Charles A. Dugan didn’t set out to be a banker. He fell in love with a banker’s daughter, married her and built her dream house for her. She designed it in 1899, it was finished in 1902. Charles stayed in Decatur, Indiana and became the town banker after his father-in-law had long passed.
The Dugan’s had three daughters, one died of TB quite young and the Dugan’s raised their granddaughter in this house as well.
The third daughter never married and lived in the house until her death in 1967. This lovely old place, uniquely and comfortably designed for its time, was by then, run down and in rough shape. Covered with vines, badly in need of paint and restoration, the newly organized Adams County Historical Society wanted to buy it, but didn’t have the money. Somehow, they cobbled things together with the will of their supporters and purchased the beautiful old home for $17,000. Other bidders backed backed off when they knew the historical society was interested, and this wonderful jewel allows us all to step back through time.
Here is not only the history of the Dugan family, but relics from the Civil War, 69 years of local sports memorabilia, artifacts and equipment from two prominent local doctors, maps, journals, old photos, toys, quilts, books, records, trinkets and furnishings.
Mrs. Dugan loved built in furnishings, such as this black satin sideboard buffet with a mirror and leaded glass prism doors. She had built in cupboards and pieces all over the house including the benches in the Cozy Room.
Not pictured is a unique “telephone” room (now converted to a downstairs bathroom) built when telephones were new. Folks of the day considered telephone communication to be private.
The “built ins” ,benches, fireplaces, open foyer, stained glass windows, lighted newel posts, chandeliers and oak wood beams lend this house such personality. The house has five bedrooms and a full usable attic. The attic once had a lead cistern that collected rainwater from the roof.
Only one bedroom has furnishings original to the Dugan Family, but all of it is local and much of it appropriately Victorian. The zither above is so unique, no one knows how to tune it. The Adams County Historical District is looking for a professional who may know how to do that.
I loved this old piano and especially the fancy leg. My favorite room, though, was the Cozy Room that the family enjoyed the most as well. For more pictures, click on the link below: