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Update: Historic House Saved – Acorn Hall in Process of Restoration
July 6, 2021/
OHU50K first featured Acorn Hall in 2016 when it was up on auction. Two of my kids live outside of Lawrenceburg, and my daughter was given a tour by the elderly owner during a yard sale in 2015. She reported that the interior has a three-story staircase with decorative woodwork that is exquisite. I drove past the house today (it’s right around the corner from a brick home we featured today), and I thought you might like an update. A few photos of what the home looks like today are at the bottom of the page.
William Squibb, a distiller, and his wife Mary built Acorn Hall in 1883. Renovated in the ‘80s as a bed-and-breakfast, Acorn Hall fell in recent years into dilapidation and mortgage foreclosure limbo. Indiana Landmarks helped iron out the legal tangles so the house could go on the market.
Second Empire and Italianate features, combined with a central tower, made the house impressive, even in decline. Bill and Nancy Smith admired the property every time they visited a bank located in the historic house next door. When Acorn Hall finally came up for auction earlier this year, the Smiths snapped it up. “Even though it turned your stomach to see the damage, we couldn’t let a house like that go,” says Nancy.
Vacancy and vandalism had left their marks on the interior—holes chiseled in the floor, mantels stolen, graffiti on the walls, and windows cracked or missing altogether. A leaking roof caused ceiling collapses and buckling floors. Raccoons made a home in the box gutters.
William Squibb used to play the organ with the doors open to entertain passers-by.
Before the house was purchased by the Smiths, previous owners had plans to make Acorn Hall into a B&B. Bathrooms were added to that end, chopping up the original floor plan somewhat.
This is what the exterior looks like today. From what I have been told, a $250,000 grant was awarded to restore the home.
And the main parlor
The home sits on high ground, and during the 1937 flood that devastated Lawrenceburg, tent cities were set up along Ridge Avenue. Today, a large part of Ridge Avenue is filled with beautiful homes, not as amazing as Acorn Hall, but lovely still.