Wabash House Offers Beauty at a Bargain

Divided into apartments more than a century ago, the 1885 Frank Morse House is ready for rehab as a single-family home.

Morse House, 218 Main Street, Wabash

Back Together

When 23 historic houses came up for auction in Wabash last year, Indiana Landmarks seized an opportunity to make a big impact, buying six in the East Wabash Historic District with plans to rehabilitate the exteriors before putting them back on the market. Now, one of the most architecturally imposing homes is ready for a buyer who can complete its transformation.

Frank Morse was a Union Army commander in the Civil War when he located back to his hometown of Wabash to become vice president of First National Bank. Built in 1885, the grand Italianate home he constructed at 218 E. Main Street reflected his status in the community. The Morse family occupied the home until 1919, when the large house was divided into four apartment units. It remained a rental property for the next 100 years.

In spite of the early conversion, the Morse House’s fine architectural character is remarkably intact. Inside, a curved walnut staircase rises from the front entry, and doors, windows, and baseboards retain their original trim. Each of the three Victorian-era fireplaces boasts a unique mantel.

Outside, elegant Italianate features remain, including elaborate roof brackets and tall windows capped by ornate limestone headers. A rare summer kitchen survives at the back of the house, and a Classical Revival-style front porch added sometime in the 1900s offers generous outdoor living space.

Indiana Landmarks is selling the house for restoration as a single-family dwelling. The home will require updates to the utility systems, baths, and kitchen, along with exterior carpentry and masonry work. The Morse House is currently listed for $75,000 and will be sold with preservation covenants requiring all exterior work to be approved by Indiana Landmarks.

For more information, contact Paul Hayden, director of the Northeast Field Office at or 574-289-8861.

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