Culbertson Widows' Home
704 East Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150

Listing Description:
“Very few people in our city occupy dwellings near so luxurious as our friends here.  The visitor goes over this Home, feeling really this is a home, indeed.  Nothing stingy, nothing mean, because it would be cheap, can be detected in any part of the workmanship, but every part is grand, massive, just the thing for ages.”  This is how the New Albany Ledger-Standard described the Culbertson Widows’ Home upon its opening in November 1873, and the same holds true today. 
The Widows’ Home was constructed in 1873 due to the benevolence of one of Indiana’s preeminent businessmen and philanthropists, New Albany resident William Stuart Culbertson.  Moved by the plight of women left widowed by the Civil War – and himself recently married to a woman who had been in that situation – Culbertson donated $25,000 for the construction of the facility, as well as an endowment of $150,000 for its operation.  Local contractor James Banes was responsible for the design and construction of the home, which was executed in the Italianate style.  Along with his brother William, Banes had also designed and built Culbertson’s own residence (now the Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site) farther east on Main Street, and the plans here are very similar.  The Widows’ Home was designed to accommodate thirty to forty women at a time; the only qualifications for admission were a good moral character, lack of a home, and an inability to support herself. 
The Widows’ Home operated until 1971, when the Board of Trustees closed the facility and sold the furnishings at public auction. The home itself was sold two years later to Charles and Roberta Mitchell, who used it as their residence.  Mrs. Mitchell was widowed herself in the mid-1980s, and lived alone in the house until her death in March 2000.  The current owners have used it both as a bed and breakfast and a private residence.  

Driving Directions:

Additional Information:
Building Style: Italianate
Year Built: 1873

Photo Gallery:

Click a Photo Above for a Larger Version

Bookmark and Share  Print 
Copyright © 2023
New Albany Historic
Preservation Commission
All Rights Reserved