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  • 2/16/2018 When I set out to write something in honor of Black History Month for this week, it never occurred to me that I’d end up with a column about someone white.
    That was before I stumbled across the tale of Charles David Myers.
    On May 29, 1961 Myers was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi. The charges, according to the May 31, 1961 Noblesville Daily Ledger, were “inciting a riot, breaching the peace and disregarding racial segregation laws in Jackson.”
    Myers was a “Freedom Rider” — one of the people of the Civil Rights era, both black and white, who was willing to act upon his belief that segregation was wrong.
    I’m amazed that I knew nothing about this. Granted, when it happened I was more interested in playing with my Barbie than in the nightly news, but Myers’ story should be better known around here. I’m reasonably sure he was the only Freedom Rider from Indiana and I know he was the only one from Hamilton County.
  • 2/9/2018 I’ve got some reader feedback this week — and an announcement!
    Remember when I wrote that the Strawtown Pottery had once been an inn with cabins? Jeanne Flanders said the first time she ever voted it was in one of those tourist cabins. 
    She noted that the Trading Post, the restaurant which occupied the pottery building during the 1960s, had been owned by Kenneth and Donna Spannuth, and added that at that time another restaurant was located in the concrete building directly across Strawtown Avenue to the south. That building is currently boarded up, awaiting construction of the roundabout.
    Bob Whitmoyer wrote that, from the 1930s to 1961, his father, Monroe Whitmoyer, owned two milk routes in the area west of Noblesville and used to haul milk to Sheridan’s Indiana Condensed Milk factory.
    Bob provided a good description of the hauling process.
  • 2/2/2018 For most of my life I was aware of only two coliseums — the Colosseum in Rome and the Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum — so the first time I ran across a reference to the “Cicero Coliseum” I was a little surprised.
    A coliseum? In Cicero?
    Yes, there was one. It was located at Magnetic Springs Park, which has an interesting history of its own.
    At the beginning of the 20th century a Millersburg native named Cassius “Cash” Scherer and his family farmed, and ran a saw mill and a sorghum mill, on land that bordered Cicero Creek, just west of the town of Cicero.
  • 1/26/2018 This year’s terrible flu season has been in the news so much lately and there have been so many references to the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918, that I became curious to see how Hamilton County was affected in 1918.
    To begin with, the “Spanish influenza,” actually appears to have started at an army base in Kansas. It’s believed soldiers from the base who were sent overseas to fight in World War I spread the virus throughout Europe.
  • 1/19/2018 

    Had enough of winter yet? I sure have!

    As unpleasant as the weather has been this year, though, at least it hasn’t yet (knock wood!) equaled what county residents endured in 1936.

    On the night of Wednesday, January 22 of that year the temperature dipped to -20 degrees. It was either so cold or so windy, the courthouse clock stopped.

  • 1/12/2018 

    You can’t really walk anywhere in Strawtown without setting foot on historic ground — and I’m not just talking about Strawtown Koteewi Park. There’s a lot of history in Strawtown itself.

    Take the building on State Road 37 that houses Strawtown Pottery and Antiques. It started out over 80 years ago as a general store owned by a man named Ollie Stage.

  • 1/5/2018 

    You don’t hear much about roller skating these days, but it used to be a fairly popular pastime in Hamilton County.

    Back in the late 19th and 20th centuries, there were lots of roller rinks around. Some were indoor rinks like the Heiny skating rink, which was located near Noblesville’s railroad depot in the early 1900s, or the Coliseum at Cicero’s Magnetic Springs Park during the 1920s.

    Other rinks were portable affairs, set up under tents like the one at Frank’s Barbecue near Carmel in 1925.

  • 12/29/2017 

    Well, we’ve made it to the end of another year and it’s time once again to honor our Notable Nineties, as well as our Sensational Centenarians. (Much as I would like to take the credit for coming up with the “Sensational Centenarians” tag, that belongs to a source who prefers to remain anonymous.)

    If you have any corrections to the list, please let me know. 

    If you have any additions, that’s even better!

  • 12/15/2017 

    This certainly has been a hard 12 months to take.

    If anybody had asked me to name the people I thought most personified Noblesville during my lifetime, Irving Heath, Don Roberts, Don Jellison, and Garrick Mallery would have been right up there at the top of the list.

  • 12/8/2017 I think we're overdue for a reader column!
    Remember the Clancy's column and how I said Clancy's founder, Carl Fogelsong, was dedicated to community service? I've got another story to prove that.
    Back in 1974 a Noblesville High School senior was hired to run a children's tennis program for the Noblesville Parks Department. At the end of the session, he wanted to create a tournament for the kids, but there was no money available for anything like that.
    The high school student happened to mention his idea to Joe Arrowood, the man who'd hired him. Presumably, Arrowood passed the word along to Carl Fogelsong because shortly that, Fogelsong donated enough money to provide medals or trophies (after 40+ years my source couldn't remember which) for the winners.
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