Historic Evansville

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Barnes Mansion


Barnes Mansion

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a.k.a. Original Museum

a.k.a. Uel Armstrong Residence

a.k.a. Harrison-Barnes Home

715 Upper Water St
Evansville, IN

Quick Timeline

<1850 Elisha Harrison builds home
1850 Robert Barnes buys the house remodels?
xx Uel Armstrong buys mansion
1904 Mansion serves as the first Evansville Museum
1910 Building ordered torn down and razed


catercorner from the Henry Babcock home and just across Water Street from the Charles Viele mansion., located on the river side of Water Street on the corner of Oak Street near the spot where the Evansville Museum is now situated
District: Riverside
Latitude: 37.965302
Longitude: -87.572512
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Style: Greek Revival

built <1850 Not a whole lot is known about this house, but photographs do exist. An 1856 birds-eye view shows the mansion as a two story frame building with columns in the rear. A hip roof culminating in a square section (about 12x12 feet) could have been a lookout. Brant and Fuller describe the house as a "...pretentious two story frame house...a good deal has changed in its general outlines and appearance, and is well known as the residence of ...Robert Barnes, Esq., one of the principal dry goods merchants in the then flourishing town of Evansville."



Elisha Harrison, who ran the Evansville Gazette, lived there in the very early days of the town's existence, but Robert Barnes bought the house in the early 1830s. Barnes was of ten board members of the Evansville National Bank when it was established on 11 November 1834, and, along with Francis Armory, was one of several land speculators who bought large tracts of land in 1834 and 1835.

The mansion was later purchased by Uel W. Armstrong, president of Armstrong Brothers Furniture Company <1889.

After Armstrong vacated the mansion, it served for a time as the first Evansville Museum beginning in 1904.

Since the house was of frame construction, it did not survive the ravages of time. Its condition deteriorated and the building was deemed unsafe. It was finally razed in 1910. f manson gilbert had plans to remodel building but never came to fruition, residents wanted it torn down ( blocked view of river) The museum artifacts were divided among several schools and public buildings. Some items found a temporary exhibit space on the then unused top floor of Willard Library. The Evansville Museum would eventually wind up creating a temporary museum in the Old YWCA building.

See also Residences / Domestic Riverside district

Research notes

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