Monday, February 25, 2013

Crawfordsville's Street Fair and Peace Jubilee

After the four-month-long Spanish-American war was ended, patriotism in the United States ran high. Many cities organized "Peace Jubilees" to honor the veterans and celebrate the end of the fighting. Philadelphia, New York City, Washington, D.C., Chicago, and Atlanta each hosted celebrations of peace. Although much smaller, Crawfordsville did not let the opportunity for festivities -- and perhaps a bit of profit -- pass it by. In September 1898, local businessmen organized the "Peace Jubilee and Street Fair," to be held October 18th -21st in downtown Crawfordsville.

Unfortunately, while the many merchants and entrepreneurs in town did their best to plan a worthy attraction for the public, raising a generous amount of funds and receiving an abundance of donated goods for premiums, the weather wasn't on their side. Rain delayed the fair's beginning by a day, and on Thursday the 20th, it rained again -- all day long. Attendance was much lower than hoped for, and as a result, free admission privileges for badge-holders were withdrawn so that the showmen and the fair association could try to cover their expenses. Despite the addition of Saturday as part of the fair's run, financial losses were large.

The local newspaper, The Sunday Star, ran a column detailing the outcome of the Street Fair, listing losses of $500 each for the "big animal shows" and reported the smaller shows were unable to pay their rent in full. The only day with a respectable attendance was Friday. The article concluded, "It is unfortunate that the weather was against us, but the decree of the elements of nature admits no appeal."

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Basket Ball Tournament 1916

We recently scanned a 1916 Sectional Basketball Tournament Season Ticket from Crawfordsville,  March 10-11. The price of the ticket, good for five games, was $1.00. At today's value, the ticket would cost just over $21.00!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Portraits from Yount's Mill

Yount's Mill, near Yountsville, has long been a landmark in Montgomery County. The Mill was founded by Daniel and Allen Yount circa 1840. According to Ruth McCormick, author of the book, "Yountsville History," looms had been installed around 1849 so that the factory was able to turn out finished woolen cloth. These photographs, part of the archival collection at the Crawfordsville District Public Library, provide rare glimpses into the lives of the workers at the woolen mill. Taken about 1870, each photograph depicts Andrew Yount with a group of employees, noted in one photograph as "loom girls". In her book, McCormick provides a list of the names of some employees, including Mary Sullivan, Ella Berkshire, Mary Shaffer, Anna Garland, Pheobe Smith, Margaret Sullivan and Thirza Hornbaker. Who are the "loom girls" in our photographs? Unfortunately, only Jennie Hayes Murray is identified. We hope that someday we'll discover more information about these photographs. If you have historical items pertaining to Yount's Mill, other historic local businesses, or original historical documents pertaining to Montgomery County, please call the Reference and Local History Department at 765-362-2242 ext. 117.