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Eisenhauer-Tilford-Tyler House
617 East Main Street
New Albany, IN 47150




Listing Description:
This home was originally constructed as a one-story shotgun house, very similar to its neighbor to the west at 615 East Main. New Albany architect and master builder James Banes purchased both lots in April 1875 for $775.54, and it is likely that he built both houses in the years soon after. Working with his brother, William, Banes was responsible for the design and construction of many of New Albany’s finest houses of the period, including the Culbertson Mansion, the Shipman-McCord House at 1206 East Main, and the Ferry-McDonald-Green House at 1014 East Main.
 
In November 1881, Mary Eisenhauer, the widow of Nicholas, purchased both houses from Mr. Banes for $1,015. Mrs. Eisenhauer had been widowed just four months prior to the purchase of the properties. She lived at 617 East Main until selling it to James Tilford in May 1890, who at the time was residing at 615 East Main. Mary moved next door to 615 East Main, then to the home of her daughter, Mrs. Frank Dudley, where she passed in September 1930.
 
It was probably after the purchase by the Tilfords that the second floor was added to the structure. Mr. Tilford was a railway mail agent for the Monon Railroad. After residing in the house for only three months, James was one of three victims from New Albany who lost their lives in an August 1890 collision on the Monon Railroad at Salt Creek near Bedford, Indiana. He was taken to the home of his mother in Bedford after the accident, where he died several days later from injuries sustained in the crash. His widow Margaret and son, Leland, remained in the house through the early 1900s before selling the property in April 1906.
 
By 1907, the Ada McCurdy family was residing in the home and remained through the mid-1920s.  During this time, the house was remodeled again and took on the Craftsman-style appearance seen today. Mrs. McCurdy was very gifted in music, as was her daughter Frances. Ada died in May 1925 and in November of that same year, Frances married Walter Tyler.
 
Prior to this marriage, Mr. Tyler’s first wife had been Lillie Eisenhauer, daughter of Mary Eisenhauer, the original owner of the house. Walter and Lillie were living in Marion, Indiana when she passed in February 1919, leaving her husband and three children as survivors. Walter and Frances made their home here until the deaths of Mr. Tyler in November 1942 and Mrs. Tyler in October 1953 respectively, although Frances had already moved with her step-son, Clell, to St. Simon’s Island, Georgia in August of that same year.

After years of neglect and being divided into a duplex, the house was purchased by local preservationist Jane Shine in 2014. She undertook a complete rehabilitation and restored the home to its single-family configuration.



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Additional Information:
 
Building Style: Craftsman/shotgun
Year Built: c.1875
Year Renovated: c.1900/c.1920
 

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New Albany Historic
Preservation Commission
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