The House of a Preacher
Mount Hood is the name of the house owned by the evangelist Billy Sunday and his wife, Helen. They built it in 1911 in Winona Lake, Indiana. by patricia poore
The evangelist Billy Sunday built an unusual bungalow in Winona Lake, Indiana, in 1911. Its interior survives, an inspiration with original stencils. by Patricia Poore
town of winona, Indiana, got its start in 1881, when the Beyer brothers bought land around Eagle Lake (later Winona Lake) and its natural springs. They created a resort called Spring Fountain Park in 1887, which was also a Chautauqua site, later to be a Presbyterian Assembly. (The summer-camp movement that started in Chautauqua, New York, involved family retreats stressing health in exercise, entertainment, and matters of the spirit.) The Assembly’s board of directors would include H.J. Heinz, John Studebaker, and William Jennings Bryan.
Many cottages and year-round homes were built, and education flourished with the founding of the Agricultural Institute, the Technical Institute, and Winona College. Summer attendance in Winona reached 250,000 at its peak during the period 1905–14.
Since the 1920s, through economic ups and downs, the town earned renown as a Christian center. Grace College and Theological Seminary are here, along with headquarters of other church organizations; Winona Lake was called “the world’s largest Bible conference.”
Back in 1899, the evangelist Billy Sunday and his family visited Winona Lake, renting rooms in a boardinghouse. They enjoyed the new resort enough to buy their own summer cottage here. A decade later they moved the old cottage across the street and built an Arts & Crafts Bungalow on its original site. Mount Hood, as they named it, became their year-round home. Sunday and his wife, Helen, raised four children. Helen outlived everyone in her family, and in 1957 asked that the house remain untouched as a testament of her husband’s ministry. It survives today as a time capsule of Arts & Crafts decorating and early 20th-century life.
top The one-and-a-halfstorey bungalow has a porch and foundation of pressed concrete block that was made by a local company. right Under a reverse-cove ceiling, the painted stencil design on walls is clearly Art Nouveau. opposite A variant on those in...