Indiana Landmarks finds area buyer for Huddleston site; family aims to preserve farmhouse for future generations
A home as unique as the Huddleston Farmhouse — a former inn for U.S. 40 travelers and a museum — doesn’t fit everyone’s needs, budgets or talents.
After about a year on the market, Indiana Landmarks officials announced Friday that experienced Hoosier preservationists and organic farmers have purchased the historic Cambridge City house and 18 acres.
Tyler and Gentry Gough already restored a 1902 shingle-style house in Greenfield and a 1928 Dutch Colonial house in Indianapolis’s Irvington neighborhood.
They’re bringing those skills to a 14-room farmhouse built in 1841 that provided a home for the 13-member Huddleston family as well as shelter for weary National Road travelers.
“You can tell they are passionate about it and they want to do it right and be respectful of the property and the land,” said Brittany Miller, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Eastern Regional Office.
“It’s a wonderful feeling talking with them,” Miller said.
The couple are deeply involved in Indy Urban Acres, an eight-acre organic urban farm that supplies low-income Hoosiers with healthy fruits and vegetables. Tyler is Indy Urban Acres’ director, and Gentry is a farmer.
Their initial plans are to live in Huddleston Farmhouse and use the land as a private family farm to grow crops and raise animals.
However, the Goughs plan to eventually employ the property as an educational site to teach historic methods of planting, cooking and preservation.
“Our goal is to provide a place of beauty, integrity, stability and knowledge to the community for generations to come,” said Gentry in a news release. “We’ll provide fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts, grains, heritage meat, syrup and more.”
Gentry grew up in nearby in Henry County near Summit Lake State Park and went to school with descendants of the home’s original owners.
Indiana Landmarks President Marsh Davis said in a release that the organization “couldn’t have asked for better stewards.”
The farmhouse was sold with Indiana Landmarks’ protective covenants safeguarding its architectural character.
“Their vision for the land and its historic structures carries on the legacy and tradition of the Huddleston family and others who have cared for this important historic property,” Davis said.
Huddleston family members sold the home in the 1930s. It served several uses before Indiana Landmarks acquired it in 1974 and invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in restoring the house, barn, carriage shed, smokehouse and springhouse.
In recent years, Indiana Landmarks used the farmhouse as its Eastern Regional Office and served as a museum of pioneer and U.S. 40 artifacts.
The National Road exhibit went to Wayne County Historical Museum in Richmond, and some items were designated for return to their original owners. Local and regional institutions were contacted and selected items for their collections. Remaining items went through a public auction, and leftover unusable, broken items were disposed of.
Proceeds will be invested into regional preservation projects.
A version of this article appeared in the March 22 2023 print edition of the Western Wayne News.