ESR Receives Gift of the Lauramoore Friends Home
ESR was recently the recipient of the historic Lauramoore Friends Home, a beautifully preserved 14-room Victorian home, located on 1.3 acres, and less than a mile from the ESR campus. Formerly a private residence, and most recently incorporated as a non-profit organization, administered by Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting the home was gifted to ESR by their Board of Directors.
ESR plans to use the home for a combination of student housing, lodging for guests, and as a retreat center. "For several years, I have desired a location for ESR’s use for hospitality and small retreats," said ESR Dean Jay Marshall. "This lovely Victorian home with its inviting green space, located only a few blocks from ESR, is ideal for this purpose."
The house was built in 1860 by Thomas and Mary Birdsall, who is a significant figure in Indiana and national history, and was sold to Charles and Laura Moore in 1899. In 1927, it was acquired by the Whitewater Monthly Meeting of the Indiana Yearly Meeting (Hicksite) of the Religious Society of Friends. The house was opened as a boarding/retirement home in 1927 for Quakers and others in need of independent housing. It also served as a temporary meeting place for Whitewater Monthly Meeting, with worship in the parlor.
This unique home exhibits Victorian charm and is filled with period decoration and antiques. The grounds include a small woods, gardens, and 24 species of mature trees. The Indiana Historic Preservation Review Board recommended the Lauramoore in 1999 for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places, and also to be considered a National Historic Landmark.
"The city of Richmond has a number impressive homes from the mid to late 19th century," Jay Marshall stated. "Sadly, many of them have not fared well. Built in 1860, the Lauramoore Home has been well-preserved to this point, in large part due to its use by Friends since 1927 for work they believed to be important. ESR is delighted that the property stays in the "family" of Friends, and looks forward to maintaining the high standards of care set by the Directors of the Lauramoore Home."