Lawrenceburg Indiana Historic District

Lawrenceburg Indiana Historic District

My daughter and family live outside Lawrenceburg, Indiana, a town nestled along the banks of the Ohio River. We went in on an old house in the area with my son, and was able to spend time with all of them before COVID, enjoying the lush green rolling hills, concerts by the river and the architectural gems in town .

Lawrenceburg’s Downtown Historic District boasts 257 contributing buildings, mostly late Victorian, Federal and Greek Revival style architecture built between 1815 and 1900. Nothing too spectacular, but I thought I would give you a photo tour of some of the structures.





The Vance-Tousey House was the home of Lawrenceburg’s founder, Samuel C. Vance. Lawrenceburg in fact, was named after the maiden name of Vance’s wife.  The structure is considered to be one of the finest examples of Federal architecture in the state of Indiana. Today, you can stroll along the riverwalk and view the home as guests in the early 1800s first saw it as they approached the mansion via river boats.








It did not look like anyone lived in the birthplace of James. B. Eads when I took a photo of this house. Eads was born in Lawrenceburg, but the family moved often. They lost all of their worldly goods in a steamboat fire while relocating to St. Louis, after which Eads’ father abandoned the family. That left young James selling apples to help support his mom and siblings. Largely self-educated, he became a renowned and successful engineer.






In 1995, Indiana voted to allow riverboat gambling on the Ohio. Lawrenceburg almost lost all of its downtown historic row houses to make way for gambling-related establishments. Fortunately, a settlement was made between the city and the Landmarks Foundation to build the casino while saving the row houses.





Lawrenceburg has a diverse collection of old homes, but they were largely built for middle class and working man families.


This log cabin was moved to the far end of downtown Lawrenceburg by the Dearborn County Historical Society in 1985. Built in 1820 by James Angevine, it replaced an earlier cabin washed away by flooding. Native to New York City, Angevine had been a sailor before relocating to Dearborn County in 1818. There he opened a grocery store and lived in this cabin with his wife Susan and 12 children. They lived here until 1834 when they built a big brick house further from the river.


One Comment

  • Christine Harper

    Thank you for this lovely introduction to Lawrenceburg! We’re looking for a small town to retire to and have considered Indiana, where I lived for a couple of years as a child in Valparaiso. Might this be the place ?! Unfortunately, having a large Victorian home, as we do now, is getting beyond us, so we’re in the market for a ranch, but we love the historic ambience. Even living in St. Louis, I was unaware that “our” James Eads of Eads Bridge fame was born in Lawrenceburg. Here’s hoping that the prospective end of COVID restrictions helps you and your family really enjoy life in this beautiful town again!

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