• Posted in: At Your Leisure At Your Leisure: The Fading of the Orange Roof

    A postcard showing the grandeur of the downtown Howard Johnson’s. (Image: Amazon) We often look towards chain businesses with a bit of disdain. Large corporations sending profits out of state while serving up conveniences with...

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  • Posted in: In the Park In the Park: JTV Hill Park

    A cold wind whipped through the bare trees as I walked the perimeter of JTV Hill Park.  There was no denying it: winter had arrived in the Circle City.  Temperatures are dropping, Indy Parks remain...

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  • Posted in: In the Park In The Park: Babe Denny Park

    This fall, over half a million football fans dressed in their blue and white finest will visit downtown to cheer the Indianapolis Colts to victory.  As they trek to the stadium, many will unknowingly pass...

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  • Posted in: In the Park In The Park: Riverside Amusement Park

    A vintage view of Riverside Amusement Park (image: ebay) “In The Park” has visited Wonderland Amusement Park on the near east side and White City on Indy’s north side. The last stop on our tour...

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  • Posted in: In the Park In The Park: Holliday Park

    “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I...

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  • Posted in: Mailbag HI Mailbag: 302 N. East Street

    Reader’s Question: Can you provide me with any background on 302 North East Street?  We’d love to share its story with potential future occupants.  ~ Jeff C., Indianapolis   HI’s Answer: The land on the northwest...

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  • Posted in: Mailbag HI Mailbag: Northside Chinese Restaurants

    Reader’s Question: Back in the Fifties and Sixties, my family sometimes dined at a Chinese restaurant called the Mandarin Inn, which was as well-known for its steaks as it was for its Chinese food.  There were also several other popular...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Family Tree: The First Census

    Two hundred and twenty-three years ago, on March 1, 1790, Congress passed the First Census Act. They gave the responsibility of collecting information to the marshalls of the U.S. judicial districts, who beginning on Census...

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  • Posted in: Friday Favorites Friday Favorite: A New Look at Lincoln

    Have you ever taken the “one tank trip” to Abraham Lincoln’s boyhood home in southern Indiana, to see the log cabin where our sixteenth president grew up?  Do you remember dressing up in a stovepipe...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Family Tree: Irish in Indianapolis

    Poster recruiting workers for the Central Canal, via the Indiana Historical Society As a few HI readers pointed out last week, it’s hard to talk about early Indianapolis immigrants without mentioning the Irish. So today...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Family Tree: Sprechen Sie Deutsch?

    Much has been written on this site and elsewhere about Indianapolis’s German influences. German immigrants played a big part in shaping the city from very early on. From its architecture to its laws and customs,...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Putting It Together

    So far we’ve dug through census records, searched cemeteries, and combed through military records. You’ve found your great-aunt Martha’s birth record and your dear uncle Edgar’s obituary. But what do you do with all the...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Wills & Probate Records

    This application for administration from Clinton County shows that the deceased died without a will. It is full of genealogical information, and it’s just one page from the probate file for this individual. About Wills...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Church Records

    Photo of First Presbyterian Church in Indianapolis by the Detroit Publishing Co., via the Library of Congress (LC-D4-17326) When people settled in a new area, one of the first things they usually established was a...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: City Directories

    The tile page from the 1858-1859 Indianapolis City Directory, via IUPUI City directories may be one of the most overlooked sources of genealogical information available. At the same time, they are some of the most...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Discovering Your Family’s Heroes

    My grandfather, Merle Longwell (2nd from the left), with his WWII service buddies. Earlier this week I stopped in at a local antique shop, and I was struck by the number of photographs, photo albums,...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Newspapers

    Up to this point, we’ve been focusing on the basic facts (the names, dates, and places) of our ancestors’ lives. But our relatives were more than just names and dates. They were real people with...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Obituaries

    Over the last couple of weeks we’ve discussed several sources of information pertaining to an individual’s death. If you’ve been unsuccessful in your attempts to find either a death record or a burial record, then...

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  • Posted in: Family Tree Kickstart Your Family Tree: Cemetery Records

    Last week I mentioned that one way of discovering specific information regarding the place and date of your ancestor’s death is through cemeteries. If you know the area where your ancestor lived at the time...

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  • Posted in: Friday Favorites FF- Why Old Neighborhoods Are Better: Potential Magic

    Kimball & Tess Lloyd-Jones, Woodruff Place, 2012 The coincidental sometimes seems—in retrospect—slightly magical. You’ve surely met a person or visited a place unexpectedly that went on to change the trajectory of your life. Isn’t that...

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