Old Protestant Home

The “Home for the Friendless” as it was first called, was founded in 1867 to provide shelter for destitute women and children. A group of twelve women - including pioneer teacher Harriet Bishop - from various local churches, formed a sewing group to raise money to provide services. Starting in 1869, a home for them was located in a converted large house on nearby Payne Avenue.

The next location at 753 East Seventh was originally the site of the Mayall family’s stone mansion, which had been built in 1881. When the original owners left in 1903 it was used as the Nugent Institute, a drug and alcohol program, the City Cycling Club headquarters and the Parental School and Detention Home, which the neighborhood children called the "Bad Boys Home."

Around 1913 Ada L. Mayall offered the group the family homestead. When the organization purchased the site, they decided to replace the original structure. Architectural plans called for for a Tudor style building with six double and thirty-nine single rooms. On January 3, 1917 the new "Home for the Friendless" as it was still known, opened its doors. Initially people could buy a life membership for $1,000. The building still stands in the middle section of today’s structure. Mercifully, in 1935, the name was changed to “The Protestant Home” and the term “inmate” was replaced by "resident."

Over the years, several additions were made to the original building and different organizational structures emerged, but it always remained a residence. The mission slowly changed and the focus became providing eldercare. Until recently it was part of the Wilder organization and then the Cerenity Senior Care system, which vacated the premises in 2011. The current plan is for another group to take ownership and develop the building into an assisted living facility.