Month: December 2013

Return to the Mysterious Tombstones at Kessler and Keystone

This past August, we ran a feature on the tiny cemetery at the southeast corner of Kessler Boulevard and Keystone Avenue. Its purpose and origins had been something that had intrigued me for ages, though I never acted upon the impulse to pop out of the car and take a peek until this year. Judging by the response, I wasn’t the only one curious about how such a tiny but well groomed grave ended up next to such a highly trafficked intersection. However, as is sometimes the case when one goes trudging through the history of other peoples families, there...

Read More

HI Mailbag: Origin of the Name of Kessler Boulevard

Reader’s Question: My husband (an Austrian citizen) was asking about the origin of the name of Kessler Boulevard.  I could not tell him, but I said it was surely named after some prominent man in Indianapolis history, since it probably would not have occurred to city fathers to honor a woman with a street name at the time Kessler Boulevard was named.  Are there any streets in Indianapolis named after women, which were named before the second women’s movement in the late ’60s and early ’70s? ~ Alison B., Indianapolis   HI’s Answer: Kessler Boulevard was indeed named for a prominent...

Read More

What’s in a Name: The Blacherne

The Blacherne Location: Downtown Named after:  Suburb of Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey) The Blacherne was the first luxury high-rise apartment building in Indianapolis.  It was developed by General Lew Wallace, the famous Indiana military leader and author of Ben Hur. From 1881 to 1885, under Presidents James A. Garfield and Chester A. Arthur, Wallace served as the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire (now Turkey) where he lived in Istanbul. He named the building after Blachernae, a suburb of Istanbul, Turkey, that is home to the Church of St. Mary of Blachernae. Photos courtesy of Ryan...

Read More

Sunday Adverts: P.R. Mallory & Co.

In 1916, Philip Rogers Mallory founded the P.R. Mallory & Co. in Port Chester, New York.  Mallory moved the company’s headquarters to Indianapolis in 1924, where it remained until 1978.  In 1960, Philip passed control of the company to his son, George Barron Mallory.  In 1964, P.R. Mallory & Co. registered the Duracell trademark. In 1975, Philip Rogers Mallory passed away at the age of 90.  In 1978, Dart Industries purchased the Duracell division of P.R. Mallory & Co. In 1985, the fragmented metal alloys division was collected by Brian Nathan, a former P.R. Mallory & Co. employee, and...

Read More

Indianapolis Collected: New Year’s Eve at the Boom Boom Room

December 31, 1963 was no ordinary weeknight in Indianapolis.   The violent assassination of President John F. Kennedy six weeks earlier had cast a pall over the Christmas season and left many local residents with visions of the Zapruder film stuck in their heads.  Even on a Tuesday night, New Year’s Eve was a welcome diversion – a chance to put a lid on 1963 and toast a fresh start in 1964. Anyone looking for a good time in Indianapolis on New Year’s Eve 1963 had a wide of range of entertainment options.  Billy Day and the Pace Setters were...

Read More

Saturday In the Park: Broad Ripple Park

There’s something magical about walking through freshly fallen snow. The crunch of each step breaks the winter silence as the snow gives way beneath your boot. Sunbeams reflecting off the white powder bask the chilly landscape in a fresh brightness absent from even the sunniest of spring days. The air feels crisp and clean. Perhaps you were one of the few brave souls who ventured out for a walk in the snow last week at Broad Ripple Park. Located at 1550 Broad Ripple Avenue, this 61-acre park teems with visitors during the warmer months. Joggers make their way around...

Read More

Friday Favorite: Good for What Ales You

As you toast the new year with your jug, mug, glass, or stein, it is perhaps a good moment to consider Indy’s tempestuous temperance history: While, no doubt, early area residents soothed their thirst with a variety of alcoholic concoctions, (probably brought overland or in flatboats, or brewed in private stills) as early as 1790 the Northwest Territory prohibited selling any of that liquor to soldiers or Native Americans. That law was repealed in 1795, but modified regulations have continued to restrict… or down-right prohibit… the distribution or sale of liquor in this region ever since. Ten years after the first decree, the territorial legislature enacted a...

