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House Hunting Through the Collection

August 2, 2023

Have you ever spent time casually browsing real estate listings? Me too! There’s nothing better than blissfully scrolling through listings of beautiful mansions, mid-century modern ranches, lake-side cottages, and charming American Tudor-style houses. The fun part of browsing is that there is no need to stick to a budget or even to a location. You can be as adventurous and expensive as you want!

However, now that my fiancé and I are in the throes of house hunting, my searches are for more practical and budget-friendly homes. As excited as I am about buying our first home, I miss the pressure-free experience of ‘just browsing.’

So, in the spirit of ‘just browsing,’ I would like to invite you to join me while I house hunt through our digital collection. Our digital collection [] is a treasure trove of digitized material. Here are the houses I am starting with.

Like any house search, let us start with my list of ‘needs’ in a house: at least two bedrooms; at least two baths; an enclosed porch or lots of big windows [so my kitties can enjoy bird watching]; a decent kitchen and some space for entertainment. Now, since this house search is for fun, I will not limit myself to a certain location or area of the state. And, best of all, I have an unlimited budget. The sky is truly the limit! Finally, my list of impractical ‘wants’: a library [or space for displaying books]; beautiful landscaping; a garage; a yard big enough to host my upcoming wedding; and lots and lots of charm.

Kemper House, Wedding Cake House, Indiana Historical Society, M1221

The Kemper house, more commonly known as the “Wedding Cake House” immediately caught my eye. It was built in 1873 in the Victorian Gothic Style and is in Indianapolis. The photo I am referencing from our collection dates to 1963. This house is beautiful and has everything on my needs list. The only thing I do not love about the house, and I am being fussy here, is the size of the yard: a fair size, but not huge.

Dr. Shields’ House in Seymour, IN, Indiana Historical Society, P0577

The second property that caught my eye is this home in Seymour, Indiana. The first thing I noticed about the house was the large front porch which would be a wonderful place to lounge while reading a book. While I do not know much about this house’s history or interior, it looks large. I am going to assume it has ample room for my bed and bath requirements. There is no denying this house has charm, and with the numerous mature trees, I can imagine myself enjoying the yard! I could see myself and my fiancé enjoying this house- but I am not sure if I am excited by it. Final verdict- maybe.

Aaron Wolfson House, Bass Photo Co Collection, Indiana Historical Society

The third home in my digital house hunt is this beautiful home in the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood. The house is known as the Aaron Wolfson House after its owner who was a state senator and businessperson. This home is undeniably beautiful. Overall, I enjoy this style of house. I find the awnings very charming, and the garage is great to have! Even though the porch is tucked away behind the landscaping, I think it would be a beautiful place to lounge. The only thing I do not like- the yard size. Overall, maybe!

I could see myself living in any of these homes. They are all beautiful and meet all my wants and needs. But only one house made me wish I could make an offer and move in. Stay tuned for part two of my blog to find out which home that is!

Regan Steimel is the Reference Librarian at the Indiana Historical Society, and in her free time she enjoys reading and spending time with her family and friends.

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