Sullivan County Poor Home
|Building Style||Single Building|
|Architect(s)||Wing and Mahurin|
The final and oldest county home designed by Fort Wayne architects Wing and Mahurin is the Sullivan County Poor Home. Constructed in 1896, the red brick, tan brick and limestone Romanesque Revival and Queen Anne structure looks similar to those in Marshall and Kosciusko counties and features the same materials and styles. This building is the fourth dedicated county home located in Sullivan County. The earliest home was established on an existing farm in 1855 after years of boarding the poor in local homes. The first new asylum was built in 1865 and it was replaced in 1885. Approximately ten years later better security and sanitary conditions were necessary, so the current building facility was constructed just east of the city of Sullivan. A long lane lined with trees and wrought iron fencing divided the expansive lawn. The 2 1/2-story building was split into three sections: the central projecting superintendent’s residence, the two wings to either side that are set back and separated male and female residents, and the rear north wing that holds the support functions for the facility. The complex as a whole is cross shaped with the residence in the bottom part of the cross. The whole facility features steeply pitched gables and roofs, but the superintendent’s house has a 3 ½ story tower and a 2 ½ story turret setting it apart from the rest of the building. The wings have five sleeping rooms per floor per wing for a total of 20 rooms. Additionally, the wings house separate bathrooms, sitting rooms, and dining rooms for each gender. The north wing contains a large kitchen, laundry facility, staff rooms, and mechanicals.
None of the agricultural buildings remain but there is a small two-room cottage on site that dates to 1925. Over the years, the name of the property has changed. In 1947 it became the Sullivan County Home. Thirty years later, in 1977, it became Lakeview Rest Home and the adjacent park and lake were built. The old poor home cemetery is located in the park. Some of the acreage was transferred from agricultural use to other county functions in the 1980s. Current neighbors include the 4-H fairground, the county highway department, and a golf course. The Sullivan County Poor Home closed in 1998 and is currently vacant.
Images of Sullivan County Poor Home
Main Image Gallery: Sullivan County Poor Home