Grand View Cottage


Coming in March 2024

Open Hours

Monday – Closed

Tuesday – Closed

Wednesday – Closed

Thursday – 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Friday – 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Saturday – 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Sunday – 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM



Preserving Community History

For over a century, Grand View Cemetery has watched West Lafayette grow into a busy, hi-tech town. Originally fronted by a wrought-iron fence set with matching stone pillars, the cemetery on Salisbury Street is a familiar landmark to many in the community. The cottage, built alongside in 1903 to house Grand View’s grounds laborer (hence, “Caretaker’s Cottage”), is a window to the community’s past. Constructed of Bedford limestone and with unique terracotta roof tiles, the original design with the iconic double porches included no more than a 1-2 rooms and a root cellar. Generations of caretakers watched the nearby farms and barns come down one after another when West Lafayette began to rapidly develop after World War II. Where once there had been traction cars barreling along interurban tracks through nearby ravines, by the later twentieth century Grand View Cemetery was surrounded mostly by suburban families and by Happy Hollow Park.

This depiction of the back end of Happy Hollow from 1897 shows a ridge in the background where Grand View Cemetery approximately was. Originally posted by TCHA.

Grand View Cemetery changed ownership a few times over the years. Few records exist to tell us who exactly lived in Grand View Cottage over the years before it was eventually placed on the Wabash Valley Trust for Historic Preservation’s Endangered List in 2017. The cemetery’s owner at that time was interested in selling the cottage, and the West Lafayette Redevelopment Commission purchased the Cottage plot in April of that same year.

A local group called CHiPS (Community Historic Project Support) raised donations and support in the community, and worked with the Redevelopment Commission to plan renovation for Grand View Cottage. West Lafayette Public Library’s Local History and Archive Collections began to collaborate to develop the newly-renovated space into a local history center, and work was finished on this project in December of 2023.

The structure had been well-worn from decades of use, and the floor had completely collapsed in some places. The root cellar was filled-in, and the inside was redone with ash interiors and inset windows. With the renovation project complete at Grand View Cottage, West Lafayette Public Library will open a seasonal exhibition and community history space.


Sharing Local History with the Community

West Lafayette Public Library will be working with community partners to develop exhibits and displays for Grand View Cottage that highlight local history topics. The Cottage will be open seasonally from March to November, with a new rotation of exhibitions planned every year. Our helpful docents will be there to offer the community the opportunity to learn more about important community history subjects. The Cottage will have WIFI and access to Ancestry.com, so guests will be some ability to do genealogical research.


Upcoming Exhibits

A History of West Lafayette in Things

coming soon

Legacies of Housing Discrimination in West Lafayette Neighborhoods

coming soon

When Knighthood Was in Flower: Charles Major and Indiana’s Lost Publishing Industry

coming soon

Details

The Cottage Renovation Story

coming soon

Looking out the Window at the Purdue Tank Scrap

coming soon

765.743.2261