23 September 2013

Safe Haven-Haven Hubbard Home

Haven Hubbard Home, c. 1925

The origins of the Haven Hubbard Home date to the settlement of the Hubbard family on the Indiana Terre Coupe Prairie in 1836.  Jonathan and Hanna Hubbard moved from Oneida County, New York to Indiana, where they purchased 320 acres from Samuel and Elizabeth Garwood and created a small town that was called “Hubbard Town”.  The village was located on the Chicago Trail, also known as the Sauk Trail, an important stage coach route from Detroit to Chicago. Later the town was renamed Hamilton after an innkeeper of the community.

Haven, Jonathan's grandson, married late in life to Armina Hoffman.  Armina was a native of Germany who immigrated to the United States in 1892 and settled in Oak Park, Illinois.  In 1894 she was hired to care for Haven’s ailing mother, Marietta.  After Marietta’s death she remained employed by Haven as a housekeeper.  In 1909 Haven and Armina wed.  Haven, possibly due to the experience of his own mother’s need for care, had a desire to provide some means to minister to the needs of older people; however, his death in 1916 prevented his ability to realize that goal.  Armina followed Haven’s wish and in 1920 gave the 704 acre farm in trust to the Ebenezer Old People’s Home of the Evangelical Church for the establishment of the Haven Hubbard Memorial Old People’s Home.  Included in the trust were sufficient funds to construct the building which occurred in 1922.  Armina remained at the homestead until her death in 1946.

Hubbard Homestead
 
The Haven Hubbard Memorial Home (later known as Epp Hall) was constructed during 1922.  The architectural firm responsible for the design was Freyermuth and Maurer of South Bend and the general construction contract was given to Kuehn and Jordan, also of South Bend.  The cost for construction and furnishing the home was $160,000.[1]  Literature promoting the home stated that its good air, good water, shade, fruit and every convenience will make it an ideal place for tired old people and everything will be supplied that can minister to their comfort.  It further stated that the home will not be a poorhouse or infirmary, but a Christian home.[2]  This referred to the county home model that was in use throughout Indiana for those without means to support themselves.  The building did, however, follow the basic model of the county home.  Not only was it similar in its service as a respite for the aged, it also offered support to those who could not provide for themselves financially.  And like the county home model, residents of the home were responsible for tasks to support the general workings of the home including care of some aspects of the farm.  The building was also similar to the county home model with large residential wings, a central administration and superintendants core, dining hall and chapel, and rear area for employees’ quarters.  At the time of construction there were 35 guest rooms located on the first and second floors.  The home was dedicated on May 5, 1923.

After Armina’s death, the homestead house was remodeled in 1949 and an addition was created for use as a medical unit.  It also provided quarters for 14 staff.  It was dedicated as “Hubbard Hall”. In 1956 the addition was expanded to the south side of the house to provide for 28 additional resident rooms and examination and treatment spaces.  Though vacant now, the Haven Hubbard Home has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.



[1] Johnson, Rev. E Garfield “The Haven Hubbard Memorial Old People’s Home”, pg. 7
[2] Haven Hubbard Home Brochure, 1934

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