Submitted by: Myra Baldwin
Historic Centerville’s third annual Garden Tour will be Saturday July 7, 9-4 and Sunday July 9, 11-4. This year we have added an ice cream social for the tour attendees and the community from 1-5 each day at the Mansion House. Tickets for the tour are $7.00. Ticket will be sold the day of the tours at the Mansion House in Centerville, 214 E. Main Street, Centerville, IN.
Ruth Bane and I are both members of Historic Centerville, Inc. The Mansion House and the Salisbury log courthouse (Wayne County’s first courthouse) are in need of repairs and preservation. We are always looking for ways to fund these projects. I suggested a Garden Tour and Ruth was ready to try it, so off we went to look at gardens, talk to the owners and get our first tour arranged – 3 years ago. There are so many people who were willing to help with this when we explained to them what the money would be used for.
Current projects for Historic Centerville are the Mansion House roof, a cost of about $8,000. Preservation and repair of the log courthouse will be about $13,000. The Wayne County Foundation and others have contributed to the projects, but there is still a lot of money to be raised.
Carolyn Lafever, Wayne County Historian, stepped in to help us about a year ago. She has been instrumental in getting grants, preserving and cataloging the many historical items in the Mansion House and making the Mansion House more accessible to the community. We recently had 140 fourth graders come to tour the Mansion House to learn its history and the role it played in our community.
The Quilt Show during Archway Days is another fund raiser and the money goes toward funding the many repair and maintenance needs at the property. There is now an office in the Mansion House, a lighted sign in the side yard and new arrangements for collections of various historical items. Soon you will be able to tell when the Mansion House and Log Courthouse are open by the “OPEN” flag at the front door.
This year we have added an ice cream social to the tour. Along with the ice cream will be fruit-of-the-season, home baked pies and drinks. The whole package of pie, ice cream and drink will be $4.50. If a tour ticket is purchased, a free drink of lemonade or iced tea comes with the food purchase. Food will be served in the Mansion House and seating will be in the dining room or on the porch. The community is invited to the Ice Cream Social whether or not they tour the gardens.
Special thanks go to all who have worked so hard to get their properties ready for this year’s tour. Centerville is a wonderful community with people who will devote time and effort to promoting Centerville’s history and the significance of the Mansion House and the Salisbury log courthouse. We welcome new members to Historic Centerville and appreciate the support we have received.