Paul Dresser Birthplace

1st and farrington sts., Terre Haute, Indiana USA

Remove Ads

The Paul Dresser Birthplace is located in Fairbanks Park in Terre Haute, Vigo County, Indiana, at the corner of First and Farrington Streets. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is the birthplace and boyhood home of Paul Dresser, a late-nineteenth-century singer, actor, and songwriter, who wrote and published more than 100 popular songs. On March 14, 1913, the Indiana General Assembly named Dresser's hit, "On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away", the state song of Indiana. Built in 1850, the home was owned by Dresser's parents, Johann Paul and Sarah (Schanab) Dreiser. Their son, Johann Paul Dreiser Jr., who later changed his name to Paul Dresser, was born in the house on April 22, 1858. Dresser's father built the porch for the brick house, which originally consisted of one bedroom, a lean-to kitchen, and a parlor. In 1863 Dresser's father sold the home and moved the family to Sullivan, Indiana. By 1871 they had returned to Terre Haute, but Dresser did not stay in town for long. Dresser left home at the age of sixteen and became "one of the most important composers of the 1890s". Dresser toured the country as a vaudeville entertainer, then moved to New York City, where he was also involved in music publishing. Dresser returned to Terre Haute only for brief visits and public performances. Originally, the house was located at 318 South Second Street in Terre Haute. During the 1960s, when urban renewal threatened its demolition, the Vigo County Historical Society raised funds purchase the building, saving it from destruction, and relocated it to the southeast corner of Fairbanks Park. Altered over the years, the building consists of two floors. The first floor has a bedroom, a kitchen, and a parlor. The second floor has two bedrooms that are accessible by an outside staircase. The Vigo County Historical Society operates the home as a museum, open by appointment. Artifacts pertaining to Dresser include a Chickering piano that he used to write songs and a portrait of Dresser painted during the height of his career. Unlike other house museums, Dresser's birthplace reflects the furnishings of a working-class family, not the well-to-do. In 1967 the Indiana General Assembly designated the home as a state shrine and memorial. That same year the National Music Council listed it as "A Landmark of American Music". The property was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. Terre Haute's Fairbanks Park also includes a local Girl Scout office and a Terre Haute parks department office. In 1923 the Banks-of-the-Wabash Association officially named Paul Dresser Drive, the park's main road, in the songwriter's honor.

Read More >
Add Review
Thanks!
Your Rating
1
2
3
4
5

Reviewed by
williammacadams

  • 1 Review
  • 0 Helpful
June 09, 2018

No mention that Paul Dresser was novelist Theodore Dreiser's brother?!

Was this helpful?

Be the first to add a review to the Paul Dresser Birthplace.

Paul Dresser Birthplace

1st and farrington sts.
Terre Haute, Indiana
USA

Hours not available

Is there a problem with this listing? Let us know.

Own or Manage This Location?

Claim this listing to keep your
information up to date.

Claim Listing
Remove Ads

Nearby Hotels

Sponsored
Terre Haute, Indiana
Sponsored
Terre Haute, Indiana
FastBook
$$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Terre Haute, Indiana
FastBook
$$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Terre Haute, Indiana
FastBook
$$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Terre Haute, Indiana
FastBook
$

Click to find a
great deal for this hotel

Remove Ads
17741139