A Brief History of the Farm
Marian Hills Farm is an extraordinary, beautiful, and historic homestead situated on gently rolling hills in the southeast corner of Fort Wayne. It has been in the same family since 1835. The first owner was Nathan Coleman, a Welshman, who came her by way of Ohio in a one horse wagon. He was a judge, one of the first of three judges in the township. His immigrant trunk is in the original 'Old House', and one can still see 'Fortwein' written in chalk on the backside of it, as well as the inscription 'N100' scratched on the lid of the trunk. The home took five years to build, and all the bricks were made on the property, and the wood for the doors and windows came from the woods adjacent to the home. During the construction, the family lived in a log cabin located on the field next to the brick house. It overlooked the creek, and there was a small Indiana settlement on the property at that time, as well. The Indians stayed on the property until the home was completed in 1840. They lived harmoniously side by side during these years.
A couple of generations later, Henry Doctor built the barn, in 1881. All the wood for the barn came from the nearby woods. It is a large, bank style hay barn. All of the posts and beams are connected with pegs.
There is a pre civil war cemetery on the property, where Nathan Coleman and many of his descendants were buried. His son, a civil war soldier, is buried there. There is a story involving his son, and an incident at the 'Old House', where sixteen Union calvary soldiers surrounded the old house, looking to arrest him for desertion. He had been kicked by a horse and seriously hurt the day before he was to enlist, so the captain and his men came to pay him a visit. When the boy's mother explained, the captain went upstairs and made them unwrap his bandages, and quickly agreed he was too sick to serve, and left him there to recover, which he did. By the time he was ready to serve, the war was fairly over.
The 'new house' was built in 1914, and its located next door to the 'Old House'. Arthur and Ella Doctor lived here, and now their granddaughter, Katie, and her husband Jeff Holcombe live in it. Katie's parents, Maxine and Sam Gross, bought it from Ella Doctor in the eighties, and when Katie's mother passed on, her father sold it to them, and they now offer the barn for wedding and special events. They see themselves as the current caretakers of this beautiful property, and their goal is to preserve it for future generations to enjoy. Katie is the seventh generation owner of it. She named the farm 'Marian Hills Farm' after her mother's wishes. Katie's father restored the barn 25 years ago, installed the antique arched windows, and applied the limestone on the silo, giving it an Old World Look. Now it is perfect for brides wanting a fairytale like tower to toss their bouquet from.
The Couple has recently renovated the 'Old House' and are now offering it as bridal changing rooms.