Perpetual Sunshine

When Jesse Holman combined the Latin words for spring, summer, and fall to name his property Veraestau in 1810, he hoped winter would never touch his home. In a way, it never has.

Veraestau, Aurora, Indiana

A Landmark for Your One-of-a-Kind Event

Set high on a bluff above the Ohio River, Veraestau captures a long sweep of Indiana’s architectural history and exemplifies the historic preservation practiced by generations of two families—the Holman/Hamilton clan and the O’Brien/Gibson family. The estate’s name comes from the combined Latin words for spring, summer and fall—no winter allowed.

Early settler Jesse Holman built the house in 1810, later rising to occupy a seat on the Indiana Supreme Court. Jesse’s son William and son-in-law Allen Hamilton both participated in the 1850-1851 delegation that framed Indiana’s constitution. Allen Hamilton added to the house in 1838, and Allen’s daughter Margaret Vance Hamilton enlarged it again in 1913.

Edith and Alice, Allen Hamilton’s granddaughters, spent their formative years at Veraestau. Edith Hamilton became a distinguished author; her book Mythology: Timeless Tales of Gods and Heroes, first published in 1942, has been reissued many times. Alice Hamilton, the first woman on the Harvard medical faculty, became renowned in the field of industrial medicine.

Industrialist Cornelius O’Brien, an early conservationist and preservationist, bought the estate from the Hamiltons in 1933, expanding it again in 1936 and planting thousands of trees. His daughter Mary O’Brien Gibson nominated Veraestau to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2004, Indiana Landmarks received the 116-acre property as a gift from the Cornelius and Anna Cook O’Brien Foundation.

Today, Veraestau offers a beautiful setting for weddings, parties and other happy occasions—an outcome the O’Briens would love. The estate also accommodates Indiana Landmarks’ Southeast Field Office, which helps people save and restore historic places in Dearborn, Ohio, Ripley and Switzerland counties.


Veraestau is open for tours by appointment.

Tours of the site are free for members of Indiana Landmarks, $5 for non-members, or $4 per-person for groups of 25 or more.

For more information, contact, 812-926-0983.


Veraestau makes a beautiful venue for weddings, lawn parties, receptions, and small meetings. Call for information about renting the house or grounds for your next event. (Please note: We provide the venue; we do not provide wedding or event planning services.)

For information, contact, 812-926-0983.

Photography at Veraestau

Veraestau is a beautiful backdrop for photos — weddings, families, holiday photos, and more. For scheduling and security reasons, we must ask that all requests to take photos at Veraestau — both inside the house and on the grounds — be submitted in advance to our staff. Please contact us at 812-926-0983 or (A $25 fee will be charged for professional photography sessions.)

Veraestau Historic Site

Indiana Landmarks Southeast Field Office
4696 Veraestau Lane
Aurora, IN 47001-9406
Fax 812-926-3122