In the early 1940s, when first class stamps cost just 3 cents apiece and zip codes hadn’t even been invented, Carol Brown, wife of Hubert and mother of Chilton and Kitty, found just the thing to take her mind off wartime upheavals and uncertainties: an old house in the country. Weatherworn, supplied with neither electricity nor indoor plumbing, the two-story limestone edifice dating to 1828 seemed historic and imposing. It had to have some stories, perhaps even a ghost. Restoring the place would be an adventure.
Several months later, when the house had been made livable, Carol and her daughter moved in. It wasn’t long before Carol began investigating her new home’s history. So began a seven-year correspondence with the great-grandson of the house’s original owner, one of the area’s earliest settlers of European descent.
The two families’ stories are now firmly intertwined in the stones of the Daniel Stout House, recognized as the oldest surviving residence in Monroe County, Indiana. Carol’s daughter Kitty, now in her mid-80s, still lives there, a devoted steward of the place and its history.