Aurora in Dearborn County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Thomas Gaff House
— A National Historic Landmark —
Hillforest is Italianate in style, characterized by ornately carved brackets supporting broad overhangs, corner quoins, slender columns, wide porches, and a circular belvedere. Architect Isaiah Rogers, father of the modern hotel, designed the unique house, considered to be the only remaining structure of its kind. The fourteen room, symmetrical interior reflects the grand life of upper class Victorian culture. High ceilings, elaborate wall treatments, and grand central hallways create an airy mood, dissimilar to many contemporary
The partially wooded ten acre site was at one time elaborately landscaped in a naturalistic style with carriage and foot paths, fruit trees, and terraced vegetable and flower gardens. A gazebo perched on the hillside above the house and a footbridge and small pond completed the rear landscaping. Rockeries to the front and side of the house were constructed from glacial rock. To the east of the house stood a carriage house and green house.
Since 1956 the Hillforest Historical Foundation has owned and cared for Hillforest and its continued restoration. Declared a National historic Landmark in 1992, Hillforest is a graceful reminder of Ohio Valley History and is the legacy of Aurora's rivertown heritage.
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Landmarks • Settlements & Settlers. In addition, it is included in the National Historic Landmarks series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1855.
Location. 39° 3.22′ N, 84° 54.071′ W. Marker is in Aurora, Indiana, in Dearborn County. Marker is on Fifth Street west of Main Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 213 Fifth Street, Aurora IN 47001, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within History of the Aurora Ferry Co., Inc. (approx. 0.2 miles away); Aurora (approx. 0.2 miles away); Steamboat Clinton (approx. ¼ mile away); Lewis Loder (1819-1905) / Petersburg Distillery (approx. 2.1 miles away in Kentucky); Tanner’s Station 1789 (approx. 2.1 miles away in Kentucky); Lochry's Defeat (approx. 2.2 miles away); A Historic Road Less Traveled (approx. 2.4 miles away); The Spirits of Lawrenceburg (approx. 3.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Aurora.
Also see . . . Hillforest Website::. A number of links - including a fine History and photos of Hillforest :: follow the links....! (Submitted on September 3, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana.)
Credits. This page was last revised on November 5, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 3, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. This page has been viewed 2,353 times since then and 58 times this year. It was the Marker of the Week October 25, 2009. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. submitted on September 3, 2009, by Al Wolf of Veedersburg, Indiana. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.