The Crawfordsville Review reported on September 26, 1896, “The [Study] proper has a basement under it in which is the furnace, engine, and water distributors.”
The basement housed several rooms, including a bathroom, a wine cellar, and a full kitchen, so the General could entertain visitors. Because no original blueprints for the building still exist, we’re uncertain where the kitchen and wine cellar were located. The bathroom is in a small room underneath the mechanical room of the Study building.
Wallace tinkered on his inventions on a trestle workbench. Some records indicate the workbench stood in the alcove room on the Study’s northwest side. This workbench still resides in the basement of the Study.
In 1873 Lew Wallace ordered a French Victoria Carriage. It cost $1,000 plus $200 for shipping. Wallace owned this carriage for over 30 years and probably did not retire it from service until he purchased his horseless carriage around 1900.
Today, staff use this area for storage. Although it is not open to regular tours, annual Behind-the-Scenes tours provide occasional access.
Here are more pictures taken inside Lew’s basement.