About ESR

What's in a Name?

ESR hosted our first guests in the newly renovated Lauramoore Guest House and Retreat Center in February 2011. The home was gifted to ESR in November 2010 by the Lauramoore Friends Home Board of Directors.

Are you interested in supporting Historic Preservation, retreat and guest Space, or furthering the mission of Earlham School of Religion? The gift of property is a tremendous blessing, but in order to make the building suitable for our needs, we have implemented a number of renovations, including air conditioning throughout the house, roof replacement, conversion of half baths to full baths, new carpet and furniture replacement. We invite supporters of Earlham School of Religion, The Lauramoore Friends Home, and Historic Preservation in Richmond, to consider making a gift toward these efforts.

We are delighted to offer donors of $5,000 or more the opportunity to name a room in honor or memory of a loved one or someone special.  A plaque will be placed on the room's door with wording of the donor's choice.

Six of 10 bedrooms have already been named for the following special people: Sue Axtell, Thomas and Mary Thistlewaite Birdsall, Ann Woolley Kendall, Bea Kendall, Dwight and Zora Kendall and Carl and Eunice Darnell, and Jay Marshall.

About the building’s past: Lauramoore has been in Quaker hands since it was built in 1860 for Mary Thistlewaite Birdsall, a Quaker suffragist and advocate for women’s rights. The property is listed on the National register of Historic Places as the Mary Birdsall House. Laura Moore and her husband Charles purchased the home from the Birdsalls in 1899. In 1927,the house was acquired by Whitewater Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends, to be used as a retirement home for the elderly and as a temporary location for worship.  After more than 70 years of use for this purpose, Lauramoore was given to ESR. For more information on the history of the building, or on its status on the Registry of Historic Places, look here.

About the building’s future: Earlham School of Religion will use the space for short-term student housing, guest lodging, and as dedicated space for retreat programming. For more information on renting a room or the whole facility, look here.

For a tour of the building, or to make a gift at any level, please contact:

Jay Marshall
Earlham School of Religion
228 College Avenue
Richmond, IN  47374



Each named room will be marked by a plaque with wording similar to:

“Given in Honor of Georgia Smith by her children, Mary and Sue”


“Given in Memory of Tom Edwards by Jim and Mary Smith.”