Preservation easement will protect historic Vigo County house

Local News

TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Indiana Landmarks has accepted a preservation easement on one of Vigo County’s oldest homes.

The Markle House on Dam Mill Road near Terre Haute is one of the oldest intact historic houses in Vigo County. It sits across from the ruins of the old Markle Mill.

A preservation easement is a legal agreement giving a qualified nonprofit organization like Indiana Landmarks the right and obligation to protect a structure’s exterior from changes that would compromise its historical, architectural or natural character.

Built in 1848 by Frederick and Sarah Markle, the house originally served as the Markles’ residence, as well as Frederick’s office for the mill operation across the road on Otter Creek, and a stagecoach stop on the line he operated between Terre Haute and Lafayette. The Markles’ mill burned in 1938; the remains consist of stone and concrete foundations and dam. The house and mill site are listed in the National Register of Historic Places.

Sallie Cox donated the preservation easement before selling the house to Ben and Rachel Porter in mid-March. Cox and her husband Don bought the property in 1983 and embarked on a complete rehabilitation of the Markle House. After Don passed away in 2011, Sallie continued stewardship of the house.

“I wanted to help prevent the Markle House and the land from ever being destroyed by an unsympathetic future owner and donating a preservation easement to Indiana Landmarks was the best way to ensure this,” Cox said. “The new owners understand that, which gave me greater comfort selling the landmark to them.”

The Porters will make the Markle House their home.

“We are excited to see our dream of preserving a historic home become a reality, and we’re honored to carry the responsibility for this important Terre Haute treasure,” Rachel said. “We want to carry on the work Don and Sallie did for so many years to protect and cherish it.”

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