Gruenewald Historic House
626 Main Street
Anderson, IN 46016
Tours can be scheduled at your convenience by calling
The Gruenewald Historic House is a living museum. Our goal is to preserve an 1873 homestead for future generations. By opening the house for tours, meetings, teas, parties, living histories, and offering special programs, you are able to join us in keeping a part of Madison County's heritage alive.
The house and gardens provide settings for educational and social events. The doors open for a spring and a winter Open House, free of charge to the community. Special programming is presented at various times of the year for interests such as book clubs, gardening, cooking, and the arts.
From the outside, The Gruenewald Historic House is French Second Empire, with the Mansard room and protruding gables typical of that style. When you step inside, you can see it is really two houses in one. The rear portion is the original two-story cabin, built in 1860. The front of the house was added in 1873. Altogether, there are four floors, connected by a beautiful winding staircase with a hand-carved banister.
Inside, visitors will be struck with the beauty and elegance of the parlors, and their original Christian doors. Overhead, the gold-touched ceiling medallions reflect the light of crystal chandeliers. Visitors will see many fine antiques, including a carved pianoforte, a convertible high chair, and a lovely silver and blue bridal bowl. Outside, the gardens are maintained by The Madison County Master Gardeners as a typical garden of the era.
Martin Gruenewald was born in Darmstadt, Germany, October 12, 1839. He came to America at the age of 21 with $4 in his pocket, and went to Chilicothe, Ohio. In 1861, he moved to Connersville, Ind., where he met Wilhelmina Christiana Dick. Christiana was worn in Wurtemberg, Germany, in 1840. She came to America when she was 14 to live with her sister. Martin and Christiana were married in 1866, and moved to Anderson in 1869. They had three daughters and two sons. Mr. Gruenewald had managed a brewery in Connersville and wished to open one in Anderson. When he could not obtain the proper permits, he opened a billiard parlor and sampling room. He became one of Anderson’s most successful businessmen and landowners. Christiana died of lung hemorrhage in 1889 at the age of 49. Martin continued to live in the house until his death in 1933 at the age of 94. The house passed through many hands between 1933 and the 1970s, when it was declared a historic site and restoration began. Today, the Gruenewald Historic House is a beautiful example of Victorian-American elegance.
1800 Delaware Indian village located in this vicinity under the rule of Chief William Anderson, "Kik the we nund." His son-in-law, William Connor, maintained a fur trading post near where the house is located.
1821 Delaware Indians were removed and most of them resettled in Oklahoma. Burial grounds are located in the area immediately south of the house, Main to Central and north of 8th Street.
1823 John Berry patented under the signature of President James Monroe, a plot of ground later known as Andersontown. This land was offered to the Madison County Commissioners with the stipulation that Anderson would become the county seat of Madison County.
1827 John & Sally Berry gave 30 acres to the county. Home Site is located thereon. After several additions and plats were made, Hannan and Hazlett Additions became the name of the ground, northeast square, original Plat of City of Anderson, Lot # 3.
1860 Alfred Makepeace purchased Lot 3 and constucted a small two room log cabin/brick house with a shed type roof. These rooms now compose the present kitchen & dining rooms with lofts above.
1870 Moses Cherry, a saddle and harness maker, began the construction of the elegant French "Second Empire" Townhouse attaching it to the original structure.
1871 The Panic of 1873 financially ruined Cherry, who was forced to sell the house to Martin and Christiana Gruenewald.
1873 The family completed the structure. Mrs. Gruenewald died at the age of 49 and Martin continued to live here until his death at the age of 94 in 1933.
1933 The 13-room structure was utilized for several purposes: a dog & cat hospital, beauty shop, grocery store, and several configurations of apartments.
1972 The Urban Development commission purchased the house from Wahn Dean in February.
1973 Several community organizations and individuals saved the house from demolition to prevent it from becoming a parking lot. The Lilly Foundation made a matching grant of $35,000. The First Restoration began.
1974 House placed under the Anderson Parks Department (Res. 4-74) on August 21.
1976 After matching funds were raised throughout the community, the house was officially opened to the public as part of the U.S. Bicentennial celebration on June 6. A Board of Directors governs the house.
1990s The Second Restoration was undertaken with new roof, interior & exterior repairs and enhancements.
1994-6 Carriage House purchased. Renovations begin.
1999 Real Estate deeded from City of Anderson to Board of Directors.
2001 Museum Room established.
2002 The Third Restoration remodeling of "working" kitchen & restroom, foundation of house shored-up, old plumbing removed and new installed, painting inside and out all completed.
Currently, the efforts of a volunteer Board of Directors maintain the museum house.
Wine Gala and Auction
Style Show and Luncheon
Victorian Christmas Open House