Read More

Indianapolis Then and Now: A Hodgepodge of Indianapolis Christmas Scenes

Being the holidays, this column breaks from the usual then and now format to share views of Indianapolis at Christmas through the years. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a year full of bliss and historic moments! Amateur photographer Walter Carpenter documented his family’s mantle and Christmas stockings in 1905 at their home at 926 West Drive in Woodruff Place. Heber Taylor plays with his new train beneath the Christmas tree in his home in the Herron-Morton Neighborhood at 1941 N. Pennsylvania Street. Photograph by his mother, Mary Lyon Taylor, circa 1908. The Edison Building, home of the...

Read More

Penny Post: A Merry Weihnachten to You!

Postmarked: 1 Indianapolis, IND. Dec 20, 1922 9:30 PM Message: Written in German Addressed to: M E Ehrensperger 1723 Broadway City A penny for your thoughts … As an elementary teacher, I can decipher just about all manner of scribbles into the heroic tale it was intended to be. (penqen lovet to qo in the wodr he but sum time leprdsele wos in the wodre the penqen wat into the wodre they becum frensa = Penguin loved to go in the water. But sometimes leopard seal was in the water. The penguin went into the water. They became friends.)...

Read More

What’s in a Name: Charlotte Place

We are delighted to have a first person account and guest contribution from former neighbor and artist, Dick Lutin, relaying the details of how Charlotte Place in Herron-Morton Place got its name. Editor’s note: When The State Fairgrounds were in this neighborhood, this section was named Winter Street, until Morton Place was platted, the name was changed to Boston Street from 1892, changed to 21st Street Annex around 1930. I moved to Indy in 1990 and in 1992 I bought the building at 110 East 21st Street for $13,000.00 from the Joy of All Who Sorrow church.  They were formerly...

Read More

Sunday Adverts: The Indianapolis Recorder

Many of the businesses featured in this column met unfortunate ends, whether it be from the death of the founder, or economic circumstances.  The Indianapolis Recorder is not one of those – founded in 1895, the Indianapolis Recorder still prints today, and has many plans for the future.  It is hailed as one of the top African-American publications in the nation. In 1895, George P. Stewart and Will Porter began publishing what would become the Indianapolis Recorder as a two-page church bulletin.  Stewart and Porter expanded their bulletin to a weekly newspaper two years later, and the earliest surviving...

Read More

Vintage Vittles: Ayres’ Pumpkin Fingers

Hello, HI-ers! It’s my birthday today. Yes, I’m turning the big ol’ 25 — officially one quarter of a century old. I’m usually tasked with bringing cakes to different family and friend birthday parties, but what does one do on her own birthday when she’s the designated baker? Why, make yourself your favorite treats anyway, of course! This recipe comes to us from the L.S. Ayres’ Tea Room Recipes and Recollections book. Yes, they’ve got more than Chicken Velvet Soup there! These delightful little finger cookies are the perfect treat for the holidays, or just because. And, in exciting news,...

Read More

Friday Favorite: Four Winds Estate

Hidden Indy: the Four Winds Estate, now a private residence tucked into a suburban neighborhood of impressive homes. 8140 Spring Mill Road, Indianapolis Now parceled and parsed out for the purpose of building what most of us would consider to be mansions in their own right, the historic Indianapolis estate once called Four Winds, held onto its expansive grounds north of Indianapolis for decades before relenting to subdivision. The property was businessman and philanthropist Hugh McKennon Landon’s second country estate within the boundaries of Marion County, located about four miles north of his other, better-known estate, Oldfields (now part of the...

Read More

Indianapolis Then and Now: The Prail/Haley Cottage, 1106 E. Ninth Street

When neighbors surveyed the near eastside Cottage Home Neighborhood in 1984, the house at 1106 E. Ninth Street was abandoned with the back door standing wide open. Despite the overgrown yard, extended lack of maintenance, and invasion of critters, the house had architectural charm and was unusual because it was one of only two brick dwellings in the neighborhood. Some neighbors thought the place was not worth saving, but it was structurally sound and fortunately buyers came forward to restore the home. Research in old city directories, obituaries, and telephone interviews with granddaughters of long-time owner Daniel Haley helped...

