GREENVILLE, Ind. (WDRB) -- A 19th century home in Greenville, once owned by a Civil War veteran, is on the market.
Private Jesse Smith fought for the Union and joined the Indiana 17th infantry regiment in 1861. When he returned home, he bought a home on US 150 in Southern Indiana.
"He (Smith) started a grocery store, a general merchandise store in this building. His wife actually sold women's hats in this building," said Matt Uhl, Chairman of Greenville's Historic Preservation Commission (HPC).
Now that the building is for sale, Greenville's HPC is working to secure the funds to buy and restore it, hoping to keep its history alive and turn it into a community center.
"Veterans' histories don't die, and their service and legacy lives on," said Uhl. "This is one of those cases where somebody made a family, helped be a foundation for the community."
Earlier this year, the commission was able to landmark three local cemeteries through Indiana's Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. One of those cemeteries is where Smith is buried.
Greenville's HPC has only existed for three years, and purchasing and land-marking a home would be its biggest feat yet.
Uhl said the home's current owner has been running a hair salon out of one of the downstairs bedrooms for the last 30 years. She has it listed on the market for $95,000 but Uhl said he believes it could take close to an additional $100,000 to do the necessary repairs.
"We're trying to save it as soon as we can," said Uhl.
Greenville's HPC operates on limited funding. It's working with Indiana's Department of Natural Resources to find money for this project. But as it stands right now, anyone else could come in and buy this home and property. If that happens, there's nothing stopping a new owner from tearing down the house. Uhl and other HPC members are afraid that would also tear down part of the town's history.
"We've had a gentleman already inquire about building a car lot here and razing the building," said Uhl.
Uhl said the house has been on the market for about a year and there's not an exact timeline for when a decision on a buyer will be made.
The home's current owner did tell WDRB she would like to see the home restored to its glory, but whether or not that happens depends on who ends up buying it.
The home is located at 9569 US 150 in Greenville. Click here to learn more about Greenville's Historic Preservation Commission.
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