Clarksville neighborhood gets historic nod

By The Associated Press

CLARKSVILLE — A southern Indiana neighborhood that includes a mix of design styles, including a stately home known locally as “the Witch’s Castle," has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The designation for Clarksville's Lincoln Heights neighborhood makes it the Ohio River town's first residential historic district, the News and Tribune reported.

The neighborhood, which spans just three blocks, is “a fairly small, compact neighborhood,” said Greg Sekula, Southern Regional Director of Indiana Landmarks.

“But it’s got a distinct character. A lot of the yards are nicely landscaped. There aren’t any sidewalks. It’s got a small, enclave type feel.”

Most of Lincoln Heights' streets are dead end lanes that are narrow and composed of pebble concrete that's remained intact over several decades. The area's first homes were built in the late 1920, but construction continued in the 1960s. Many of the homes were built by prominent local business leaders and reflect a mix of designs, including Spanish Revival, Tudor Revival and English cottage, that give Lincoln Heights a unique charm, Sekula said.

One home features a turret that rises above the home's facade. That design, combined with the reputation of a woman who once lived there, earned it the nickname “the Witch’s Castle."

“Supposedly, the original owner was a woman who was not a very nice person,” said Amy Ramsey, who now owns the house with her husband, John. “They always nicknamed her ‘the witch,’ so it became the Witch’s Castle way back then.”

Sekula said Indiana Landmarks and the Town of Clarksville’s Historic Preservation Commission worked together to fund the pursuit of the historic designation, which he said could have a stabilizing impact on the neighborhood.

“People like the idea of living in a historic district. It can be a very important community revitalization tool," he said.

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