Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Ben Hur Building

On this day, 105 years ago, the Crawfordsville Daily Journal announced which architectural firm would be contracted to construct the new Ben Hur Building. The decision was made by the executive committee of the Tribe of Ben Hur. Seven firms from Chicago, Fort Wayne and Indianapolis submitted tentative plans and drawings for the new building. They chose Herbert L. Bass & Co. of Indianapolis. This particular photograph was taken at the corner of Main St. and Water St. on April 6, 1911 during the laying of the marble cornerstone for the new Ben Hur Building. This photograph was discovered behind some framed artwork in Tennessee by Delores Fleming. The photograph originally belonged to Doris Carney. Her husband's grandfather, Wright B. Carney, was in this photograph. He is holding the white Tennessee sign on the right side of the photograph. Also, of notable interest are the horse-and-buggy carriages in the photograph.

In 1940 the Ben Hur Building was renovated. The original white tile was taken down and the black marble tiles were added.

The black marble tiles currently remain on the vacated building. Recently, plans have been submitted for renovating the building a second time. The tentative reconstruction will include a restaurant, hotel, and apartments.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

First Crawfordsville Fair

 Pat Cline Photo - Taken at the Montgomery County Fairgrounds
One of the fun things about genealogy research is that it uncovers other fun facts along the way. For example, while searching for obituaries, a CDPL staff member ran across a mention of the first Crawfordsville fair. The brief column was found in the Crawfordsville Daily Journal, Sept 3, 1914, titled "First Crawfordsville Fair 61 Years Ago." Apparently, the first fair was held in 1853 in an area called Dunn's Grove, which was located in the western part of the city (near Vance Street). The fair was then moved to Englewood in 1862. After a number of years at that location, it moved to its present home on Parke Avenue.