Early Attica Home Hits the Market

Built in 1855, the Jordan-Nave House in Attica is ready for a preservation-minded buyer to become its next steward.

One for the Books

Nestled in the heart of picturesque Attica, Indiana, the Jordan-Nave House, an Italianate-style home built in 1855, is among the city’s earliest houses. During its history, the house has served as residence to some of the city’s most prominent citizens, including several of generations the Nave family, its current owners. When they decided to sell their historic home, members of the family reached out to Indiana Landmarks to find buyers who will appreciate its history and early architecture. Now for sale for $175,000, the property is ready for a preservation-minded owner to write its next chapter.

Situated on a raised area of a corner double lot, the three-story, five-bedroom house has a commanding presence along Monroe Street in Attica’s National Register-listed Brady Street Historic District.

Built for Daniel S. and Nancy Jordan, the Jordan-Nave House is believed to have been inspired by residential architectural pattern books, a popular resource utilized by home builders along the Wabash & Erie Canal corridor from Logansport to Covington in the mid-nineteenth century. Lafayette native and architectural historian Ben Ross of RATIO Architects cites Design XLVI in William H. Ranlett’s 1847 The Architect as possible inspiration for the structure’s general design.

The house’s stately exterior features decorative brackets under the broad roof overhang, historic windows with wood shutters, and double main entry doors with a stained-glass transom. Inside, elegantly scaled rooms retain original wood floors, doors, and trim. A fireplace with classical surround accents the full-depth living room. A formal dining room and historic kitchen area located on the ground level provide walkout access to a spacious wooded yard. Remnants of more elaborate flower beds and small water features from decades past are still visible and ready to be reclaimed.

In 1867, local farmers John and Hannah Nave purchased the house, becoming the first of five generations of the Nave family to own the landmark. Their son Joseph Shannon Nave, a prominent attorney and state representative, inherited the property with his wife Jane “Jennie” Rice Nave and raised two daughters, Margaret and Beatrice, in the home.

Daughter Margaret became one of the property’s longest stewards. She and husband, architect Louis Johnson, left their mark on the local landscape in the Art Deco-style 1937 Fountain County Courthouse, which Johnson designed under the Public Works Administration. Margaret, a trained artist who attended National Park Seminary in Maryland, was among the artists who painted the courthouse’s significant collection of murals under the tutelage of Eugene Savage between 1937 and 1939 as part of the New Deal’s Federal Arts Project. When Margaret Nave Johnson passed away in 1993 at age 111, her grandchildren and several great-grandchildren inherited the property.

The Jordan-Nave House is located just a few short blocks from the city’s Carnegie library, downtown, local restaurants, city parks, and the Harrison Hills Country Club. It is also little more than a half-hour from Purdue University and downtown Lafayette, less than 1.5 hours from central Indianapolis, and just over 2 hours from downtown Chicago.

Indiana Landmarks is marketing the Jordan-Nave House for $175,000 through an option agreement with the owner. The property will need investment, including repairs to masonry, windows, and doors, a new kitchen, and upgrades to bathrooms and mechanical systems. The property will be sold as-is with protective covenants held by Indiana Landmarks to ensure its long-term preservation. For more information and to request a showing, contact Tommy Kleckner, director of Indiana Landmarks Western Regional Office, 812-232-4534,

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