In 1837, the house was built by Butler Denham. It served as a farm house, surrounded by almost 1300 acres of farmland.
Facts about the original house:
- Mostly built of black walnut from the local sawmill
- White oak was used for sills, studs, and floor joists; bark was left on the floor joists
- All timbers were connected by mortise and tenon, secured by heavy wooden pins
- Lath was hand-split from scrap wood from the sawmill
- Mortar was made from mud