Sunday, June 30, 2013

Crawfordsville Keeps It Cool

When you sit around the next two hot Indiana months, remember those who lived in our  community 100 years ago.  The Crawfordsville Daily Journal in July 1913 had  advertisements  informing the public:

 "Nothing being equal to an ice box in your home this hot weather," and "They refrigerate perfectly, using but little ice, and are as dainty and hygienic as a china dish." 

Bohn Syphon was the refrigerator of choice in the McWilliams Furniture Co advertisement. McWilliams was located at 124-126 S. Washington Street.

The Alaska Refrigerator was the brand at Barnhill, Hornaday & Pickett. This store was located at 119 & 121 E. Main Street.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Fourth of July Fascination

Independence Day is an important piece of history. Merriam Webster defines Independence Day as a civil holiday for the celebration of the anniversary of the beginnings of national independence. For more information about this day, see: Independence Day.  

Montgomery County has also celebrated the 4th of July with tremendous celebrations. In 1976 at least two of the towns, Crawfordsville and Waveland, conducted parades complete with floats, music, and costumes.

These young boys raised the flag during the 1976 celebration

Monday, June 17, 2013

A jewel of a store

In 1891 Herbert L. Trask rented a small corner in a laundry at 119-121 South Green Street where he began his trade in the jewelry business. By 1895, he opened his own store at 118 South Green Street and was listed in the Crawfordsville City Directory as a "silversmith" -- and by1900 he was also a "watchmaker."  In 1912 he is listed as a "jeweler" at a new location, 127 South Washington Street, using  repairing, engraving, and stone-setting skills that he acquired from Bradley University (Peoria, Illinois). From 1914-1924 his business was located 129 South Washington Street, but by 1930 he again moved, this time to 109 South Green Street.Unfortunately, this last change of location would eventually leave his livelihood in a pile of ash and rubble.
Trask's business at 109 South Green Street, which was destroyed January 10, 1933, by a massive fire
Crawfordsville experienced a devastating fire that destroyed much of a city block in January 1933. Trask did manage another jewelry store at 115 South Washington Street after the fire but later operated a plant in Indianapolis and then a jewelry business in Franklin (for 18 years) before retiring in 1953. The National Jewelers' Publication honored Mr. Trask in 1952  for 60 years of exemplary service. Herbert L. Trask passed away in 1965 at the age of 94.

This page from the 1930 Crawfordsville City Directory (there isn't a 1933 directory in the library collection), shows Trask Jewelry Store, The Western Union Telegraph Company, Symmes & Williams, and Crawfordsville Bldg Loan Fund (117). The catastrophe didn't destroy the Journal and Review at 119 South Green.

The Journal and Review building was spared from the fire; in 1933 it was further south  The current Journal building is at 119 North Green Street.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Soap Box Derby still going strong

Charles W. White, Linden resident, raced in Soap Box Derby events in Indianapolis as a young man.  Mr. White allowed the library to scan pictures from his racing days, which are visible on the Image Database.
Charles W. White wore this helmet in 1948 while racing at Indianapolis.

White's 1948 car
Boys and girls ages 8 through 17 years old are encouraged to participate in the youth gravity racing program to gain skills in the areas of Science and Technology, Teamwork, Community Service, Family Bonds, Leadership and Diversity (Goals of the program since 1934).  It was shocking to discover Indianapolis has the longest track in the country (1000 feet).  In 1953 the Indianapolis Soap Box Derby Hill replaced the original track which was at 71st Street and Meridian.  There are currently 3 divisions: Stock, Super Stock, and Masters (which is equivalent to the original home built car). 
Mr. White's two derby helmets on display at Crawfordsville Library.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Graduation ... Past and Present

May and June are that time of year when you get adorable pictures in the mail notifying you of seniors leaving high school.  According to Merriam Webster, graduation means (1) a mark on an instrument or vessel indicating degrees or quantity and (2) the award or acceptance of an academic degree or diploma.  The word graduation was first used in 1594.  It is entertaining to look back at the announcements of the early 1900s.  The hoopla surrounding graduation is definitely more pronounced than 100 years ago, and class sizes (and schools) have transformed due to consolidation and other circumstances.

1925 Darlington High School Class

Unfortunately, the students/school are not identified.  If you have this picture in your family album, please help us to decipher the mystery.

1923 Class, Alamo
Back: Vernet Carlisle, Loren Smith
Front: Ida Fruits, Nellie Kellar, Katherine Truax, Bessie Peacock

Obviously the class sizes are currently larger, the dresses are often shorter, the hairstyles are also quite different, but, in 80 years, those looking at the Class of 2013 will also think..Really?

2012 Graduating Class of North Montgomery

If you have older relatives, sit down with them and learn about their youth. Oral/written history is so important, and if you don't take the time out of your schedule you will miss a Golden Opportunity!  Happy Graduation to all!

To see more images from our databases about graduation, schools, sports, please visit:

Also: Check our yearbook database:  If you have a yearbook not listed in our database, we would love to scan it so future generations can enjoy.