Monday, January 30, 2017

A Glimpse at Our Past--1869

     If you ever want to know more about our town, take some time to dig back into the old newspapers that we have available.  We have twenty-four local papers on microfilm in the Local History Department.  Here are a few: “Crawfordsville Daily Journal;” “Crawfordsville Weekly Journal;” “Daily Evening Argus;” “ Locomotive;” “Saturday Mercury;” “Montgomery Journal;” “Darlington Herald;”“Saturday Evening Journal;”“Wingate News;” and the “Waynetown Banner.” “Nineteenth Century Newspapers” is available online through our website while you are at the library.

     An opportunity came up this week to have a look at the December  2,1869,   Crawfordsville Journal. It seems some things never change.
    “Numerous complaints have reached us concerning the condition of the sidewalks on both sides of Pike Street, between Washington and Walnut Streets.”

     Here is a place I would have liked to have visited!
     “The ‘Pike Street Accommodation’ is the place to get good Cheese, Crackers, Pickles, Pepper Sauce, Spices of all kinds, Mustard, Halibut, Codfish, Mackerel, Whitefish, Cove Oysters, Etc.”

    Apparently there had been a spate of hog stealing going on. A Mr. R. H. Jones stole eighteen hogs from Mr. Davis, and sold them to someone.  He left town to buy an overcoat and other things, and was caught.  He was arrested, and was made to sit in  jail until accommodations could be made to send him to the Northern Prison the next spring. 

    At the same time, “a hog was stolen from the pen of William Hutchinson, …on Saturday night. Mr. Hutchinson ought to be thankful that the number was not eighteen.”

Monday, January 16, 2017

Building Your Dream Home in 1913

   Continuing on with the “housebuilding in Crawfordsville” theme,” direct your attention to House Design No. 2362.  Does that look familiar?  If you drive on the west end of town, say, on Main Street, you may find several houses that appear to have been built from this plan. In 1913, you could go “house shopping” at Joseph Binford & Sons, 215-217 South Washington Street, and find the house of your dreams.  (This location is now taken by the Crawfordsville District Public Library.)  Find your house, order the truckload of parts, and have it all delivered to your building site.  This is very similar to the “Sears” houses that were popular at the time.

  As we frequently have patrons who are curious about who had lived in their house before, I researched in our Crawfordsville City Directories to find the previous residents of one of these Binford houses in Crawfordsville. You may also use plat maps from several years back to find who owned your land  in certain years.
1914   Reverent B.E. Antrobus    Minister at  First Baptist Church
1924   William A. Shaw  (no vocation given)
1949   Fletcher B. Kerr    Auditor, State Treasury Dept.
1958   Willard Harrison    Allied Van Lines Driver
1971   Clarence Davidson  Officer-in-Charge, U.S. Army Recruiter
(I spoke with the current owner, and had permission to share this information.)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Building Up Crawfordsville for Our Returning Veterans 1945

Soldiers returning from the end of World War II wanted to get jobs, start families, and get on with their lives. In order to supply housing for these men, the Fisher-Daseke Agency, located in the Strand Theater Building on Green Street, offered National Homes to their new home-buying customers. National Homes were built in sections in the factory in Lafayette, Indiana, and then sent on a truck to the building site. There the construction crew would assemble the new home with pre-made walls and floors. A new home could be moved into within two weeks of building, which made getting families into new homes much easier and faster. A new National Home, complete with heating, plumbing, electric wiring, outside walls painted, walks, and landscaping could be yours for around $5000. Fairview Addition, located on the old fairgrounds, was built around  where Hose School would later be built in 1954.  

Nine new homes were set to be built as soon as the war with Japan ended. If you look around Crawfordsville, you will probably see other neighborhoods, such as Athens Addition, that were built after the war to house returning soldiers.