The Fairmount Web Spot
J.P. Winslow House.

J.P. Winslow House

Jonathan P. Winslow (1818-1899)

This page describes my tour of one of the oldest houses in Fairmount, written shortly after the tour.


Jonathan P. Winslow (1818-1899) was a relative of the Winslows who first settled the Back Creek area and inhabited the new hamlet of Fairmount. J.P. Winslow first visited the area in 1840 as a carriage driver and worked awhile for his relatives. He did not stay, however, but returned to North Carolina to continue his education and to start a family. He came back to Fairmount in 1860 to flee the coming Civil War, taking his family with him. In time he became a dry goods merchant and served as a county commissioner.

In 1861 Winslow built for his new home a two-story brick house. He built it on land that originally extended from Walnut Street to the railroad. Afterwards Winslow added his property to the town as a series of plats, keeping a block for himself.

As time passed a series of schools were built across the street from the Winslow house. The latest was the North Ward elementary school in 1891. This stood in use until it was torn down after Park Elementary School was opened in 1965. Two more schools were built south of the Winslow house in the 1870's. These would soon be merged into Fairmount High School.

The house was owned by Winslows through the early twentieth century. Some of the block along Adams Street was sold in two parts. The current residence now sits on 0.88 acre (3,570 square meters) of land comprising most of that block.

The House itself had undergone changes. A porch along the front of the House in J.P. Winslow's day has since been removed. A brick two-car garage and a brick outbuilding had been added.

The Tour

The owner of the House during the late twentieth century is selling it at auction on 31 October 2004. An open house was held on the afternoon of 17 October 2004. A lot of townspeople toured the House if only to see what it is like. I was among them.

The House opens into a foyer, from which a narrow hall goes straight to the back of the house. Along this hall is a very narrow staircase, less than a meter wide, to the upper floor. To the left of the foyer is a vast living room with two fireplaces. To the right is a "den" with walnut panelling.

The kitchen was remodeled as an eat-in, with long diner-like countertop and stove inside a recess where the hearth once stood. Near the kitchen, underneath the stairs, is a very small water closet.

We also visited the basement. For such a large house, the basement seemed small. The basement has a sump pump, even though the House does not sit on Puddin' Creek, that strip of undrainable land over most of which Walnut Street was built.

The upper floor had three bedrooms and a bathroom. Two of the bedrooms have fireplaces. The bathroom is solid, with ceramic floor tile; but it could use lighter wallpaper to bright it up.

The bedrooms have had closets forced upon them, and it shows. The House did not have closets originally because of an oddity in Indiana tax law then: Closets were assessed as if they were full rooms. Thus the Winslows used wardrobes to store their clothes until it became safe to build closets later in the twentieth century.

One of those bedrooms had a boy in there: Its closet still had a poster of Fleetwood Mac from the 1970's. The shelving was really weird: Two series of concentric squares around the wall over one's head.

Beyond the kitchen through the back door was a brick walkway to the arbor trellis around a hot tub. Along the walkway was an outbuilding with all sorts of junk (mostly old school desks) inside.

The detached garage had a Camaro that was dust-covered but still in decent shape. I'm not sure if the Camaro comes with the House.

The front yard of the House is a vast well-kept lawn. Copses of trees divide the side and back yards into separate lots: One on the east and one on the south. These are also well-kept but unused in a long while.

The House gets satellite cable. The tall TV antenna nowadays serves to support a very, very tall vine.


It was fun walking through this house, with its mix of old and new that the House has gained over the 140+ years of its existence. I am sure that whoever acquires this house will be very satisfied with it.

The House is located on 412 East Washington Street in Fairmount, one block north of the old high school.

Update (12 October 2008)

The Winslow House was purchased during early 2008 and is now off the market.

Update (6 February 2010)

The Winslow House was put back on the market in 2009. Whether anyone has bought it is unknown, although it is unlikely: This is during the depression of 2008-2010, when credit for house purchases is unobtainable. In the meantime, the property's back lot was sold to a neighbor living on the southeast corner of the block.

Update (11 December 2012)

The Winslow House is again back on the market after renovations. It will be interesting to see who will purchase the house, as the local housing market and economy is no better than it was in 2010.

Copyright © 2004-2013 by Andy West. All rights reserved. Last updated 11 August 2013.