Marion, IN, once known as Queen City of the Gas Belt, still has several crowning jewels. The Swayzee-Love Mansion is one of them. The house
is an incredible structure and an example of Greek Revival Architecture in Marion. Several of Marion's famous have owned this home, and it has undergone a few changes with each transfer in ownership. Aaron Swayzee constructed the home in the 1850s. It was put on the National Register of Historic Places and on the Indiana State Preservation list by the Love family. You too, could be the lucky resident of one of these properties, as many are presently on the market!
It was a pleasure to meet the Sherbondis, present owners of the Swayzee-Love Mansion and especially to speak with Mrs. Sherbondy about the history of the house.
Loretta: When did you purchase the house?
Mrs. Sherbondy: 1997
Loretta: What is attracts you most to the house?
Mrs. Sherbondy: The history and the architecture
Loretta: How much time do you spend on general weekly maintenance in this house?
Mrs. Sherbondy: Yard work is about four hours a week. Plus, a few hours of normal house work. The challenges of maintaining are not that different from any other home. Being continuous in maintenance is the key.
Loretta: What are your feelings about the neighborhood?
Mrs. Sherbondy: It has gone down some. Families have moved out, and it is mostly rentals now.
Loretta: What do you see for this area in the future?
Mrs. Sherbondy: I think it is dependent on the city plans.
Loretta: What is the future of this house?
Mrs. Sherbondy: We want someone that appreciates the architecture and history to purchase it. We do not want to see it broken up into pieces, but we have little to do with the selling of the home. Allen Johnson from Tucker Realty is our realtor.
Loretta: Do you welcome the opportunity to give tours of the home?
Mrs. Sherbondy: Insurance is different for homeowners and giving tours. We do not want to go in the business of giving tours. We do not give regular tours of the home, but we have given a few tours over the years. We had an Antique Study Group meet here, and I did a walk through with them. Most recently, Main Street Marion meet here, and we were pleased to walk through the house with them after the meeting.
Loretta: Let's talk about the history. Walk us through from the first owner to you.
Mrs. Sherbondy: The Swayzee's owned the home first in 1855. They lived there. Their daughter inherited it after her parents passed. Her Husband was a Senator George Steele. He brought the U.S. Veterans Affairs to Marion, IN and co-founded the First National Bank. He lived in Washington D.C., but kept permanent residence here at the Swayzee house.
In 1902, the house was sold by Steele's. Mr. Horace M. Miller, Boston Store mastermind, purchased the home next. He went to Europe and purchased the stained glass windows, leather wallpaper, and numerous renovations. Mr. Miller is responsible for most of the beautiful design you see inside the home.
In 1920, Mr. Miller sold the home to Mr. Erlewine. Henry L. and Anna Louise Erlewine closed off the gazebo structure on the roof. Prior to that, they did have parties up there. The Erlewines lived there until 1960, but the caregiver remained in the house until Mr. Love bought it in 1965.
Edwin and Barbara Love worked hard to refurbish the home. Mrs. Love did the research on the property and placed it on the National Historic and State Register's.
Then, my husband and I purchased from her in 1997.
Loretta: How much property was there in the beginning?
Mrs. Sherbondy: Mr. Swayzee started with close to forty acres with the house standing in center. Then, he had over 100 acres when he died. There are now four different additions that are considered the Swayzee additions.
Loretta: Were you aware of the house's rich history before purchasing the home?
Mrs. Sherbondy: Some, but most of my research was done after purchasing the home.
Loretta: Why are you selling?
Mrs. Sherbondy: We are selling because my husband is not well. They prefer to stay in the country area.
For more information, on the Swayzee-Love Mansion visit - http://www.mainstreetmarion.com/index.php/properties/
You can also learn more about the history of the house by visiting -