Historic Ambassador House to offer public tours Sept. 18

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Members of the public will be able to get a look inside the Historic Ambassador House and Heritage Gardens in Fishers during an event planned for September.

The venue, which hosts community events, weddings and other gatherings, will offer public tours from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 18, said Robert Bowling, vice president of the Ambassador House board of directors. The house, which was built in 1820, was once owned by Addison Harris, a former Indiana state senator who also served as an ambassador to Austria-Hungary.

Harris served as president of the Indiana Law School, the Indiana Bar Association and Purdue University’s board of trustees, according to the Indiana State Library website. H3 also founded the Indianapolis Bar Association and used the Ambassador House as a summer home, Bowling said.

Harris, who died at the age of 75 in 1916, is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery in Indianapolis, according to the cemetery’s website.

Other than public tours, the September event will also recognize current and former board members, according to Bowling, who said Fishers Mayor Scott Fadness is expected to attend and present awards. Bowling added that the board of directors plans to dissolve in October since the City of Fishers has given control of event planning to The Wellington Group, a financial services firm based in Indianapolis.

Bowling said the public can learn more about Addison Harris and the Historic Ambassador House, located at 10598 Eller Road, during the event.

“There’s a lot of historic items inside and I think it’s very important for residents of Fishers to understand his role in politics and government,” Bowling said. “As a board member, I think it’s good to be able to preserve all that history.”

The Historic Ambassador House, which has changed hands through various owners through the years, was eventually acquired by the City of Fishers and was once located at 96th Street and Allisonville Road. However, it was relocated in 1996 to its present location, according to Bowling.

The volunteer-led board of directors regularly gives tours a few times a year, and Bowling said what makes the historic home unique is the fact that many items found inside are from when Harris was in Austria-Hungary. Bowling said the tours also provide the public with a glimpse into what life was like during the 19th century.

“The Ambassador House is just one of those places where people can visit,” Bowling said. “The house is beautiful, the grounds are beautiful and a lot of people really don’t have any clue what’s significant about that house.”

For more on the Historic Ambassador House and Heritage Gardens, visit ambassadorhouse.org or call 317-845-4265.

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