroom. Kitchen is so so.

    2
  24. AvatarRebecca Akens says: 41 comments

    Lagrange is 30 minutes from me and is full of beautiful old houses. Just wander around on street view, because there are more than I could list here.

    1
  25. AvatarPatrick Walker says: 16 comments

    Homes like this one , when constructed had central heating , which needed a vast amount of something too consumed wood or Cole , and a man in the basement or a boy would keep the fire burning all the time , and most likely seldom ,saw the upstairs staff

    2
    • AvatarRon G says: 167 comments

      With the roof showing two chammies, one on each side of the house suggest that this house had two heating plants; probably working independently of each other to provide heat to each side of the house. The pictures show grates below every window and there is one floor grate pictured. The size of these old coal burners were based on the heat exchanger and the combustion chamber. These old monsters (sometimes called octopus furnaces) took up a lot of space with the size of the ductwork used to supply heat. Many times heat just traveled through the open area between the floor joist and even the open bays between studs. To keep the heat between the floor joist it wasn’t uncommon to see the bays covered with wood instead of the familiar sheet metal used today. Most of these furnaces would have a large sheet metal pipe (24″ or 30″) attached to a basement window or a separate opening to provide fresh combustion air to the furnace.

      An earlier post suggested a Unico style HVAC system. These systems are extremely expensive and require multiple duct runs to a room. These systems are most commonly referred to as a high pressure system verses the high efficiently HVAC we use in homes today. The best heating & cooling system for a home is one that is engineered to match the energy efficiency built into the house design.

      I can’t image the amount of coal a house this size would consume during the winter months. Keeping these furnaces running would probably need to be tended every three or four hours depending on the thermostat setting. Also, the hot water heaters may have also been used to heat domestic hot water which would require these furnaces to run year around but at a lower heat level during the summer season.

      5
  26. AvatarBetsy says: 168 comments

    This cannot be real . It is astounding . Miles and miles of unpainted woodwork.

    3
  27. Avatarmiles227 says: 198 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1955 Storybook Ranch
    Northridge, CA

    I wonder if this was originally intended as a single family home? I grew up in an area with many fine large italianate houses and I’ve never seen one with three equally prominent entrances. Could it have been a duplex or triplex? Or intended as offices related to the courthouse? And it seems very close to the street for such a large lot. I measured over 400′ of iron fence on google earth!

    3
    • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      It does look like a double. That was my first impression.

      2
    • Architectural ObserverArchitectural Observer says: 543 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1918 Bunkhouse
      WestOfMiddleOfNowhere, KS

      It is a bit odd! However, most doubles have fronts which are flush with each other. If there is a setback, the exposed side wall is usually windowless. Here there are windows in the jog between the two halves of the house. I love mysteries like this! There has to be an explanation…

    • JimHJimH says: 4197 comments
      OHD Supporter

      Samuel Shepardson and his family lived in this house for 35 years. The census records make clear that it was always a single family home they didn’t share with anybody else. Only 4 or 5 family members lived here, with no live-in servants.
      There are 4 fancy stone stoops leading to similar entry doors, even at the rear of the house. Inside, as far as we can see there is a single main hall and stairway. The multiple entries appear to be just an ostentatious detail (as was the piano mobile). Covered porches would have been a more conventional solution.

      8
  28. AvatarMelissa Roberts says: 42 comments

    It’s a gorgeous Italianate!

    1
  29. AvatarDianeEG says: 486 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1896

    Definitely the bargain of the year. So many things not pictured or talked about. Can’t even reasonably compare the cost of the wood in this house with today’s prices. With so many interesting places relatively close to LaGrange, I would think this would be a quick sale. Looks as if someone was updating (wallpaper-bath-construction material-layer of dust.) And the size of the lot! And – And – And . . .

