Author: Sharon Butsch Freeland

HI Mailbag: Fall Creek Parkway South Drive

Reader’s Question: My husband and I have purchased this historic house (pictured below) on Fall Creek Parkway South Drive. I have been trying to find out what neighborhood it is located in ever since.  Might you be able to tell me?  We are thrilled to be leaving New Jersey and coming to Indy.  ~  Cheryl Ann Floystrop-Borne HI’s Answer:  The name of the neighborhood in which your new home is located is Meridian-Highland.  The boundaries of the Meridian-Highland Neighborhood Association are West 16th Street on the south, North Meridian Street on the east, West Fall Creek Parkway South Drive on the north, and Interstate-65...

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HI Mailbag: Indianapolis Turnvereins

Reader’s Question:  When I was growing up, we were members of a gym called (I think) the Lincoln Turners. My dad’s side of the family was German, and I remember being told something about German prejudice in Indianapolis during the war. The gym used be called Turnverein (sp???), but it was changed as a way to make it sound more American.  Does this strikering a bell?  ~ Esther Shir, Albuquerque, New Mexico HI’s Answer: The German immigrants who came to the United States of American in the mid-1800s established organizations in their adopted country that were similar to the ones to...

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HI Mailbag: The Hawthorne Neighborhood

Reader’s Question: I wondered if you have any information on the near westside Hawthorne area. We are currently helping on a rehab in the 200 block of N. Mount Street. ~ Steve L, Indianapolis HI’s Answer: The 200 block of North Mount Street is indeed within the Hawthorne Neighborhood Association.  HNA is an organized neighborhood group, registered with the City of Indianapolis.  It’s located in Wayne Township, west of the White River, only a couple of miles from the center of the city.  The neighborhood is bounded on the south by Washington Street, on the west by Tibbs Avenue, on the north by Michigan Street,...

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HI Mailbag: Parry Mansion in Golden Hill

Reader’s Question: I’m curious if you know anything about the old Parry Mansion in Golden Hill. I cannot find a record of the house’s address, as most folks refer to all of Golden Hill as his estate, which it was at one time. Google Earth shows the home overgrown, even in the time of the photo.  ~ Mindy H., Meridian-Kessler HI’s Answer: The Golden Hill mansion that started its distinguished life as the home of the Parry family is located at 3650 Spring Hollow Road.  When it changed hands in the fall of 2012, the residence had previously had only four owners...

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HI Mailbag: House at 75th and College Avenue

Reader’s Question: Do you have any history on the house on the SW Corner of 75th and College?  ~  Ed Alexander, Indianapolis HI’s Answer: The house that’s located on the southwest corner of E. 75th and N. College Avenue has captured the attention of passersby for many years.  Perched on a hill, the imposing brick home has more than 6,000 square feet, when the space in the attic and basement are included in the calculation.  The current owners, a local attorney and his wife, bought the home in 1983 and have reared four children there.  They have enjoyed the feeling of being in the country,...

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HI Mailbag: Linwood Square

Reader’s Question:  When was Linwood Square built?  Before Linwood Square was there, this was the location of Newburg (sp?) Field, where we loved to play.  Why was this section not developed like the rest of the surrounding subdivisions?  And do you have any history regarding the Newburg (sp?) family?  ~ Kevin J. Brewer, Kokomo  HI’s Answer: Construction of Linwood Square began in November of 1963.  The architectural firm for the project was Beaman and Associates, Inc.  The first store to open in Linwood square was Zayre Department Store, which opened in 1964.  Zayre was part of a discount chain, headquartered in Framingham, Massachusetts, that was in...

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HI Mailbag: First Kroger Store in Indianapolis

Reader’s Question: Someone told me that the Kroger at 16th and Central was the first Kroger store in Indianapolis. Is that true? LOL. ~ Lynn Molzan, Old Northside   HI’s Answer:  I assume you are referring to the Kroger store at 524 East 16th Street.  By its legal description, that store is actually on the northwest corner of East 16th Street and Park Avenue.  The grocery opened on November 7, 1962.  It was not the first Kroger store in Indianapolis. The Kroger Grocery and Baking Company opened its first stores in Indianapolis in April of 1924, which was more than thirty-eight years prior to the opening...

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HI Mailbag: The Lohrmann Residence

Reader’s Question:  There is a fairly large structure, presumably a home, on the west bank of the White River at 16th Street that appears to be boarded up or abandoned.  It looks fairly impressive (what I can see of it while driving), but I can find no information on it online.  I figured if anyone could tell me about it, you could.  Thanks.  ~ Joseph Nield, Indianapolis    HI’s Answer: The structure about which you have inquired was indeed a private home.  For nearly a century, it was occupied by members of the same family.  In the past decade, it has been used...

