Author: Nathan Bilger

From the Mailbag: Comfort Station

We received a question from one of our loyal readers, Gordon Durnil, about the Indianapolis “comfort stations” that were located in the middle of Kentucky Avenue, at the southwest corner of the Kentucky/Illinois/Washington Street intersection. Looking northeast at the women’s entrance, 1911 (Bass Photo #24702) Around the advent of the 20th Century, the development of public sewer systems were placing toilets in every office and business. However, there was still a need for convenient public restrooms in downtown for the multitudes of shoppers and workers who were in the streets everyday. In order to accommodate their needs, in the summer of...

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Historic Valentine’s Cards – Part IV

We conclude this show of vintage Valentine’s cards with another set of lovely images and a famous Valentine poem by no other than James Whitcomb Riley himself. Happy Valentine’s Day to all of you! Her Valentine James Whitcomb Riley Somebody’s sent a funny little valentine to me. It’s a bunch of baby-roses in a vase of filigree, And hovering above them—just as cute as he can be— Is a fairy cupid tangled in a scarf of poetry. And the prankish little fellow looks so knowing in his glee, With his golden bow and arrow, aiming most unerringly At a...

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Historic Valentine’s Cards – Part III

We include within Part III of our little exhibit of Valentine’s cards, a poem by William B. Vickers, a 19th century native of Indianapolis. My Valentine Turn back, oh, time, thy tempest flight, The busy day, the restless night, The years that slip so swiftly past, The centuries that cannot last, And let a healing touch of thine Renew the youth of Valentine. Roused from his medieval sleep, I know the good old saint would weep To see the uses base and low That time has brought his memory to, But bright through all the ages shine The virtues...

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Indianapolis Traction Terminal

Image: Indiana Historical Society, Bass Photo Collection Circa 1900 view of West Market Street, showing the Cyclorama and future site of the ITT 1890’s view of the future ITT site and Cyclorama, looking southeast from Capitol and Ohio. Occasionally, an article on light rail proposed for Indianapolis mentions that electric railroads are nothing new to Indy, being that a century ago there were streetcar lines throughout the city, and long-distance interurban routes to nearly all parts of the state. The interurbans were electric railroads, operating on streetcar tracks in city streets and on private rights-of-way in between cities. They...

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

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