Built in 1818 and considered Madison’s first mansion, this stately federal style structure was home to one of Madison’s most distinguished leaders. Sullivan and his family lived in the home for over 70 years. Owned and operated by Historic Madison, Inc.
The Sullivan House Side Garden, 304 West Second Street
Jeremiah Sullivan originally from Harrisonburg, VA, built this house in 1818 and it is considered Madison’s first mansion. Owned and operated by Historic Madison, Inc., the Sullivan House and side garden sits prominently on the corner of Second and Poplar displaying a fine portrayal of Federal style architecture. The garden is divided into three sections. On the south side of the central walk is the Virginia style parterre garden. It is a Pleasure Garden using boxwoods and flowers that were favorites in the late 18th and early 19th century. All of these plants were introduced to North America by Colonists prior to 1820. On the north side of the walk, a Native garden displays examples of Indiana aboriginal plants that Mrs. Sullivan might have collected from excursions into the woodlands and forests available in southern Indiana. She could have received prairie plants as gifts from acquaintances or friends, from the northwestern part of the state. Woodland and prairie plants were part of the existing Indiana ecosystems present in the early 19th century. In the rear of the house is an herb garden. It is placed close to the kitchen for convenience. These herbs are a small sample the most common cooking and medicinal herbs necessary for a household of the time period. During the last three years, HMI volunteers have worked tirelessly to rehabilitate the side garden. A Purdue Master Gardener created and tends this garden along with HMI volunteers. A native plant sale will be available on the side porch of the Sullivan House during the Madison in Bloom event. Proceeds from sales will help benefit on-going efforts and maintenance of this garden. Contact Historic Madison about renting this space.
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**Occasionally this site will not be open to the public during selected tour hours to accommodate pre-scheduled group tours. Please call ahead.