LAPORTE | A 113-year-old home owned by two families who played important roles in local and national history will be repaired and restored thanks to the building's purchase by Indiana Landmarks.
"Indiana Landmarks' mission is to save meaningful places and this neglected property rises to the top," Todd Zeiger, director of Indiana Landmarks' Northern Regional Office in South Bend said Friday.
The organization is also hoping to protect the site by nominating it to the National Register of Historic Places.
The classical revival home was built in 1901 and until 1979, was occupied by the Scott and Rumely families. Emmet Scott, who built the home, served as mayor of LaPorte. His daughter, Fanny, married Edward Rumely,a physician who took part in his family's tractor business and owned the New York Evening Mail.
Rumely was a close friend of Theodore Roosevelt and he and Fanny hosted international celebrities at the home including Henry Rode and sculptor Isamu Noguchi.
Rumely founded the Interlaken School in Rolling Prairie, a prepatory school for boys that drew students from around the nation. Noguchi, a Japanese-American, was a student at the school who maintained close ties to the family long after his graduation. The school's progressive curriculum featured classes in mechanical and agricultural training.
The school operated for just 10 years and closed its doors in 1918.
The Scott-Rumely House was occupied by family members until 1979. Since then, it was owned by an out-of-state bank and was on the market for many years.
"One of our first priorities will be to address the deterioration of the house and grounds," Zeiger said.
The mansion will be placed on the market after the gutters, roof, soffits and heating system are repaired.
Indiana Landmarks is asking for help from the community in improving the property. From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. May 17, Indiana Landmarks will be hosting a work day with volunteers cleaning the grounds. Volunteers will tour the facility and lunch and other refreshments will be provided.
Indiana Landmarks' LaPorte affiliate, People Engaged in Preservation, will assist in the process as well as LaPorte's Historic Preservation Commission.