Obscured by trees and wild vegetation, and with no plumbing or electricity, a small house with traditional wood siding at 1025 Jonesville Road had long been abandoned when Todd Riordan bought the two-acre property in 2010.

The structure is so insignificant that Bartholomew County property records describe the address only as a vacant lot.

Riordan, who is senior pastor at Faith Lutheran Church on State Road 46 West, said he was concerned for years that someone would attempt to use the building for illicit purposes, he said.

The minister and businessman said his intent in purchasing the property had always been to clear the overgrown foliage to store boats and recreational vehicles for his Happy Happy Self-Storage company, located further south on Jonesville Road near the Bethel Village subdivision.

But after the small building’s roof caved in about a year ago, Riordan decided the old house had to go. He agreed to allow the Mill Race Theatre Co. to remove the deteriorated siding to use in sets for last summer’s production of “Oliver!”

It was only then, six years after Riordan purchased the property, that his discovery was made.

Once the old siding was removed, Riordan found that it had been masking a 20- by 26-foot log cabin for more than a hundred years.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Republic.

Author photo
Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.