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home : columnists : paula dunn April 26, 2017


Lagoon Lodge, little libraries and lots more
It's officially spring - Gatewood's is open again!

When I picked up my onion sets, Bruce Gatewood passed along a bit of cautionary weather lore I'd never heard - the day it thunders in February, it will frost in May. (Yikes! When WERE those storms last February?)

Friday, April 21, 2017
Licking Germany 'To a Frazzle'
You're probably already aware that this month marks 100 years since the United States entered World War I.

"The war to end war" had actually been going on in Europe since July of 1914, but the United States was officially neutral until Germany sank several U.S. merchant ships and attempted to get Mexico to join in the conflict against us.

President Woodrow Wilson finally asked Congress for a formal declaration of war against Germany on April 6, 1917.

In the d

Friday, April 14, 2017
Choo Choo Choose the Nickel Plate Railroad
Having devoted a column to the history of Seminary Park, it seemed only right to also provide a little historical background on our other endangered historic site, the Nickel Plate Railroad.

What we know as the Nickel Plate began as the Peru & Indianapolis Railroad. It was the first railroad laid in Hamilton County, and one of the first in Indiana.

Friday, April 7, 2017
Rosie the Riveter" (Katheryn Thompson) Celebrates 100 Years!
Believe it or not, we've got another Notable Ninety turning 100! My cousin, Rosanna Dunn, alerted me to the fact her friend, Katheryn Thompson, will be 100 next week.

Katheryn, who was born in the Zionsville area, but spent most of her life in Sheridan and Noblesville, has some interesting tales to relate about her 100 years.

Some of Katheryn's earliest childhood memories are of walking to her one-room schoolhouse out in the country.

Friday, March 31, 2017
Coriander and Cilantro - An herbal duet in C
It's that time again - the Herb Society of Central Indiana's annual spring symposium will be held Saturday, April 8, from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at the Hamilton County 4-H Fairgrounds in Noblesville.

This year's theme is "Herbal Duet in C: Coriander/Cilantro" in honor of the International Herb Association's 2017 "Herb of the Year," coriander and cilantro.

Friday, March 24, 2017
Time for more reader responses!
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?

Friday, March 17, 2017
Before Seminary Park was Seminary Park
With all the uproar over Seminary Park possibly becoming a housing development, this seemed a good time to remind people what a historic site that small plot of ground is.

It began as "Block number six" in minister and educator Francis W. Emmons' 1838 addition to Noblesville.

The first building to occupy that space was the County Seminary, a two-story brick schoolhouse which opened in 1852. (A seminary in those days was simply any institute of higher learning.)

Friday, March 17, 2017
Cookies and camping with the Girl Scouts
Girl Scout cookie time always stirs up memories of my own Girl Scout days in the 1960s.

When I started as a Brownie, Ginny Cook (Mrs. Felix,) the mother of my classmate, Cyndi Cook, took on the job of leading us and we used to meet in the Cooks' basement.

On one occasion Congressman Richard L. Roudebush presented our troop with a flag that had flown over the U.S. Capitol. I'm afraid I remember being more impressed by the flag than I was by the fact we had a real U.S. Congressman attending our Brownie meeting . . . in a basement.

Friday, March 3, 2017
'Aunt Nan' Roberts - A 'Notable Ninety' of the past
In honor of Black History Month, I thought it would be appropriate to write about a lady who undoubtedly would have been one of our most celebrated Notable Nineties if she were alive today.

Nancy Elliott Roberts, affectionately known as "Aunt Nan" Roberts, could be described as "notable" on several counts.

Saturday, February 25, 2017
You don't know what you've got 'til it's gone
I've always tried to keep this column positive, but occasionally a situation arises that I cannot in good conscience ignore. This is one of those times.

There is an unfortunate trend these days to turn libraries into "community centers" and the Hamilton East Public Library has jumped in feet first.

Thursday, February 23, 2017
Bootleggers, Booze Hoisters and Blind Tigers, Oh My!
Last week I wrote how gleeful the temperance people were when Hamilton County voted to go "dry" in 1909's local option election. They thought by making the sale of alcoholic beverages illegal they'd be getting rid of a lot of drunkenness and crime.

The problem was, they underestimated the desire of some people for their liquor. All that was really accomplished was to send the liquor lovers underground. Bootlegging and "blind tigers" abounded after the election. (Blind tigers, also known as blind pigs or speakeasies, were illegal saloons.)

Friday, February 10, 2017
When Hamilton County went 'dry'
While scanning the old newspapers from the late 1800s and early 1900s, I've often noticed that the sale of alcoholic beverages was quite a hot button topic in those days.

It wasn't until I wrote the column on Syd's a few weeks ago, however, that I learned that Hamilton County was dry long before Prohibition. A special election held January 26,1909 decided the matter.

Friday, February 3, 2017
Two special ladies deserving of recognition
Remember when I said I was pretty sure at least one person on our Notable Nineties list was over 100?

Someone recently confirmed that for me, so I intended to put it in the column. Unfortunately, the person I had in mind, Isabelle Harger, passed away before I could get anything into print.
(1 comments)

Friday, January 27, 2017



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