Historic Merrillville home attracts visitors

2013-06-28T21:20:00Z 2013-06-29T16:20:11Z Historic Merrillville home attracts visitorsChas Reilly chas.reilly@nwi.com, (219) 662-5324 nwitimes.com

MERRILLVILLE | The historic brick house on 73rd Avenue near Mississippi Street once attracted many motorists needing a place to rest while traveling along the Lincoln Highway.

The home was filled with guests again on Friday, but they weren't there to rest. They were taking the opportunity to tour the property.

With the celebration of the Lincoln Highway's 100th Anniversary underway, George Rogge, the owner of the house, decided it was a good time to open up his home for viewing.

Rogge said he thought to himself, "If I don't do it now, I'm not going to do it."

The farmhouse was built by the Boyd family about 150 years ago. At that time there was little traffic on the road passing the residence, according to Indiana Landmarks.

After the road became part of the Lincoln Highway, it attracted heavy traffic.

The Boyds rented rooms in the home to travelers seeking a place to rest and eat.

Rogge led tours through the home and provided a meal to people attending the event.

He also commemorated the event with a special Lincoln Highway Rogge Ranch Ale, which was created by the 18th Street Brewery in Gary.

Rogge said he has always wanted to have the public tour his home.

"This is exciting to me," he said.

He wants to begin offering tours by appointment. The Merrillville-Ross Township Historical Society also is expected to have a future meeting at the house, he said.

Among those viewing the home Friday was Jean Halsted, who is a relative of the Boyd family.

She said has many memories of visiting the residence.

"I love this home," Halsted said.

She recalled a tornado that ripped through the area in 1942. She said the tornado tore the roof off the home and damaged areas of Crown Point.

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