This historic residence in downtown Corydon has classic decor and a retro really feel
Jeff and Carrie Ketterman’s 105-year-old colonial home in Corydon isn’t just historic because it was built in 1916. The house is closely tied to the state of Indiana and is owned by Jeff before the couple bought the house.
At home with history
“It’s a house I’ve always admired,” Jeff said. “I grew up in Corydon so I knew part of the story.”
The Indiana state constitution was written on the property on which the house is located.
“All legislators came here to write the constitution in June 1816,” he said. “It got so hot and there were so many legislators here that they decided to go to the elm tree that is on the way. They went there and signed the constitution under the tree. So that was originally the courthouse. And of course Indiana made Corydon the first state capital. “
The courthouse was eventually moved downtown, and a new building – the Capitol Building – was also built.
“The importance of the property is pretty cool because I’m related to the guy who actually built the first state capital, Dennis Pennington,” Jeff said. “He is a distant relative of mine through my grandmother. So it’s as if the real estate has come full circle. “
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Time for tea
The Kettermans bought the house in 2013 after Jeff convinced Carrie to leave Louisville and move to Corydon.
“I grew up in St. Matthew’s, five minutes away from everything. So it was a tough sell getting me this side of the river, ”Carrie said with a laugh. “But it worked because there was no way we (with) the other houses we looked at would have been able to open the tea room and work the way we do.”
The “tea room” technically comprises most of the first floor. This is where Carrie and Jeff host themed tea parties and other events. The idea wasn’t born until after they moved in, but when their furniture and accessories were housed in the house it was clear that all of this resulted in an old-fashioned tea party aesthetic.
“I used to collect teacups and tea accessories and my friends would stop by and throw us vintage tea parties just for fun,” Carrie said. “Then we started putting it together and it actually clicked (during) the bicentenary (celebration) of (Corydon). We noticed a lot more pedestrian traffic past the house, a lot more tour buses going down to the elm (tree), and concerts in the square. And we thought the house was divided into “business parks” and I gathered all this stuff – why don’t we try our hand at a tea room? “
The previous homeowner tried to keep the house as historically accurate as possible so that the interior would suit both the tea party themes and the style of the Kettermans.
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“The woman who owned it before us did many great things to keep it historically correct,” said Carrie. “How, the stripes in the foyer were correct for the period; The chandelier (and) the woodwork (are) original. We wanted to improve that somehow, and we’re both vintage enthusiasts at heart and love antiques.
“Some of these pieces were antiques my grandmother bought before they were married,” she added. “It was a lot of fun just decorating because that’s very much our aesthetic, that kind of vintage lifestyle.”
Love for lucy
Jeff and Carrie’s vintage lifestyle goes way beyond tea parties. The space outside the living room is what Carrie calls her “Lucy Room”. It’s full of dolls, pictures, books, figurines, and other memorabilia dedicated to one of Hollywood’s greatest icons.
“I’m a huge Lucille Ball fan – huge,” said Carrie. “I saw“ I Love Lucy ”the whole time I went to my grandmother’s house. I just grew up with it. I love her. I love that she was a redhead, a comedian (and) a really smart businesswoman.
“I always get us into crazy plans – he plays music, I sing – and I always try to get on the show. So we came up with a little routine,” she said. “We love the vaudeville style, the story and (that) kind of entertainment.”
She and Jeff take their camper – decked out like a 1950s Palm Springs bungalow – to festivals and campsites across the country and perform their Lucy and Desi acts.
“It’s about a 45-minute set,” Carrie said. “We also make ‘I Love Lucy’ tea – we are modern day Lucy and Desi!”
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Fortunately, her love of yesterday’s days fits perfectly with her historic home.
“You know,” Jeff said, “(the previous owner) expanded the kitchen (and) had it painted, and it was supposed to mimic the style of the house in 1916 – when the house was built.”
Carrie added, “When we moved in, we didn’t have to paint or tear anything. It was just perfect and it really should be. “
screws and nuts
owner: Jeff and Carrie Ketterman. Jeff is the general manager of Kasgro Rail Car Management and Carrie is an artist and entertainer.
At home: This is a 3 bed, 2 ½ bath, 3850 square foot Colonial home built in 1916 in downtown Corydon, Indiana.
Distinguishing features: Historical house; original wooden floors; original foyer and corridor lights; completely renovated kitchen with high quality custom made cabinets; remodeled bathroom and laundry room; Master bedroom with individual walk-in closet and custom closets; Home theater on the third floor.
Applause! Applause! Linda Toupin for foresight and work to maintain the integrity of this historic property.