Home of Indiana's Largest Festival

The Parke County Covered Bridge Festivalâ„¢ on October 11th-20th, 2019

Lusk Home

Lusk Home

The Lusk Home and Mill Site was the first European-American development in present Turkey Run State Park, Indiana’s second oldest state park.

Vermonter Salmon Lusk was awarded this land for serving in the Battle of Tippecanoe under William Henry Harrison. The Lusk's were largely self-sufficient. Captain Lusk built a log cabin in 1822 and lived there with his spouse and eight children until 1841. Then he and his sons made bricks, carved walnut woodwork, and built the brick house. He dug a coal mine to heat his house. Lusk built a gristmill in 1826 with a foundation of stone-cut stone. A horizontal waterwheel was powered by water diverted by a dam down a race. A settlement grew around Lusk's house and mill, until a Sugar Creek flood on New Year's Day, 1847, washed away every building except Lusk's brick house. Salmon Lusk's wife lived there until 1880, when John Lusk inherited the property. He was inactive managing the site except for preventing woodcutting.

After John Lusk died in 1915, the property was put up for sale. A logging company, Hoosier Veneer, paid US$30,000.00 for the site. Richard Lieber and the State Parks Commission raised $40,000.00 to buy the land from the lumber company after last minute support from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on November 11, 1916. The Lusk parcel was the first land obtained for Turkey Run State Park.

The Lusk Home is open for tours during the summer. There is a fee for parking vehicles within the state park, but visitors may avoid the fee by parking on a nearby public road, and walking to the Lusk Home. The coal mine is a bat habitat today. This is farther inside the park, so visitors must negotiate Turkey Run's rugged hiking trails to gain access to avoid fees.