- Associated Press - Friday, October 24, 2014

GRANGER, Ind. (AP) - After 149 years in one spot, the historic Daniel Ward farmhouse soon will be hitting the road.

With development surrounding it, the distinctive white Greek Revival farmhouse with a cupola at the northwest corner of Cleveland and Gumwood roads in Granger needs a new place and a new owner.

Both have been found.

Within a few months, the house is expected to be removed from its original location and carefully transported one mile southeast, the South Bend Tribune reported (http://bit.ly/1DHUqW0 ). It will be relocated to the 1400 block of University Drive Court, where it will be renovated for use as a legal mediation center for the Blackburn & Green law firm.

The firm already operates a law office in a renovated farmhouse at 1450 University Drive Ct., and the Ward farmhouse will be placed on the same property just to the south of the existing law office, said Todd Zeiger, northern regional director for Indiana Landmarks Inc.

“It looks like it belongs there,” attorney Tom Blackburn said.

The new location is just east beyond the Soccer Zone indoor soccer facility. The law firm is purchasing a parcel of land from the company that owns Soccer Zone to provide room for relocated house.

Blackburn said he’s seen the Ward farmhouse for years when driving by. “I always thought it was a wonderful house. It needed to be saved,” he said.

The law firm’s existing office on University Drive Court is a circa 1883 house that originally was known as Walnut Island Farm, Blackburn said. The firm has operated a law office there since 2004.

Daniel Ward built his house way out in the country in 1865. In recent years, the Cleveland-Gumwood area has become one of the busiest intersections in St. Joseph County.

Great Lakes Capital Development is clearing 46 acres there for a development that will include retail, residential and office space.

Indiana Landmarks has been working with Great Lakes Capital to find a way to save and move the farmhouse. Great Lakes Capital donated the house to Indiana Landmarks, which sought a new use and will sell the house for $1. In exchange, the law firm will pay for the excavation, moving expenses and renovation of the house.

“It’s a great solution,” Zeiger said. It will take some time to get the proper approvals from the city of Mishawaka for the relocation, he said.

The two-story clapboard structure includes its original windows, two parlors and a kitchen, room for three bedrooms and a bathroom upstairs, and stairs to the cupola.

Daniel Ward left the South Bend area in 1849 to seek his fortune in the California gold rush. Ward returned in 1851, married Martha E. Martin, and in 1865, built his home on farmland he purchased from his father. Daniel Ward died in 1892, but the house has stood at its original location ever since.

The building has been vacant since last winter. It most recently housed a fashion boutique and, prior to that, an antiques store.

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Information from: South Bend Tribune, http://www.southbendtribune.com

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