    3
  30. Michaeljoe62Michaeljoe62 says: 34 comments
    1941 Cape Cod
    IN

    I’ve been by this one before, and it really is a stunner. We do have our share of big, beautiful, bargain-priced homes here in Indiana (we were one of them, once!). It’s a great place to live. 🙂

    2
    • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
      OHD Supporter

      1875 Italianate cottage
      Noblesville, IN

      I thought you deserted us. ? 😉

      Michaeljoe62’s former home: also NOT TO BE MISSED;
      https://www.oldhousedreams.com/2015/02/18/1928-colonial-revival-kendallville-in/

      6
      • AvatarDianeEG says: 486 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1896

        I wasn’t following OHD at the time of Micheljoe62’s home saga and just spent time catching up. Hope you are enjoying life in Fort Wayne (I grew up in the rural Kokomo area.) I think the whole OHD experience with your former home exemplifies what this site is all about and at it’s finest. It shows dreams do come true, old houses can be preserved and we just might get our own projects done. This is a special group.

        4
        • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          Glad you enjoyed seeing that fine home Diane. I like to mention the really great ones from time to time so folks who may have missed them have a chance to enjoy seeing them. 🙂

          1
          • Michaeljoe62Michaeljoe62 says: 34 comments
            1941 Cape Cod
            IN

            @ Rosewater – LOL NEVER! I’m True Blue and check almost every day. But I think I didn’t realize I had to log in for quite a while, which I suspect has affected my number of Comments).
            Seriously, Kelly and all you guys on OHD were the BEST when the day came for us to sell the McCray. In the Small World category, the new owners’ daughter and I were in a production of White Christmas last year (I was the “Bing” part, and she was the General’s granddaughter). They love the house and are thoroughly enjoying it, I believe.
            Mission Accomplished 😉 ❤️

            2
        • Michaeljoe62Michaeljoe62 says: 34 comments
          1941 Cape Cod
          IN

          @ DianeEG – Yes! We miss the manse some days, but love being back in Fort Wayne, too. We own a 1942 Cap Cod Colonial that has a lot of it’s originality still and needed NO restoration this time – LOL. It faces a public park, so I look out my living room window and pretend I still own an estate. 😉
          And, yes, I am positive that all the great attention our previous home received was in no small way because of OHD. And all the wonderful comments – which anyone who’s spent a dozen years restoring a home can greatly appreciate!!! This is definitely a Special Group. 😍

          2
      • Barbara VBarbara V says: 346 comments
        OHD Supporter

        1800 cottage
        Upstate, NY

        Thank you, Jeff, for re-posting the breath-taking McCray Mansion – although it sure does take the wind out of the LaGrange listing’s sails, IMO! I don’t think I’ve seen anything to surpass the wealth of original detail in the structure itself, the amenities, the décor, and the variety of associated mementos, and I fervently hope that the new owners fully appreciate and respect what they have. Just incredible!

        4
        • RosewaterRosewater says: 4542 comments
          OHD Supporter

          1875 Italianate cottage
          Noblesville, IN

          It is unquestionably one of the most interesting, beautiful homes we’ve ever seen on OHD Barbara. I love throwing those old links out there for newer folks to enjoy from time to time; and I’m especially glad you and Diane enjoyed seeing it.

          1
  31. AvatarDebbie Desmond says: 1 comments

    Go to Zillow, it has pics of house in the summer! It would be worth the price for just the fence alone!!!

    3
  32. AvatarKarrie says: 230 comments

    Why the two front doors? And I’m guessing that the iron fencing/balcony on the 2nd story above the 2nd door is missing? Love all the beautiful wood work. Would love to see this in person. This house is awesome and I would love to live there. Just can’t get my grown children to join me there…. sigh.

  33. Avatarr myers says: 28 comments

    Beautiful home – but a little disappointed with kitchen. That would be my first project – to create a kitchen worthy of this old beauty!

    1
  34. CLMCLM says: 126 comments
    OHD Supporter

    1940 Cottage
    Bradford, TN

    Lovely and all the window blinds seem to be intact. Love the color of the wood. What I really want if that record player next to the front door!

Comment Here


Think before you type! Keep comments a friendly place for each other, owners and agents.
Comments that do not add value to the conversation in a positive manner will not be approved.

Click here to read the comment rules, updated 4/6/19.
Commenting means you've read and will abide by the comment rules.

OHD does not represent this home. Price, status and other details must be independently verified.

If you have photos of the posted property, click here to contact OHD.