History

The Amon Clarence Thomas House is the only one of its type in New Harmony, representing the emergence of the Twentieth Century new middle class in the period of American industrialization. 

Except for the kitchen, bathrooms, back porch, and some wall coverings, the house is in nearly the same condition as when it was built in 1899, making it a prime example of the style and period for all of South-Western Indiana. The house sits in contrast to its earlier neighbors from the Rappite and Harmonist eras of New Harmony. 

The interior finishes are good examples of the use of local woods that came from the hardwood forests in the area. The entry parlor stair is an excellent example of the late Victorian idea of fantasies in wood detailing.

Early newspaper reports and family interviews talk of the house as being the center of New Harmony social life during the early 1900's. 

Despite being a staunch Democrat, Mr. Thomas entertained President Taft (a Republican) in the house, during Taft's Southern Indiana campaign tour. 

The house was occupied by Mr. Thomas' descendants until Helen Thomas Baldwin passed away in 1945. Wilber Baldwin (Helen's husband) stayed in the house alone until 1950 when he married Frieda C. Bernd. Wilber Baldwin passed away in 1962 leaving the house to his son Thomas and Frieda. 

After Frieda's death, the house was purchased by Scott and Nancy McDonald in 1994. The McDonalds completed extensive restoration and remodeling of the house. Bathrooms were added, and the kitchen remodeled with reproduction cabinetry. One original cabinet remains in the sink room. 

The McDonalds took great care in selecting and papering the walls and ceilings in Bradburyand Bradbury reproduction wallpaper. The Library still has the original wall paper on the walls.The McDonalds extraordinary attention to detail made it possible for the house to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places on September 14, 1995. 

Darvin and Judy Barnes purchased the house in 2005 and added an elevator to make the home handicap accessible. The Barnes furnished the house with an eclectic selection of furnishings typical of the late Victorian to New Revival eras with pieces ranging from 1845 to the late 1920s.

This information was available in the records of the National Register of Historic Places

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