View all images of Barnes Mansion
|<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|
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.