A historic mansion is up for sale in Daviess County dating back to the early 1900s. Primarily it’s been used as a private residence, but on many occasions it was a meeting place for early advocates of I-69.
The house on Maple Street in Washington is known as either the Graham House or Mimi’s House. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places because of its Frank Lloyd Wright prairie style architecture.
Robert Graham had it built in 1912 for his family. One of his sons, David Graham later raised his family there too. When the kids moved out, David Graham and his wife began operating the home as a bed and breakfast.
One day, they had a guest who was an economist by the name of David Reed.
“This was actually purely serendipitous but it turns out that David was not only the proprietor of this beautiful bed and breakfast but he was an activist in the community,” Reed says. “He and his family for generations prior to him had been working very hard to try and ensure that Washington and the region around it had a vibrant economic base and was a thriving community.”
The two David’s discussed plans for a highway that would bring economic growth to the region.
“And he looked at the route and he looked at us and he said ‘Graham, there’s only one way you’re going to get this road built or even started and that is to get other states involved because without other states you won’t make any progress in Washington D.C.,'” Graham says.
David Graham invited a group to his house for breakfast to meet with the economist, David Reed.
“We all met in my kitchen and I gave them all omelets. None of them died so I guess they were alright,” Graham says.
So it was at Mimi’s House where the foundation for I-69 was laid, although it would still be decades before crews broke ground for the road just south of Washington in Evansville.