Town of Plainfield, Hendricks Regional Health and Mr. James Wheeler Announce Preservation of Historic Little House

PLAINFIELD, Ind. – In a significant victory for historic preservation, Hendricks Regional Health, the Town of Plainfield and Mr. James Wheeler are pleased to announce the successful preservation effort of the historic Thomas and Louisa Little House. This treasured Queen Anne-style home, located along U.S. 40 in Plainfield, will now be preserved and incorporated into the community’s future growth.

The house was built between 1885 and 1891 by Thomas Havens for Thomas Little, a local farmer and grandson of pioneer Alexander Little. It features distinctive elements of the Queen Anne style, such as a corner turret, a wrap-around porch, fishscale shingles, and ornate wooden windows.

The Little House had fallen into disrepair and was unoccupied for years before the property was purchased by Hendricks in 2017 to expand healthcare services in Plainfield and further west. Since taking ownership, the nonprofit health system has actively sought out possible solutions to honor the home’s history and consider other community uses. Preservation has also been championed by the community with the creation of a petition signed by nearly 9,000 supporters.

In a collaborative effort, the Town of Plainfield Town Council and Hendricks Regional Health have agreed to relocate the Little House to the northern edge of the Hendricks property. This relocation will make way for future development while preserving the historic structure. The house, purchased by lifelong Hendricks County resident James (Jim) Wheeler, will be restored and become his personal residence.

“This is a profound example of what can be achieved when a community comes together to preserve its history,” said Plainfield’s Town Council President, Robin Brandgard. “We are pleased to partner with Hendricks Regional Health to relocate the Little House, ensuring it remains a part of our cultural and architectural heritage.”

“At Hendricks, we believe that taking the best possible care of our neighbors happens through exceptional healthcare and partnerships,” said Dr. Michelle Fenoughty, President & CEO of Hendricks. “We are so thankful to the Town of Plainfield Town Council, Mr. Wheeler and the community for their support. This project is a great example of collaboration and we are proud to help pave the way to preserving a legacy that future generations will be able to enjoy.”

The house will be moved later this summer. According to Wheeler, preparation work is underway including stabilization of the porch. The back portion of the home that was added in the 1980s will be removed before it is relocated.

Wheeler, a construction management professional, is no stranger to restoring historic homes in the community. Past projects include a Plainfield home built in 1905 by Elijah Shaw which Wheeler restored to its original charm.

“It’s an honor to bring something back to life, a dream come true,” Wheeler said. “The Litle House is a masterpiece, and its Queen Anne style is rarely found in a more rural area. It will be a jewel for the Town of Plainfield.”

He has researched the home tirelessly and credits the Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library for their assistance and resources in his restoration planning. Once the work is completed, Wheeler plans to host a Community Open House as a fundraiser for the library as well as Indiana Landmarks.

About Brian Scott

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