Well, Movin’ UP Town, that is! Historic New Carlisle is excited to announce that it has purchased the east side (the one-story, buffet side) of the Home Café building on Michigan St.
After making the difficult decision to put the Old Republic up for sale, we embarked on the quest to find an appropriate building to house our office, local history museum and archives. One of the goals of moving from the Old Republic is to have increased street exposure and public access, thus increasing walk-in traffic. Other goals of the relocation are to rehabilitate one of the downtown commercial buildings, thus contributing to the vitalization of our commercial district, and to increase the museum/office/archival storage space for Historic New Carlisle.
With these goals in mind, we started looking at the Home Café building as a potential candidate for our new home. However, we did not need the whole property (the restaurant half and the buffet side), so we asked the owner, George Miller, if he might consider “subdividing” the building into two properties. George graciously agreed – thank you, George – and the process of separating the two buildings began!
Actually, what Historic New Carlisle proposed to do was to return the Home Café back to the two separate properties which it had been up until around the 1960’s when George’s father, Bill Miller, Sr., bought the east building to accommodate his growing business and buffet line. Up until that point, the east building had been various businesses, for example a hardware store, since the late 1800’s.
HNC officially purchased the building on April 27, 2018. Now begins the process of rehabbing/renovating the interior and recreating the front façade and entrance. An official “unveiling” of the front façade involving the removal the current façade materials will take place in the fall, so keep your eyes open for that event (and let us know if you would like to help!). It is always fun to see what lies beneath the years of remodeling and modernization! We are hoping that the top, horizontal decorative metalwork cornice will be hiding under the painted corrugated metal covering. Another bonus find would be to have the original, decorative cast-iron support columns still existing under the boxed-in columns. We are already relatively sure that none of the original windows exist under the exterior paneling. But, you never know…
Historic New Carlisle, Inc. is looking forward to a new home that will enable us to increase and enhance our exhibit and programming space; we are excited about the prospect of providing new and interactive displays. There will also be increased space for the archival material storage and for the director’s office/cataloging/volunteer work area. A handicapped-accessible restroom, as well as a kitchenette, will also be included in the rehab plans. We hope to attract many new patrons who are new to the community and established residents who are interested in New Carlisle’s history. Our new home will also lend itself to increased social events and educational programs about various historical topics.
Historic New Carlisle, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization established in 1989. Our first meeting took place in the home of our first president, Dan Schumaker, almost 30 years ago!
We are always looking for volunteers to help on our projects! Please contact us if you are interested in getting dirty and helping to create another local gem! Or, if you are not so into the physical stuff but would like to support us, we welcome all and love to grow with new members.
Also, once moved in, we will be looking to man our new digs with volunteers in order to maximize our open hours. Your interest and help would be greatly appreciated; please call our executive director extraordinaire, Dana Groves, at 574-654-3897 to express your interest.