Tuesday, June 30, 2015

July 4, 1989

Our Local History archives contain many photos and documents, some of which date to the early years of the county. But don't think that our "history" is always long, long ago. We collect current and recent items because, some day, they will be "historical"!

This photograph was taken at the Summer Youth theater's presentation of "A Pocketful of Dreams" on July 4, 1989 (the Fourth of July) in Milligan Park. Maybe you were there...and in this photo? If so, you are archived at the Crawfordsville District Public Library for future generations.

If you are interested in contributing to our efforts at preserving the heritage of Montgomery County, contact the Reference & Local History Department (ref@cdpl.lib.in.us, 765-362-2242 ext 117).

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Lane Place...100 years ago

We have an extensive postcard collection of our area, many of which date from the turn of the 19th century. It is also interesting to read some of the used postcards to catch a quick glimpse of life long ago.

Here is a postcard of the The Henry S. Lane Place, Crawfordsville, Ind.  It was sent to Hilda Scheel, Earlville, Iowa, with this message: "We are staying just across the way from this house. They have a beautiful flower garden. Bertha." It was postmarked June 26, 1915 from Crawfordsville -- just about 100 years ago to this day! The next time you go past the Lane Place, take a look and imagine it in1915.

You can browse these postcards in our image database and see for yourself how things have changed...and how some things have remained the same.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

1920 Montgomery County Livestock Sale

This glimpse of Montgomery County agricultural history was recently donated by the family of local businessman, Walter Remley. Although obscured by tree branches, the top sign likely reads, “Spring Brook Swine Farm, Moon & Berryman.”  The sign announces an upcoming sale of hogs to be held southwest of Yountsville on September 17, 1920.  Walter Remley graduated from the University of Illinois Agriculture College in 1919, and had a long and successful local career, serving four terms on the Crawfordsville City Council. He was an active member of the local Byron Cox Post of the American Legion for nearly 50 years, and in his honor, the drive north of the Legion Post was named Walter Remley Drive.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Whitlock Avenue in June...1899!

Often we receive groups of family photos, and we can re-construct family life in Montgomery County from years past. Such is the case with the family of Thomas Clark, a tailor who worked in Crawfordsville at the end of the 19th century. In the Clark family photos appears a wood-slat house with a wooden picket fence on the side yard. The home appears to be in construction, with several kegs sitting near the fence and boards stacked nearby. The photograph is dated June 1899, the month that Thomas Clark and Mary (Shoemaker) Clark married. This home may possibly be 512 Whitlock Avenue, Crawfordsville. Does it still exist?

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Veteran Interviews

The Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County has a special military section in its "Athens" Gallery that you should examine on your next visit. The museum is a wonderful resource now open year-round, Wednesday through Saturday, 10am-5pm. Admission is always free. Check out their website at: www.cdpl.lib.in.us/services/carnegie

The museum is also offering more content than just what you see in its display areas, however. For example, thanks to an LSTA grant, we have digitized numerous interviews of local veterans and made them available on the web. We have 16 audio interviews of WWII vets you can reach directly. We also have 90 video interviews of WWII, Korea, and Vietnam vets that were recorded in the mid-1990s. This is the first time that all this material has been accessible to the general public, so be sure to take advantage of it in honor of our vets!

Go to cmmc.cdpl.lib.in.us/lh/cmmc-military.html  -- just click to listen or watch (you don't need any special software)

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The once majestic Ben Hur building

We recently received a donation of a photograph that shows the Ben Hur building not long after it was completed in 1911. Note that the lower level is not yet girdled by black marble, which was added in a 1940s renovation.

This undated photograph must be from spring 1913 at the earliest. How do we know? For one thing, the flag on the side of the building has 48 stars -- and Arizona entered the Union as the 48th state in February 1912. But the movie posters show by the Princess Theater (just to the right of the Ben Hur building) provide the final clues.One poster advertises "The Winning of White Dove," a short that was released on 30 November 1912. Another poster shows "Struggle of Hearts," a short released on 3 December 1912. This is not a winter scene, so we can assume the photo was taken sometime in 1913 during warmer weather. If we have time, we may eventually look through our old newspapers to see what even caused the decoration of the Ben Hur building, and when these two shorts were advertised in town.

Donated in the name of Thomas D. Stewart.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

This day in May, 1887. The same train?

 A train engine on its tracks. Five men pose in front (two stand on the cow catcher). A date is written on the reverse of the photograph: May 12, '97

Unfortunately, we have no other identifying information!A date is at least a starting point for figuring out an unidentified scene.

We also have another similar photograph, but with nothing written on it... and it appears to be the same scene, perhaps taken the same day. What do you think? What could be the occasion?