Tag: History

X Marks the Spot Along the Ohio River

The story of the Ohio River has never been straight and clear. Like the waterway itself, the history of the river meanders and rolls, falls and loops about again. This is a river alive with the spirit of Native Americans; moving with the enterprise of frontier families, yet still learning to balance the demands of commerce with the fragility of nature.

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Be forewarned – there is a robbers’ lair tucked into the banks of the Ohio River. Named Cave-In-Rock by notorious pirate and murderer Samuel Mason, this once violent site is now a peaceful addition to the Illinois State Park system. Visitors often stay in  comfortable cabins while exploring the nearby iron furnace, or the Garden of the Gods.

Located in Clarksville, Indiana, the once impressive 26 foot drop in elevation along two and one half miles of the Ohio River is now an educational site where fossils more than 390 million years old are preserved. Due to the fluctuating water levels of the Ohio River, the Falls of the Ohio State Park is best visited in late summer and through early winter.

The public is invited to learn more about the Ohio River where it flows through Southeastern Indiana when independent filmmaker Dennis Neary presents his film, Take the River, at the Lawrenceburg Public Library on Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:00PM.

W is for Whitewater Canal Tunnel

Just a short stroll from South Miami Avenue in the Southwest Ohio town of Cleves is tucked an often overlooked piece of history: the Cincinnati – Whitewater Canal Tunnel.

Now a mere mere hint of what it once was and what it once promised for the region, this silt-filled tunnel had been used by canal boats for just thirteen years. Sold to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad in 1863, soon locomotives thundered through the often flooded tunnel until being abandoned in the late 1880s.

Built during the years of 1839 – 1843, the Whitewater Canal Tunnel linked Hagerstown and Connersville, Indiana to Harrison, Ohio before entering Lawrenceburg, Indiana, until reaching the mighty Ohio River.

http://www.indcanal.org/

One of twelve canal tunnels in the country at the time, today only four such tunnels remain. This nearly forgotten structure was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2001.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.cincinnati.com/story/news/2014/03/24/problems-plagued-canal-projects/6833875/

http://www.northbendohio.org/CanalTunnel.html

http://www.cincinnati-transit.net/whitewater.html

 

 

 

V is for Vehicles

From the Avanti to the Pilot, Indiana has enjoyed a colorful and eclectic love affair with vehicles.

 

In the early 1900s, only Michigan produced more vehicles than Indiana. Many of Indiana’s car manufacturers were smaller companies, like Richmond’s Westcott Motor Car Company, or the McFarlan Motor Corporation in Connersville, or the J & M Motorcar Company of Lawrenceburg.

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Certain Indiana car manufacturers’ names are immediately recognized by the general public even today:  Studebaker and Auburn-Cord-Duesenberg and Willys-Overland . These are iconic names and still incredible vehicles.

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The role of the automobile in Indiana’s history is too expansive a topic to fit into one post, so look for future stories highlighting many of the lesser known car manufacturers. Many of these enterprises began as carriage works or wagon makers in the small towns and quiet communities throughout the state.

 

T is for Train Depots

 

Shrill whistles, clattering tracks, rhythmic rolling cars … imagine the train depot as it used to be.

I have wonderful memories of feeling the approaching train before hearing the whistle or seeing the blinding light.

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I have seen the mail bag tossed and caught, have seen the stationmaster extend notes to the engineer, watched as a working man’s arm reached from the window, catching the note, but never the hook.

As a child, I tried to push the heavy baggage trolleys on their iron wheels across uneven planks. I’ve ridden in steam trains and diesel trains, looked from the uppermost windows of a caboose, and I have stood probably too near the track as freight trains thundered past, feeling a surge of terror and excitement and longing to travel as fast, as far into the unknown.

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Q is for Quilting

Handed down from one generation to the next, quilting is sometimes considered to be an aging art or a forgotten DSC_0082laborious task.

In actuality, quilting is fresh and alive and bursting into the future. Time-saving mini-quilt kits are available, and today’s projects can be made in whole, or in part, on technologically advanced machines.

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Modern designs, superior fabrics, and wide open opportunities for self expression have completely erased any lingering stereotypical images of hand sewing by candlelight.

 

Seek out quilt shows, like the annual Quiltfest in Rising Sun, Indiana, where these quilts were photographed earlier this month. Talk with creative and informative quilters, like members of the Sunshine Stitchers or Rivertown Quilters.

Visit your local fabric shop – not one of those mega-craft-warehouses. A real fabric shop where the employees actually make things, and can tell with one touch or a glance if that bolt of fabric is 100% cotton, or a blend.

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Discover the incredible world of color, texture and adventure!

 

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For more pictures of Quiltfest 2016, please visit;

Creatzart.com

Thank you.

L is for Learning About IN200

As you might have learned in an earlier post, 2016 marks Indiana’s Bicentennial. A huge part of the year long celebration depends upon the public’s enjoyment, attendance, and participation in all that is planned for the weeks and months to come.

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The only trouble is that a lot of folks I meet in towns, on farms, and during meetings don’t quite know where to learn about all of the great goings on, but very much want to get involved, nonetheless.

The state’s website is helpful, but so abundantly full of information, it might be simpler to seek out your local tourism office, connect with the county historian, or stop by the library. If those folks don’t know the answers, they are generally pretty wonderful about finding someone who does.

So – here are just a few of the celebrations and programs, complete with highlighted text linked to the primary source, that residents and visitors alike can enjoy throughout the state of Indiana. I will add to the list as time allows, but have begun with just those events taking place in the more eastern counties of the state.

Oh! And if you, Dear Reader, would like to share your own ideas or suggestions, please feel free to leave a comment below. Thank you so much in advance!

 

Allen County-Fort Wayne Historical Society has paired digital convenience with real life experience through the 200@200 ongoing event. This innovative program offers a virtual tour of some of the museum’s collection of artifacts – a great way to prepare for an in-person visit.

For the gear-head in all of us, Kokomo is the place to be this autumn – from a classic car driving tour to an opportunity to see vintage automobiles that were actually built in Kokomo. So pile in the rumble seat, pull on the goggles and rev (or crank) those engines!

Noble County offers a wilderness experience to anyone adventurous enough to visit – with an entire herd of bison soon to be on display throughout the county! This is not only quirky – it is a great opportunity to learn about bison and why they are such an important part of Indiana’s history!

The place for chocolate, the home of one of the greatest toy stores ever, and now – the setting for a year long scavenger hunt – along with prizes! Wayne County offers music, amazing food, and is where I first learned about Lemonade Day!

If historic barns are a part of your heritage or simply something that you love to see when driving down the road, a stop in Wabash County is a must.  Fifty new paintings of heritage barns by artist Gwen Gutwein will be on display throughout the year.

That’s all for now – but I will certainly post more information about Indiana’s Bicentennial throughout the year.

Safe travels and stay in touch!

 

J is for Judicial

Indiana’s Ohio County Courthouse is the oldest courthouse in continuous use in the state. The pretty town of Rising Sun was platted in 1816, and fewer than 30 years later, this courthouse was erected and paid for solely from donations.

This historic structure is an excellent example of the benefits of restoration and preservation. By caring for this important part of the county’s – and the state’s – history, the stories of previous generations can come alive for today’s visitors and residents.

For more photos of Indiana courthouses, please visit:

Creatzart.com

Thank You.