By Ann Craig-Cinnamon
The historic civil war-era Kincaid House was moved about a half-mile up the road to its new location on Oct. 4 while several hundred people gathered on a chilly but beautiful Saturday morning to watch.
The house was threatened with demolition in early June but was halted by development and construction company Thompson Thrift after Indiana Landmarks and the Noblesville Preservation Alliance stepped in. Then, loan management company Navient donated land on which to move the house.
Hamilton County Tourism executive director Brenda Myers said about $40,000 was raised towards the expected cost of $115,000 to relocate the house to its new site. The rest of the cost is being paid for out of Hamilton County Tourism’s reserve fund.
“It’s a pretty big piece of change but given the monumental opportunity, it’s not,” Myers said.
The move was handled by Wolfe House and Building Movers. Peter Brubaker, who is an estimator for Wolfe, said once all the planning and permitting was completed, it wasn’t really a difficult job with the prep work taking around two weeks.
“What we do is just replace the old stone, brick foundation with a steel foundation, one piece at a time,” Brubaker said. “Once we get all the lifting steel in place, we lift it with a hydraulic jack system up to a level where we can put all the dollies underneath. At that point it is just a self-propelled house and then we just drive it to the new location.
It only took about an hour to move the house to its new location. Now that it is there though, decisions must be made as to what to do with the house. Myers said a study committee will be formed.
“It will have something to do with art, but other than that, we know nothing,” Myers said. “It’s all up in the air and it’s a blank slate. Whatever happens in the house, it has to be a non-profit function. Part of the Navient donation was that it would be used for the good of the community.”
Myers said she thinks saving the Kincaid House is a sign that the community is embracing its past while understanding that it must also have a future and progress must be made.
“So this is a lovely compromise,” Myers said. “It is actually still on property owned by the original builder of the house so I feel like from that standpoint we haven’t messed with the integrity too much. And it’s now way more visible on 69 so people can see it when they come to the community and once it’s restored it will be beautiful.”
Donations can be made through the Nickel Plate Arts, a subsidiary of Hamilton County Tourism, which actually owns the house. The e-mail address is nickelplatearts.org.