NEWS

Rehab Honors Wabash Mother’s Lasting Impact on Her Community

Thanks to her forward-looking family, Mary Cosby’s legacy will be preserved and enhance Indiana Landmarks’ revitalization efforts in the city.

Cosby Houses Wabash

Family Affair

When Mary Cosby of Wabash passed away in 2019, the community lost a dynamo. Thanks to her forward-looking family, Mary’s legacy will be preserved and enhance Indiana Landmarks’ revitalization efforts in the city.

For years, the Cosby family lived in a large Dutch Colonial-style home in the National Register-listed North Wabash Historic District, where Mary raised five children and channeled her abundant energy into a variety of civic, social, and entrepreneurial activities. After earning a degree in early childcare education, she bought an adjacent c.1890 home for her growing daycare business.

Cosby Houses, Wabash

On the generous lot surrounding the two properties, Mary was able to indulge her passion for landscaping, nurture her love of flowers, and pursue her keen interest in birds. When a chain drugstore began to encroach on the Cosby property, Mary refused to sell and allow the two houses to be demolished for a parking lot.

Upon her death, Mary’s grown children looked for a way to save their mother’s beloved home, but a high mortgage balance complicated their plans. Mary’s daughter-in-law Cindi Cosby, an ardent preservation advocate, reached out to Indiana Landmarks for advice.

Working through a tangle of legal and financial red tape, in March Indiana Landmarks was able to acquire the properties from Mary’s estate, with the blessing of her large family. We will make basic repairs and complete exterior rehabilitation on both houses before selling them with preservation covenants to buyers who will finish interior work.

Mary Cosby, Wabash

Mary Cosby

“We particularly pleased that we can help honor Mary Cosby’s memory by saving the houses she loved and protected,” says Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northeast Field Office.

Rehabilitation of the Cosby properties is part of a residential revitalization program Indiana Landmarks is conducting in Wabash, targeting historic houses that required special care. To learn more, contact our Northeast Field Office, 800-450-4534, northeast@indianalandmarks.org.

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