The George Ade Home is on the National Register of Historic Homes
The home is available for rental for group events and functions
It is cared for by Newton County and managed by the George Ade Foundation.
3690 E State Road 16
George Ade was, at one time, one of the most famous writers in the country, and Newton County was and still is proud to call him one of their own. Born in neighboring Kentland, Indiana on February 9, 1866, he graduated from Purdue University in 1887. In the years after graduation, Ade became a journalist for several different newspapers.
He eventually built his fortune on a string of successful plays, books and newspaper publications in the early 1900’s. Ade had a sharp, satirical humor which was often focussed on the events of the day. He began his career as a newspaper writer but soon moved on to other endeavors. At one time Ade had three plays on Broadway simultaneously. His most successful and probably best known productions were The College Widow and The County Chairman. His writing is usually compared to Mark Twain’s because both authors possess elements of humor, rustic charm, and small town morals. Ade was referred to as “The Aesop of Indiana.”
In 1904, Ade built an English Tudor estate near the banks of the Iroquois River, called Hazelden after his maternal English grandparents. Here, Ade hosted parties for Presidents, celebrities, and ordinary citizens.
“I am a bachelor but I prefer to live in my own home. My enthusiasms include golf, travel, horse-racing, and the spoken drama. My antipathies are social show-offs, bigots on religion, fanatics on total abstinence, and all persons who take themselves seriously. I love to put on big parties or celebrations and see a throng of people having a good time.” — George Ade on George Ade
For more on our area’s rich history check out “The Newcomer” a newsletter published by the Newton County Historical Society. Become a friend of the Newton County Historical Society on Facebook and go to their website.
The Historic George Ade Home
The mansion completed by George Ade in 1904 is an Elizabethan manor house.
Ade purchased over 400 acres around the property East of Brook and thought the grove of oak trees near the Iroquois River was a “nice spot to put a little cottage.” The little cottage, which he envisioned as his escape from the busy Chicago writing scene at the turn of the 20th century, manifested itself into a grand estate. The property was a working farm with a cow barn and several smaller outbuildings along with a caretakers cottage. But the property also served as a recreations paradise with a softball diamond, swimming pool and elaborate gardens. Ade even created a garden in the shape of the state of Indiana itself.
The home was decorated with the remnants of Ade’s travels East and features rich dark woodwork and large windows.
The author enjoyed entertaining and hosted many parties for area residents. Conventions for his fraternity Sigma Chi and political receptions were also held at the estate. President William Howard Taft announced his campaign for the White House at rally at Hazelden in 1924. The playwright found any event, from the most mundane local signage change to the more grand national announcement, as a reason to organize a celebration.
Source: Jehs, Randall. Hazelden Farm: The Preservation of George Ade’s Home.1973.Indiana Magazine of History, Volume 69, Issue 2, pp 140-154