Read More

Penny Post: Greetings from Indianapolis, Indiana

Greetings from Indianapolis, Indiana! Welcome to our new feature, Penny Post. Every Wednesday I will share a vintage postcard Indianapolis residents or visitors once sent to family and friends around the country. The historic buildings and neighborhoods of today stand in monument to the people who built, visited, passed by, and watched their lives unfold inside them. The Penny Post will thread together the everyday and extraordinary lives of those who have shaped Historic Indianapolis one cent at a time. Postmarked: Seymour, IND. May 31, 1940 1-PM Message: Hello everybody Having a nice time at Indianapolis Joe went to...

Read More

What’s In a Name: McCrea Street

McCrea St. Location:  Downtown Rollin Hall McCrea, Fahnley & McCrea Millinery Company McCrea St., now a small alley in the Wholesale District, was once the home of Fahnley & McCrea Millinery Company. The company was originally a wholesale millinery under the name of Stiles, Fahnley & McCrea, which Rollin McCrea established with partners Daniel Stiles and Frederick Fahnley around 1865.  Around 1869, Stiles retired from the business, which continued under the name Fahnley & McCrea.  In 1875, the business, which had continued to grow, bought land across the street from their first store on South Meridian Street.  The company is...

Read More

Sunday Prayers: Horner-Terrill Home

The Horner-Terrill home, located at the southwest corner of Emerson and Brookville, was built in 1875. It was vacant for nearly 20 years before homeowners Amanda and Eric Browning purchased the property in 2011. (photo by Dawn Olsen) I had been thinking about the Horner-Terrill home all day. At work, I had been distracted— I’d allowed my mind to wander across the city, from downtown to the corner of Emerson and Brookville. The home was still on my mind several hours later when I opened my front door, removed my boots and catapulted myself onto the bed without even...

Read More

Sunday Adverts: G.P. McDougall & Son Kitchen Cabinets

This advertisement, from April 1905, features one of the fine cabinets, for which many patents were issued, made by G.P. McDougall & Son. George P. McDougall, a lifelong Indianapolis resident, was born in 1844.  His family was already well-known in Indianapolis society, as his grandfather, Nathan B. Palmer, was the onetime Indiana State Treasurer and owner of the Palmer House.  Palmer Street is named after McDougall’s prominent grandfather as well. After serving time in the Navy, McDougall entered the furniture-making business in 1880 with his brother, Frank.  His son, Charles, joined the business in 1895.  G.P. McDougall & Son...

Read More

Indianapolis Collected: Local Residents Witness Lincoln Assassination

When Abraham Lincoln stopped in Indianapolis on his way to his first inauguration in 1861, he was carried from the train to the Bates House in a barouche drawn by a team of white horses.  The President-elect complimented the driver, Elijah Hedges, on the beauty of the plumed and decorated horses. Four years later, the same driver and same team of horses would travel again down Washington Street, this time carrying Lincoln’s body. The recent media frenzy surrounding the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination got me to wondering what local readers saw when they opened up The Indianapolis Star on April...

Read More

Friday Favorite Spot in Washington Township

Don’t blink as you drive north on Westfield Boulevard from 86th street or you will miss Al Wood Place. The Curious Case of Al Wood Place (and other Washington Township Mini-Miracles) Occasionally history isn’t about what a place is… or was. Occasionally, history is about what a place ISN’T. Such is the case with my (Friday) favorite spot in my hometown(ship): Al Wood Place. If you pass the intersection of 86th Street and Westfield Boulevard, you might (or might not) notice a curious sign on the northeast quadrant of the intersection, between the BP and CVS pharmacy. And if...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2

Learned something new? Question answered? New connection made? Generally inspired or entertained? Love Indy more?

Please consider supporting this community asset.

Pin It on Pinterest