Grace College to move the historic Billy Sunday home

(Photo Supplied / The Winona History Center)

The historic home of the once famous evangelist Billy Sunday and his family, “Mount Hood,” will be moved and partially restored this summer.  The home, which is owned and operated by Grace College, has been located above Park Ave. on Sunday Lane since 1911.

While the interior was restored about 20 years ago, the exterior has been deteriorating in its present location.  A new, dry foundation is needed for the long-term preservation of the home.  Grace College plans to relocate the home to a prominent location on campus between Mount Memorial and the Free Methodist Church on College Ave.

“We are hopeful that the upcoming move will increase visibility of the historic Billy Sunday home and renew interest in this significant local landmark,” said Dr. Bill Katip, President of Grace College & Seminary. “It is exciting to think about the effect this move will have on the long-term preservation of the home,” he continued.

Mount Hood’s foundation has been compromised by water for decades.  Although dehumidifiers run continuously, the basement is wet much of the year.  Some of the exposed wood – a feature of the home’s character as an Arts and Crafts Bungalow – has become severely rotted as well. The preservation plan includes landscaped surroundings and necessary repair of the exterior.

(Photo Supplied / The Winona History Center)

As part of the recently announced sale of Grace College property between Ninth and 12th Streets along Park Ave., Silveus Insurance Group will use the current Mount Hood land in its plan for a new corporate headquarters.

“While we acknowledge the historical significance of the home’s original location, we are confident that our partnership with Silveus maintains important heritage while helping facilitate a successful future for the Winona Lake,” said Dr. Katip.

Grace College is committed to handling the Billy Sunday home and its original contents responsibly and is in conversation with local preservation experts toward this end. About 700 people visit the Sunday home annually and are hosted by docents from the Winona History Center located in Westminster Hall.