Miner-Raleigh House

  • 200-jennings-1

200 E. Jennings St.

This imposing spacious brick home atop one of Newburgh’s many hills was built in the classic Revival Mode in the early 1840’s by Luther Marshall Miner. Mr. Miner was born in Rockport, Indiana, with his father Roswell Miner having come from Sherbourne, Vermont to Indiana before 1816. Luther Miner married Mary S. McCulla of Boonville and settled in Newburgh where he operated a mercantile business with Samuel Weed. They sold groceries, hardware, and all kinds of produce. Luther Miner had a wharfboat which allowed him to ship merchandise to New Orleans.

Many locations in Newburgh were important in the Civil War. This property contains a secret door to an attic hiding space in the upstairs hall that once served as a stopover for the underground railroad.

Miner was active in Newburgh’s political life, serving as a Newburgh Town Trustee. His daughter, Elnora Miner Raleigh, lived in the town until her death in 1930. She was one of Newburgh’s most prominent women in her day – a teach in the Evansville schools, artist, musician, and historian. In the early 1920’s she organized the League of Women Voters and also wrote a history of Newburgh in 1923 that was published in the regular proceedings of the Southwestern Indiana Historical Society. She was the first woman ever to serve on the Newburgh Town Board after her election as the Newburgh Town Treasurer in 1927.

After Mrs. Raleigh’s death in 1930, Mr. J.B. Tisserand, an oil producer of Evansville, bought the home in 1931 from Mr. Thompson of New York, Mrs. Raleigh’s heir. Tisserand made numerous improvements in it. He bought an old stone church in Troy, Indiana, tore it down, and transported it to Newburgh on flat cars of the Evansville and Ohio Valley Traction Company. These sand-stones he used to erect the high wall surrounding the yard were anchored in balls of concrete connected with steel rods. He purchased a gin mill in Cannelton, Indiana to use for the many stone steps leading up to the house from Jennings Street.

A four foot high lantern in the northeastern corner of the yard was obtained by Mr. Tisserand from the Granary, also known as the Old Fort, in New Harmony, Indiana. He also added the east room on the first floor to the house. The roof on the house was once handcut slate from Yorkshire, England, which was purchased from the old Single Center Buggy Company in Evansville. Mr. and Mrs. Tisserand lived in the house with their children until 1951, when it was sold to Mr. and Mrs. Russell L. McKinney.

Mr. McKinney built two ornamental lanterns that hung at the two entrances. One in fron on Jennings Street was a copy of a lantern at the Kentucky State Park at Mammoth Cave, which he fashioned with the help of the Old Mesker Steel Company of Evansville. The lantern on Sycamore Street on the west side entrance was an enlarged copy of one at the Golden Lamb Inn in Lebanon, Ohio, an old stage coach inn renowned as the place where many United States presidents have stayed. The McKinneys also added a beautiful Japanese Yew hedge on top of the old stone walls. Mrs. Margaret McKinney was a well known writer and columnist. She and her husband were world travelers, so Ms. McKinney was the Travel Editor for the Evansville Courier & Press.

In about 2007 Misti Fraser purchased the home from a Toyoto executive. Describing the home as “modern living with a vintage twist,” she filled the home with her own photography and art from around the country. The house has an expansive lawn and landscaped natural beauty. In the back yard an old wagon wheel grew into the trunk of an ancient tree.