History of the Barhydt-Ehrmann Home

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The Barhydt-Ehrmann Home, located at 1121 South Sixth Street in Terre Haute, Indiana, is a reminder of the carefree period of the 1920s.  The house has a colorful and unique history associated with it.

The home was built for Theodore Wells Barhydt and his wife Henrietta.  Mr. Barhydt was hugely involved with building, owning and operating theaters in Terre Haute.  In 1921, Theodore used famous Australian-born theater architect, John Eberson, to design and build the Indiana Theatre as well as the home at 1121 S. 6th Street.  The Barhydt Home, an English Cottage, has many similarities to the Indiana Theater both in style of construction and building materials.  Most notable would be the carved plaster ceilings in the entryway and dining room as well as the sun porch.  The home is exceptionally well build and will stand as a lasting reminder of the time period.

The house was built to be Mr. Barhydt’s dream home.  Unfortunately he only enjoyed the home for a few years.  In 1926, he developed a throat infection as the result of an ulcerated tooth.  Despite treatments at the Mayo clinic, he succumbed to the disease and died on April 5, 1927 at age 59.

After his death, wife Henrietta remarried Albert D. Ehrmann, brother of noted author-poet Max Ehrmann (author of Desiderata).  Henrietta lived in the home until her death (in the  home) on October 21, 1954 at the age of 80.

The home was then sold to local dentist Dr. Frank Welch and his wife Madeline.  In the fall of 1970, the fraternity of Phi Gamma Delta purchased the home at a cost of $35,000.

Relatively minor changes were permitted in the house with the exception of the remodeling of  the bathrooms, basement and garage to accommodate thirty men.  In the winter of 1973 and the spring of 1974, the fraternity moved out of the home into Deming Hall and the home was lent to the Ladies Auxiliary of Union Hospital to become the first Decorator’s Designer Showhouse.

The home is unique in many aspects.  Arched doors and entrance ways appear throughout the house and there are three marble and tile fireplaces.  Other features include low-gabled windows, a natural skylight, sculptured plaster ceilings, and modern-looking stained glass windows.  Perhaps the most striking feature of the home is the use of fine wood as seen in the floors and finish work throughout.  Various wood species such as red oak, white oak, birch, walnut, Tennessee red cedar, Arkansas pine, cypress, holly and ebony can be found in the home.