It took three hours Tuesday to transport Newburgh's own Little Red Brick House less than mile to its new location on the riverfront.

A worker for Wolfe House and Building Movers guided the structure with a remote control as it slowly but surely made its way to its new site -- a brick's throw away from the Ohio River.

During the journey, signs and tree limbs had to be cut to make room for the two-century old home, delaying the process.

The building was moved from its current location down Water Street to a site on the east side of Newburgh's Old Lock and Dam park.

The relocation was done in order to continue preservation of the house while encouraging more traffic to see the historic structure.

The $70,000 it took to move the house has been raised in part from a $25,000 grant from the Indiana Historical Society and from a Kickstarter campaign that raised more than $19,000 in a matter of two months.

Jim Renne, an organizer for the move and a member of Newburgh's Historic Preservation Commission said the ownership of the property can be traced to 1807 when then-president James Madison granted the land to Gen. A. Johnson. Johnson later sold the land to John Sprinkle in 1850.


Renne said the old house itself is dated back to the mid to late 1800s after the ownership of the land was subdivided. He said the house is believed to have been built before 1880 based on the type of brick used in the construction of the house.

The history of the house's preservation is unique, Renne said. While many larger houses from the time have continued to be preserved, the Little Red Brick House only covers 300 feet and was not intentionally saved, he said.

As families grew, there were additions made to the house continually until the original structure was completely encased in the additions and no longer visible, Renne said.

"If you looked at the house then, people would have told you there was a white frame house off the street there," he said.

However, in the 1980s, there was a fire that destroyed the additions, but the red brick interior structure survived.

Renne said Virgil Simpson owned the home and decided to restore the old house.

"It's rare for small houses that far back to still be in existence," Renne said. "The big ones survive, but the small ones were all torn down. This house is unique because it was hidden for so long."

Renne said the house has had many lives serving as an ice house, a tax shop and a mortuary museum.

Now, he said it will take place at the Old Lock and Dam next to four other historic structures while also serving as a start to the proposed amphitheater project.

"The plan is for it to be a kind of a feature at the proposed amphitheater," he said.

Renne said the support for the move shows the community is willing to move forward with its commitment to preserve its heritage.

He said it's more than just talk.

"I think it's a great tribute to how Newburgh says it wants to be known as a quaint riverfront town proud of its heritage," he said. "It's actually backing up it's word by supporting the move. It's not just talking the talk."

Renne said there are high hopes for the amphitheater as well with the move. He said the plan is to have a structure available for members of the community to gather and perform.

"I see it as a very concrete first step to having an amphitheater," he said.

For information on the house or the proposed amphitheater, visit Historic Newburgh, Inc. online at

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