Aurora is a historic river town that is situated 35 miles west of Cincinnati, Ohio, located in the Southeast corner of Indiana. Aurora was settled in the early 1800's and incorporated in 1845 and has strong historic connections to the Ohio River. Aurora is full of unique and historic buildings that preserve its older rivercity characteristics.


Veraestau House with horse carriage in the foreground.

4696 Veraestau Lane, Aurora, IN 47001
Jarrad Holbrook, Director, Southeast Field Office

Set high above the Ohio River in Aurora, Indiana, this landmark home captures a long sweep of Indiana’s architectural history and exemplifies the historic preservation practiced by generations of two families — the Holman/Hamilton clan and the O’Brien/Gibson family. Holman’s son-in-law Allen Hamilton bought Veraestau and added to it in 1838. His daughter Margaret Vance Hamilton enlarged it again in 1913. After nearly 125 years of ownership, the Holman/Hamilton family sold the estate to industrialist and early preservationist Cornelius O’Brien in 1933 as a country retreat. The O’Briens added their own stamp, expanding the home in 1936 and planting thousands of trees. His daughter Mary O’Brien Gibson nominated Veraestau to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. In 2004, Indiana Landmarks received the 116-acre property as a gift from the Cornelius and Anna Cook O’Brien Foundation.

Today, Veraestau serves as Indiana Landmarks’ Southeast Field Office. Perched on a bluff above a horseshoe bend in the Ohio River, it makes a beautiful setting for weddings, parties and other happy occasions — an outcome the O’Briens would love.