Month: August 2013

Vintage Vittles: George Pogue’s Corn Dodgers

To me, a library is the closest thing to heaven on Earth. I spent so many lazy summer afternoons and winter weekends holed up in a chair in libraries all over the city. And the Central Library is a jewel in Indianapolis’ Downtown crown, one of my absolute favorite spots. But it’s a bit tough to navigate without the help of the lovely librarians who, during my most recent visit, guided me through the stacks and right to the recipes section. That’s where I picked up Sesqui-Samplings: 150 Years of Cooking in Indianapolis. Sesqui Samplings was released in 1971, in...

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Friday Favorite: Millersville Masons

Millersville Lodge No. 126, F. & A. M. Some one has blended the plaster, And some one has carried the stone; Neither the man nor the Master, Ever has builded alone. The verse above by an unknown poet sums it up nicely; The brotherhood of the Millersville Masonic Lodge have worked together to make the social welfare of that community their labor of brotherly love since 1852. Indeed, it is in large part due to the record keeping efforts of Lodge members that today we can enjoy a rich and vibrant retelling of the Millersville story. See: Millersville Memories. The village of Millersville located...

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Heslar Naval Armory

Heslar Naval Armory – Photo by Ryan Hamlett Who knew such a beautiful and strangely located building on Indianapolis’ near northwest side could have played a pivotal role in defeating Hitler’s goosesteping hate-mongers? What was initially named the Indianapolis Naval Armory, the gleaming white Art Moderne edifice that sits on the eastern bank of the White River at west 30th Street was constructed from 1936-38 as a part of Franklin Roosevelt’s Works Projects Administration plan to get a struggling country back to work. Prior to the construction of the Armory, Indiana Naval Reservists, in need of a place to...

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HI Mailbag: Building at E. 16th Street and Columbia Avenue

Reader’s Question: I’m interested in knowing about some of the uses, businesses, or people connected with 1236 E. 16th Street over the years.  Any idea when it was built?  ~ Larry Gregerson, Indianapolis HI’s Answer: The earliest record I was able to locate for this property was in the 1901 Indianapolis City Directory, published by R. L. Polk & Co.  Both the commercial space on the main level of the building and the living space above it appear to have had the same address, which at that time was 1602 N. Columbia Avenue.  The original use of the space on the first floor was as...

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What’s In a Name: Spann Avenue

Spann Avenue John S. Spann, real estate developer Spann was the owner of John S. Spann & Company, a real estate, loan, and fire insurance business established in 1859. Spann was born in Jefferson County, Indiana May 24, 1823, to John Leighton and Sara Spann.   His father John L. Spann was a farmer and politician, born in South Carolina in 1791.  John Leighton’s grandfather moved to South Carolina from England around 1750. John Leighton was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives in 1826 and was reelected in 1827.  He was involved in the organization and training of the...

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Sunday Adverts: W.F. Rupp & Co. Merchant Tailors

William F. Rupp was born in 1829, and entered the tailoring business in 1861.  In 1872, Gustav Rosberg, who arrived in the United States from Sweden just a few years earlier in 1869, began his partnership with Rupp.  Rupp and Rosberg maintained their storefront on Washington Street until they moved to 25 North Pennsylvania Street in 1890.  Rupp retired from the tailoring business a year later, and passed away in 1897.  Rupp is buried at Crown Hill Cemetery. Rosberg continued in the tailoring business, opening Gust Rosberg and Son Tailors, open in 1924 based on an advertisement in the...

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Indianapolis Collected: Local bedmaker T.B.Laycock dreamed of a better workplace

Money was tight on a preacher’s salary, but that didn’t deter my great-grandparents from buying a brand new Mission-style bed when they first set up housekeeping in the early 1900s. Over the next half century, their tall oak bed stood witness to the full circle of family life, as children were conceived, babies were born, and last breaths were drawn. But after my great grandmother died in the late 1950s, my great aunt decided that it was finally time to toss the woefully out-of-style bed in the trash. “Don’t do it,” my grandmother told her. “Believe it or not, someday someone will actually like...

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Flashback Fridays: P.E. MacAllister

Indianapolis history is not just made up of buildings, historic homes, and age-old events. After all, it IS people who make history happen, so what better way to know Indianapolis history than to hear from life-long Indy residents? HI is featuring some of Indianapolis’ oldest residents to unlock the personal memories and nearly forgotten stories of this great city. I never thought I’d be meeting a 94-year-old man in his work office during a scheduled time slot. But P.E. MacAllister is not just any 94-year-old man. P.E.  is a true Renaissance man, and his involvement in all-things Indianapolis is almost exhausting....

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Friday Favorite: Millersville Memories

Mills, Mayhem and Masons… Oh My! The village of Millersville is located on the border of Washington and Lawrence townships in northeastern Marion County. It is roughly defined by Kessler Boulevard, 56th Street, Emerson Way, Fall Creek Road, Fall Creek Parkway and Fall Creek, itself. The locality was never formally incorporated or platted. The gentleman widely considered to be the town’s “founding father,” Peter Negley (1777 – 1847) moved his family from Pennsylvania to Washington Township in 1824. Negley acquired property through a government land grant for $300 in a locality that was colloquially called Brubaker’s Mill. Most sources cite the official founding of Millersville to 1838...

