Tom and Jacinta Stephenson would like to know about a tunnel rumored to have run under State Road 32 between the old Union State Bank and Pickett's Cafeteria in Westfield. They said their information came from an article about haunted places in Westfield which was published in the Ledger years ago.
I've got nothing. Does anyone have the article, or know anything about a tunnel there?
Nicole Kobrowski and Hamilton County Surveyor Kent Ward were curious about Calamus Swamp, the part of southeast Noblesville in which Nancy "Aunt Nan" Elliott Roberts' family was said to have lived. They both suggested I try to find the location by checking deed records at the courthouse for property owned by the Elliotts.
I did that, but couldn't find a listing for any Elliotts in Noblesville between 1835 and 1870. (One article said the family moved here in the early 1840s.)
I have another potential lead to chase when I can spare the time to get back to the courthouse, but meanwhile, Kent hazarded a guess that Calamus Swamp may have been in the area around Pleasant Street where the Elwood Wilson Ditch is located. That would have been southeast Noblesville back then.
It's possible the name, "Calamus Swamp," was taken from a wetland with the same name near Columbus, Ohio. On the other hand, calamus is another name for sweet flag, a wetland plant that resembles iris. There may just have been a lot of sweet flag growing nearby.
Kent also mentioned that when he was in the Boy Scouts, the hamburger, carrots and potatoes dish cooked in foil over hot coals was called a "Hobo Dinner."
I heard from several people who aren't happy with the direction the Hamilton East Public Library is taking.
One of the former HEPL employees who quit rather than participate in the current library destruction pointed out that books aren't the only things being weeded. Video and audio items are being tossed out as well.
Larry Cloud, who grew up in Westfield but now lives in Tennessee, reports that his library in Chattanooga was similarly gutted "almost overnight and without publicity until after the fact."
He added, "I'm sure many folks still condemn the Nazi practice of book burning and rightly so. But for a highly paid and highly trained librarian to tear the substance out of a library is just as bad, perhaps worse."
If you value the wonderful library resources we've enjoyed ever since Lulu Miesse worked her tail off to get us that library over 100 years ago, you need to voice your concerns to the members of the library board NOW before more damage is done. The next board meeting is March 23 at 4:15 p.m. at the Noblesville library.
Since they don't make it very convenient for working people to attend these meetings, you may need to contact the board members directly. They are: John Partlow (President,) email@example.com; John Dierdorf (Vice President,) firstname.lastname@example.org; Chris Jeter (Secretary,) email@example.com; Marita Oilar (Assistant Secretary & Treasurer,) firstname.lastname@example.org; Bill Crandall, email@example.com;Brian Meyer, firstname.lastname@example.org and Debra Yadon, email@example.com.
If you don't have internet access or have trouble reaching board members via email (I've been told one of the addresses is no longer valid,) you can mail letters in care of the Hamilton East Public Library, 1 Library Plaza, Noblesville, IN 46060.
Perhaps a little reminder is due that the true measure of a library's success is not how tidy and attractive its shelves are, but how well its patrons are served.
Paula Dunn's From Time to Thyme column appears each Friday in The Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org