Tag Archives: New Albany

Former student discusses Culbertson Mansion history

By Brianna Waggoner

150 years ago, William Culbertson walked into the grand yellow mansion on East Main Street with his wife Cornelia. Today, that mansion retains undying hospitality and honor, as well as historical value for the city of New Albany.

According to Culbertson Mansion program developer Kaitlyn Tisdale, William Culbertson came to New Albany when he was 21 years old and started his dry-goods business with his brother, John Culbertson. Together, they sold fabrics, clothing, and leather goods, working “hand-over-fist,” as Tisdale describes.

“William Culbertson did not believe in marking up his products, and by not marking his products up, he became the most competitive dealer in town, so everyone wanted his business because they were getting the better deal,” said Tisdale.

Eventually, Culbertson became one of the wealthiest men in Indiana during the 1860s. Tisdale refers to him as a “King Midas” because of his talent in investment.

“He was a very wise investor. Anything he invested in turned to gold,” said Tisdale. “By the 1860s, he was a multimillionaire.”

Unheard of at the time, Cornelia was allowed to design the mansion despite being a woman. She was even credited as the architect of the house when it was built.

“I think it wasn’t until 60 years later that they had even socially accepted a woman to designing, so the fact that William allowed her to do that is just incredible, and that’s another reason why I’m so proud to work here,” said event coordinator Bryce Romig, a 2014 FC graduate.

While English teacher Tim Romig knows the history of the mansion, it is not his main interest.

“I’ve learned like who built it, when they built it, why they built it. I mostly like to focus on the dark history like hauntings and stuff like that,” said Mr. Romig.

The home took two full years to build. Construction began in 1867 and the Culbertson family walked into the completed mansion in 1869. Furthermore, it had heat and running water, features most homes did not have at the time.

“Nobody had running water inside their house. It had central heat in the form of a coal-burning furnace. Nobody had that. Businesses had furnaces that could put out heat. Not homes,” said Tisdale.

William Culbertson had ten kids and three wives in total, so many servants were needed to run the home efficiently.

“There was always a staff of about 12 servants here working that [were] men and women, mainly immigrants. It was a workplace and a home, so you have to keep that in mind. The Culbertsons couldn’t have lived in this house without them,” said Tisdale.

Four years after Cornelia Culbertson passed away of cholera in 1880, William married his third wife, Rebecca. In moving into the mansion, she made a few changes to the interior. Tisdale notes that she didn’t make any major architectural changes to the mansion such as tearing down walls, showing respect towards Cornelia’s original ideas when she was alive.

After William Culbertson died at age 78, the mansion switched ownership to the McDonald family and then the American Legion, where it underwent many changes, including sealing the basement floor with cement and tearing down walls. The house is now owned by the state as a historical site.

“It’s been through many a-changes but I’m really glad it’s back in the state’s hands today,” said Bryce. “I always say we want to take it right back to the very first day the Culbertsons ever set foot in here, so everything that we’re doing, we’re trying to replicate back to exactly what it would have looked like when they were here.”

Because his son and step daughter both work at the Culbertson Mansion, Mr. Romig is often able to walk through the mansion with his own tour.

“My tour, I run the New Albany Odd Walk, we go there on occasion, and we also get to go inside and tell stories,” said Mr. Romig.

Along with tours being available at the Culbertson Mansion, the haunted house event is heavily advertised as well. Bryce offers advice for those interested in participating.

“I believe standard admission for an adult is 15 dollars,” said Bryce. “You may have to wait in a line, so maybe wear a jacket because it starts to get very chilly.”

Opening day for “Literally, a Haunted House,” the annual haunted house event at the Culbertson, starts Sept. 27 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

The house typically has a sign outside of every mishap at the haunted house, such as how many people left the tour early or how many people wet themselves. Bryce encourages visitors to “come with a brave face on.”

 

FC win against New Albany captured old Indiana Basketball emotions

By J.D. McKay

Friday night’s game against New Albany was what Indiana high school basketball is supposed to be. A gym that holds 2,500 fans had about 2,600 fans from rival schools, with an atmosphere that reminded long time Highlander fans, including my mom, of past games between Pat Graham and Damon Bailey. Bobby Knight attended the Graham vs Bailey games. Last Friday, it was current Indiana head coach Archie Miller watching New Albany senior Romeo Langford. The Highlanders came out on top by two back then, just as they did Friday, mainly because of an average performance from Langford and an above average performance from senior Luke Gohmann.

Last Wednesday I predicted that to win, we would need to shut Langford down, rebound, and hit three pointers. Langford was stopped. Holding the fifth best player in his class to 15 points is basically shutting him down, and he travel on two of those. Rebounds weren’t much of a problem, and while we hit five threes, the lack of points didn’t seem to matter.

The Bulldogs main threat was senior Sean East. East was hitting shots from all over the court, including hitting a buzzer beater from the volleyball line to end the first half. East had 19 points.

Defense was really the key to success Friday. Only scoring 12 points in the second half obviously makes that important. With junior Cobie Barnes being out in the second half, that task came down to senior Matt Weimer, Gohmann, and senior Evan Nichols. Barnes missing most of the second half probably wasn’t in Coach Todd Sturgeon’s game plan, so those three stepped up well.

Final, in overtime, two guys that hadn’t scored yet, senior Gabe Shireman, and Weimer, stepped up. Shireman went straight to the hole twice to take a 43-47 lead. Then, after four New Albany points, Weimer made a backdoor cut and hit a layup to go up 49-47. After Langford missed a three and the officials called a questionable travel, New Albany had one last chance. Sophomore big man Trey Hourigan missed a three, and time expired.

After a quick handshake line that seemed to take two hours, we stormed the court. After 21 tries, the Highlanders finally beat the Bulldogs. So, I guess you could call that game an Indiana high school basketball classic.  

FC beats New Albany 49-47 in overtime last night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FC loses close game to New Albany 60-57

Photos by Braden Schroeder