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HI Mailbag: Marshall “Major” Taylor

Reader’s Question:  I recall that cyclist Marshall “Major” Taylor was born in Indianapolis.  Do you have any details about his early years?  ~ Caroline Cunningham, Los Angeles, California    HI’s Answer: Marshall Walter Taylor was an American cyclist who set numerous world records during his relatively short professional career.  He was the first black cyclist to win a world championship in his chosen profession and one of the first black athletes to win a world championship in any sport. Taylor was born in Indianapolis on Thursday, November 26, 1878, which happened to be Thanksgiving Day that year.  His parents were...

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HI Mailbag: The Tomlinson Family

Reader’s Question: I was wondering how much information you have on the TOMLINSON family and the history of Indiana?  Please contact me, so that I can find out more and fill in a lot of blanks concerning my family.  I have been told quite a bit, but some of it just seems to be too unreasonable to be true. ~ Paul Edward Tomlinson, Indianapolis HI’s Answer:   You have not provided enough details about yourself or your known relatives for me to be able to fill in any blanks in your genealogy.  Neither have you elaborated on the information you’ve been told that seems unreasonable, so that I...

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HI Mailbag: Indianapolis’ Upside-Down House

Reader’s Question: Do you know where I could locate a photo of an upside-down house that was located at the intersection of West Washington St. and Rockville Rd.?  ~ Roberta Lakin Swisher, Indianapolis HI’s Answer: In the mid-1960s, a local builder named Chester B. Weedon conceived of an advertising promotion to attract people to his place of business.  He got the idea after he and his wife vacationed in Florida, where someone had built a small upside-down house.  The Florida publicity stunt had received about 400,000 visitors and had garnered a photo spread in Life Magazine.  Weedon thought erecting an upside-down house in Indianapolis...

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HI Mailbag: Interesting People Who Were From Indianapolis

Reader’s Question: Could you provide some information about notable people who were from Indianapolis but did not remain in Indianapolis all of their lives.  ~ Hattie Byland, Riverside, California     HI’s Answer:  As Indianapolis-born author Kurt Vonnegut once wrote, “I don’t know what it is about Hoosiers.  But wherever you go, there is always a Hoosier doing something very important there.” In the two centuries since Indianapolis was first settled, the city has produced many interesting individuals who got their starts in Indianapolis but who moved on to other places.  It would be impossible to write about all of these individuals in the space allotted...

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HI Mailbag: Location of Duncan Street

Reader’s Question: I’m trying to locate Duncan Street.  It is mentioned in Howard’s Indianapolis Directory for 1857; there is a copy of this book on Archive.org.  I can’t seem to find a map that shows Duncan St.   I have an ancestor, George Penrose, who lived at the corner of Duncan and Alabama Streets in 1857.  From what I have found, it sounds like a Duncan family lived near 13th St. and Alabama.  Was 13th St. once called Duncan St.?  Since you guys are knowledgeable about this area, I thought it is worth a try to ask you.  Thanks for any information. ...

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HI Mailbag: The Arden Neighborhood

Reader’s Question:  I would love to know the history of the Arden neighborhood and the clarification that there was a popular beach along White River.  ~ Ginger Lee Williams, Arden resident HI’s Answer: The Arden neighborhood was part of a much larger tract of land, when it was purchased from the federal government in 1834 by James Mustard.  The Pennsylvania-born farmer migrated to Indiana, seeking new opportunities for himself and his growing family.  He was the father of two sons and four daughters by his first wife and five sons by his second wife, eleven children in all.  The Mustards...

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HI Mailbag: The Home That Gave Way to Tarkington Tower

Reader’s Question:  When I was growing up in the Butler-Tarkington and Meridian-Kessler neighborhoods, there was a home on the northwest corner of 40th and Meridian Streets.  It was demolished sometime in the mid-1960s to make way for Tarkington Tower.  Do you know anything about the history of that property? ~ Mary Liz Freund, Tucson, Arizona HI’s Answer: The single-family home that once stood on the site that is now occupied by the 16-story Tarkington Tower Condominiums was built in 1898 and 1899, by Francis William Flanner (1854-1912) and his wife Mary Ellen Hockett Flanner (1863-1947).  Frank Flanner was the first person in the...

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HI Mailbag: Mitthoeffer Road and German Church Road

Reader’s Question: I have read about the heavy German influence in the city from its start to the turn of the century. I think I read somewhere that at one point 70% of city had German blood. I still see some of this heritage on the east side with the street names Mitthoeffer and German Church. Do you have an insight into these names? Mitthoeffer seems to have no English translation, so was it a person’s name? What was the German Church of German Church Road?   ~ Dennis Goodman, New Palestine HI’s Answer: There was a great influx of...

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HI Mailbag: The Riley Trail

Reader’s Question: I searched the HI site but couldn’t find any posts about the Riley Trail.  Signposts marking the trail have disappeared over the years, but there are still a few around.  One of the interesting stops on the trail is the Kile Oak in southern Irvington.   ~  Doug, Old Northsider HI’s Answer:  For those who may not be familiar with the Riley Trail, it was a tour of historic locations in and around Indianapolis.  It was conceived of by a librarian at the Indiana State Library named Nellie Mae Coats (1888-1977).  Nellie was born near Battle Ground in Tippecanoe County.  She received a B.S....

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