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HI Booster Club

HI runs on passion for Indy, but your subscriptions and donations are what fuel our website hosting, graphic design, event costs, and tons of research hours and we need and value your support. Please consider becoming a member of the HI Booster Club! HI kindly requests that you support the articles found herewith, by subscribing on a monthly basis. At the bottom of each article, you will find a paypal button. Select one of our suggested amounts or make up your own. Monthly Subscribers, in addition to the pride of contributing to HI also receive HI swag, and at the...

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WTH: Hello, Dolly.

This poor baby is so altered and top heavy and  that Dolly Parton immediately came to mind…a pre-rhinestone version, of the bubbly crooner, of course. We love Dolly too, but it’s not often a piece of architecture evokes her image. Simply enclosing the second floor porch and adding on the extra side-wing dramatically changes the look of this old gal. Sometimes, less is...

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HI Mailbag: Broad Ripple Cemetery

Reader’s Question: Can you confirm or debunk that there used to be a cemetery in Broad Ripple where the firehouse now is, on the northwest corner of Westfield and Guilford? I used to have a business in Broad Ripple and lived on Union Chapel Road, and it wasn’t lost on me during my walks in the cemetery that Mustard, Coil, and other Broad Ripple names appear on headstones there.  I had once heard or read that the bodies buried at the cemetery in Broad Ripple were disinterred and moved to the Union Chapel Cemetery, but I haven’t been able to...

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What’s In a Name: Schofield Avenue

Schofield Ave. Jonathan Schofield, early settler Jonathan Schofield was born around 1777 in Bucks County, Pennsylvania and was married to Eleanor Brown (1784-1858) in 1806.  The couple had at least ten children – Samuel, Sarah, William, Phebe, Mary, David, Margaret, Maria, Susanna and Joseph, many of whom went on to live in the area.  The family lived for some time in Virginia, but eventually settled in Marion County a few miles north of the city in the area around present day Schofield Avenue. The land around the area would later be developed as “Schofield Harrison & Co.” addition. Jonathan...

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Sunday Adverts: Leon Tailoring

In 1905, Leo Ettinger immigrated from Austria to Indiana and opened Leon Tailoring.  This ad, from 1944, features suits and frocks for the dapper men and women of Indianapolis.  Leon Tailoring Company still exists today, and is still hailed as a place Don Draper from Mad Men might go to get a suit.  Interesting factoid – in the 1970’s/1980’s, Leon Tailoring advertised by making suits for local wrestlers to wear, perhaps as a way to showcase their ability to make suits in any...

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Sunday Prayers: Being an Urban Pioneer, Being the Change

Future home buyer Aaron visits a North Square property in need of rehabilitation. Aaron, who is interested in purchasing and reviving a vacant home, has turned to Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership (INHP) for aid in the home buying process. (photo by Dawn Olsen) I was blind at first. Blind and choked by mold. It coated the walls—as black, as slick as oil—and it left me with heavy, heaving lungs. I couldn’t be inside; couldn’t breathe, couldn’t walk, couldn’t see the potential in the decaying house. So as I crouched on the sidewalk, coughing and spitting, I couldn’t understand why...

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Vintage Vittles: Dreaming of Sugar Cream Pie

I remember paging through my mom’s recipe box as a young girl. I pulled them out, one by one, and she identified their origins by the handwriting. There was instructions for my father’s fudge – famous at Christmas – and my grandpa’s Texas sheet cake recipe. There were hundreds of recipes in that box, some of which I got to know very well during my preteen and teenage years, during which I developed a bit of a baking compulsion. And, of course, there were the recipes I knew and loved that weren’t in the box, too. The recipe to my mamaw’s...

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Friday Favorite: What’s In Store?

What’s in Store for the Historic General Store at Millersville? While chatting with a friend on a Facebook page devoted to local history buffs just a few weeks ago, I was introduced to a photo of the Steinmeier General Store (above). During the course of the conversation, it was revealed that the structure still exists. For days, I felt a nagging urge to try to locate the building — so on a sunny August evening, Starbucks in hand, I set off for adventure! (Well… for what amounts to “adventure” in my life.) Though I had a reliable phone GPS and an aerial Google shot of the...

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Then and Now: 30th and Illinois – The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis

Locating historic photographs of certain intersections in Indianapolis is nearly impossible. They are either off the beaten path, building owners had not hired professional photographers, or existing collections have not yet been located. And sadly many photograph collections have been ~shudder~ discarded. So as a photo historian I’m thrilled when new collections become available to the public. I imagine that the photographer who documented power lines for Indianapolis Power and Light in the 1920s and ‘30s would be amused to find his utilitarian images enjoyed for historic purposes ninety years later. These two historic photographs come from the collection...

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WTH: Third Kind’s the Charm?

Presumably, this historic home started with horizontal wood siding as seen on the top half here. With the enclosure of the front porch, it looks like vertical bead board was added to the top half of the bottom half, leaving the bottom half of the bottom half to be filled in with some sort of blocks or bricks. Committing to one would help immeasurably. Which would you...

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Oliver Johnson’s Woods

Oliver Johnson’s Farmhouse (photo by Ryan Hamlett) While doing research for last week’s article about the remnants of the Bacon Cemetery at Kessler and Keystone, I was scanning through Google Maps to get a bird’s eye view of the intersection. A search for “Kessler” inadvertently highlighted the boundaries of the Meridian-Kessler neighborhood on the satellite image, but also a small bit of land, a few square blocks in size, smack dab in the middle of the notable Meridian-Kessler. And so, because it also has a modest topical tie-in to the Indiana State Fair going on right now, today, a...

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