The Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site in New Albany, Indiana, is a grand and awe-inspiring destination to visit. This 19th-century Italianate-style estate was home to William S. Culbertson, the prosperous owner of a local business, his wife Eliza, and their six surviving children ranging from nine to twenty-one years of age. Situated on a sprawling seven-acre estate, this beautifully manicured property stands as a testament to the couple’s opulent lifestyle of the era. The Culbertsons were a prominent family in the city of New Albany and were known for their board hospitality. Having a large family and many friends as well, it was a regular occurrence for the mansion to be filled with visitors. It is said that renowned figures such as United States presidents Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson, frontiersman George Rogers Clark, and literary figure Victor Hugo were all guests of the family at one point or another. Find further facts here.
Today, the Culbertson Mansion stands as a state historical site managed by the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites. As such, the interior and exterior of the mansion are beautifully preserved and filled with period furniture, wallpapers, and décor to reflect the family’s lavish taste. When visitors step onto the grand entrance of the estate, they are able to marvel at the architectural details of the building, including the sheer size and abundance of large windows, reflective of the popularity of the Italianate style in the 19th century. To the left of the main entrance stands the impressive ballroom and parlor, an area that was typically used to entertain guests. Further down the hall is the library, a cozy space featuring dark walnut-paneled walls, a wealth of books and knick-knacks, and grand marble mantles above the two fireplaces. This room was a favorite among William Culbertson and his sons, as it allowed them to enjoy a peaceful afternoon spent reading near a warm and inviting fireplace. Learn more about A Rare Glimpse of History: Exploring the Vintage Fire Museum in New Albany, Indiana.