Octagon House in Shirley a town gem

HANCOCK COUNTY — Founders Day in Shirley is just around the corner, Aug. 14 to 16, so please be sure to mark your calendar.

One interesting site in Shirley is the Octagon House. Have you ever seen one? There are only five Octagon Houses standing in Indiana.

The Jane Ross Reeves Octagon House had never been altered except for the front porch. This house was originally located between Wilkinson and Willow Branch. It was moved to its current location in town on Railroad Street in 1997.

The Octagon House replaced the Reeves’ log cabin on the farm. The Reeves family had originally planted two trees on each side of the gate of the farm, one for the man and one for the women. These were called wedding trees.

When Jane Ross Reeves found the plans for an octagon house in a magazine, she liked the house so much she just had to build one. The cost of construction $2,300. It was built by a contracting company in Fortville.

When the house was completed, it was paid for in full by money that Jane Ross Reeves saved in a shoe box. The house has 14 rooms, and each room has a closet.

There are four large rooms and four small rooms on each floor. The house has four chimneys. One chimney serves four rooms — two rooms upstairs and two rooms downstairs.

The Octagon House is operated by the Indiana Octagon House Foundation. Its web site is IndianaOctagonHouse.com.

Go see the house, but first check to be sure it is open. It will be open on Founders Day.

Enough. I have told you all that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.

You can write to Joe Skvarenina at jsvkarenina@hotmail.com or in care of the Daily Reporter at 22 W. New Road, Greenfield, IN, 46140.