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Monday, May 2, 2016

Bringing the old back to Greencastle

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Lynn and Bill Martindale Sullivan purchased Lynn's childhood home on 425 E. Franklin St. with the hopes of restoring it to its old beauty. The couple is also planning on opening a antique store in Greencastle within the new couple of years.
After years of living in Minnesota, Bill and Lynn Martindale Sullivan decided to move back to Greencastle to renovate Lynn's childhood home at 425 E. Franklin St.

Lynn's family had owned the home from about 1963 through 2005. The couple came across the home as a foreclosure.

"We bought it as a HUD house (Housing Urban Development)," explained Bill. "The people who bought it defaulted on the loan."

When the couple had bought the home it was in bad shape. The limestone wall in front of the home was falling down; the pipes and radiators were also broken.

"We didn't even look at the house before we bought it," said Bill. "We worked on the house for about a month to get plumbing and heating before we moved in."

After a month, the couple returned to Minnesota where they liquidated their antiques and packed their belongings for the move to Greencastle in November of 2010.

"I've been working on it for the last year or so," said Bill. "We have a difference in opinion of what done is."

The Sullivans said that the home will never be done to them, but they knew that they were in for a challenge and chose to embrace it. This is the third house Bill has renovated on his own as he used to renovate homes for a living as well.

"It was time for a change," said Lynn. "We had looked at houses for sale in Indiana, mostly Putnam County, Eastern Indiana and Wayne County, for the last 15 years."

Mary A. and William C. Blake originally purchased the land in 1835. Although, there is no clear record of when the house was built, it is said to have been built in 1857 and was then purchased in 1938 by the Richard E. Sandy family.

"Originally the home used to be on six acres," explained Lynn. "There was a fire while the Sandy family was on vacation. It had gotten hit by lightning."

As the couple continues to renovate the home they plan on keeping as many things the same that the possibly can.

"As much as possible we want to restore it," Bill said. "But, you can't bring it back to exactly what it was."

The couple has put in several vintage light fixtures around the home. They also purchased a new wooden fireplace mantle, a Greencastle original. The couple's next project is to try to restore the staircase and bring out as much of the details as they can.

"The staircase has been painted so much that you can't really see the detail," said Lynn of her favorite part of the home.

As for now, the couple lives only on the first floor of the home, which consists of two bedrooms and two bathrooms. The upstairs of the home which has two more larger rooms does not have air conditioning or heat. For now they just use it as storage. They are unsure if or when they will choose to finish the top level.

"We like the big rooms," explained Lynn. "A lot of old houses have small rooms, lots of them but they're small."

The couple has plans to not only restore the staircase but to begin work on the kitchen as well.

Not only do they have a love for old homes they also have a love for antiques. The Sullivans are beginning to look for real estate in the square to open their own antique shop.

"We can't help ourselves," explained Bill. "I've been a picker for 30 years and she's been an antique dealer for 30 years. We're just out of control and we're looking to be antique dealers."

The couple, who already owns a massive amount of antiques is looking to buy even more inventory for their shop.

"We're looking for a building now, downtown if we can," said Bill. "Where we come from people were not interested in antiques or old houses."

The couple sees Greencastle as the perfect spot to open their shop as there is less competition than there is in Indianapolis.

"The antiques here are better, they're older," said Lynn. "Plus this is a historic town and people here appreciate antiques."

The couple plans on selling things including vintage clothing, costume jewelry to old travel maps from around the world.

"It's going to be more high end," explained Bill. "We don't want it to be a junk shop. We're going to spend the money it takes to have good inventory."

The couple is currently looking for more antiques to add to their collection. They have found several things through advertising, auctions, as well as through business cards that the couple has passed out to people around the area.

"We'll have a little bit of everything for everybody," said Lynn. "We like to introduce antiques to younger generations. Antiques are fun and we want them to be fun for people."

The couple plans to have the lowest margin to turn their inventory. They are not planning on having a big markup on the items in their store. For them, it is not a get rich quick scheme.

For more information on the antique shop or those interested in selling items contact bandlsullivan@cinergymetro.net.

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I just love these wonderful people

-- Posted by mickhamblen on Sat, Jan 14, 2012, at 3:20 PM

Welcomt back,Lynn,,,it's been years since you were on a field trip in physics class to Indy with Mr Graber. Tell Jamie that I send my best wishes,,,tut

-- Posted by TNVOLTUT on Sun, Jan 15, 2012, at 3:07 PM

I love the old houses in Greencastle. I am always happy to see one being restored. Especially the ones on Franklin St.

-- Posted by Billie J. Bowles on Mon, Jan 16, 2012, at 7:42 PM

Great to see people trying to improve Greencastle by renovating, not just building. Good luck to the Martindale's.

-- Posted by natelien on Tue, Jan 17, 2012, at 3:26 PM

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