Rare historic home in Campbellsburg needs a hero

Property needs buyer to restore it to its former glory.

A 19th -century home with ties to a storied architect and a town founder is for sale in tiny Campbellsburg, Ind. (pop. 525), but it needs a buyer who can restore it to its former glory.

The Wilkins House at 140 Sycamore Street was previously threatened with demo when town leaders targeted the property for a new town well. Indiana Landmarks recognized the house’s significant architectural provenance and convinced town officials to rethink their plans.

Town officials have given Indiana Landmarks permission to market the property in hopes of attracting a preservation-minded buyer. The home, half-acre lot, and four historic outbuildings are currently on the market for $44,900.

Built in 1858 by John T. C. Wilkins, who established the grist mill around which Campbellsburg grew, the home was renovated and expanded in the 1890s using details published by George F. Barber, a Tennessee architect who sold his designs through mail-order catalogs.

Known for his ornate Queen Anne style, Barber designed homes with turrets, gingerbread trim, balconies, porches, projecting windows and arches. With their exuberant “more is more” architectural aesthetic, Barber-designed homes have captured an enthusiastic following, including at least one Facebook group.

The designs apparently were quite popular with the Wilkins family, who built three other Barber homes in Campbellsburg, which is located approximately an hour’s drive from Louisville, Ky. Today this group of four surviving houses constitutes a rare concentration of Barber homes connected to a single family in a small town, attracting the interest of Barber aficionados around the country. While three of the houses have been maintained, the Wilkins House has been neglected for decades, leaving it in a state of serious disrepair.

“In four George F. Barber-designed houses that have miraculously survived, the Wilkins family left an extraordinary imprint on Campbellsburg,” says Greg Sekula, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Southern Regional Office. “These beautiful buildings are such an asset in a struggling rural community. We hope that preserving them will help draw attention to the town and attract investment in the community.”

See the real estate listing for the Wilkins House at


Greg Sekula, Director, Indiana Landmarks Southern Regional Office, 812-284-4534, 502-216-8998 (cell), 

Indiana Landmarks revitalizes communities, strengthens connections to our diverse heritage, and saves meaningful places. With nine offices located throughout the state, Indiana Landmarks helps people rescue endangered landmarks and restore historic neighborhoods and downtowns. People who join Indiana Landmarks receive its bimonthly magazine, Indiana Preservation. For more information on the not-for-profit organization, call 317-639-4534, 800-450-4534, or visit

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