Nappanee Eastside Historic District
The Nappanee Eastside Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. Portions of the content of this web page were adapted from a copy of the original nomination document. [†] Adaptation copyright © 2015, The Gombach Group.
The Nappanee Eastside Historic District lies north of Market Street (U.S. 6) and east of Main Street (S.R.19). It consists of portions of five north/south streets (Main, Elm, Madison, Hartman, and Summit), and five east west streets (Market, Walnut, Centennial, Van Buren, and Marion). The district is part of several different additions to Nappanee's original plat, which accounts for the difference in block size, and house orientation.
The houses date from the later decades of the Nineteenth Century to the middle of the Twentieth. Their styles include Queen Anne, Craftsman, Colonial and Tudor Revival, and Prairie style. House types include Gable-ell, Gable front, and Bungalow. Two houses, the Frank and Katherine Coppes House and the Arthur Miller House, are listed on the National Register. This district is adjacent, or just east of the Downtown Nappanee Historic District.
The majority of houses remain single-family dwellings, except on Market Street where several notable examples are Bed and Breakfasts or apartments. The district also contains a number of small businesses, and three churches. The closed Coppes Brothers factory anchors the districts southern edge.
The District notable for its outstanding examples of architecture. The city's late 19th-century origins are linked to the construction of the B & O railroad and the subsequent industrial success; the district displays fine examples of architectural types and styles dating from the 1870's to 1940. It also contains the Coppes Brothers Furniture factory, Nappanee's largest industry, and the homes of several of Nappanee's financial, commercial, and industrial leaders.
Nappanee is arranged around two primary and intersecting streets. Market oriented east and west, and Main oriented north and south. The commercial district is located around their intersection. The railroad the town was founded on is located two blocks, and parallel to, Market Street. The Eastside Historic District lies north of Market and east of Main. It is an assembly of platted additions demonstrating the outward growth from the town's original plat that lies to south and west. The ensuing additions take the names of local landowning entrepreneurs like Stauffer, Hartman, Coppes, and Prickett. Gravel streets were first installed in 1884, and brick over concrete in 1907. Madison Street's brick surface has been restored. The first concrete sidewalk was installed in 1885 at Samuel Coppes' house.
By 1905 Nappanee had, in only thirty years, grown into an impressive town. Anthony Dehl described it as a "clean town both morally, socially and religiously. A town with beautiful shaded streets and well kept lawns, with many handsome homes, and more miles of concrete sidewalk than any small town in the state — a town with all the modern benefits of banking, of railroad, telegraph, telephone, electric lights and water works, and clean water."
Three architects of note, Henry F. Fraizer, Clarence Elbert Fraizer, and E. Hill Turnock, designed houses in the district.
The district's earliest stylistic example is an Italianate home.
The homes of several of Nappanee's financial, commercial, and industrial leaders are located in the district. Coppes, Zook, and Mutschler operated the Nappanee's largest industry, manufacturing library tables, chamber suites, and kitchen furniture. The company employed 260 in 1905. Frank Coppes, the President, constructed a Queen Anne at 302 E. Market, Vice President John Coppes constructed the Queen Anne at 258 E. Market, Treasurer Albert Mutschler constructed a Colonial/Prairie at 258 E. Walnut and board member Harold Zook built the Prairie at 408 N. Madison. Frank Coppes also constructed the speculative houses in the 300 block of N. Hartman. Karl Freese Sr. of Freese & Sons Creamery, the state's first, resided at 401 N. Hartman.
The Coppes family was also involved in the community's financial interests. Samuel Coppes was a partner in the J. C. Mellinger & Co., but sold his interest to start the Farmers and Traders Bank with his son Fred. Fred, president of the bank, constructed the Japanese influenced bungalow at 356 E. Marion, and his brother Harvey, also a member of the bank, constructed a Arts & Crafts at 352 E. Market. Insurance salesman Tom Pricket constructed the Queen Anne at 402 N. Hartman.
Christopher Baas, Nappanee Eastside Historic District, Elkhart County, Indiana, 2003, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.