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  • The atmosphere was electric
    5/12/2021 In March of 1891 a man by the name of J. L. Peck came to Noblesville to pitch the idea of constructing an electrical plant to the city council. The council accepted his proposal and by the end of June, Noblesville had its first electric street lights.
    Within the next 10 to 15 years, several of Hamilton County’s other communities acquired electric street lights as well, and over the following three or four decades, homes all over the county were wired for electricity.
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  • Maypoles, May baskets and . . . children's health?
    5/5/2021 May Day, or May 1, is one of those holidays that normally passes with such little fanfare it’s easily ignored. In fact, that’s why I’m writing about it this week instead of last week. It slipped by before I knew it.
    The day wasn’t always overlooked, though.
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  • Fun at Bishop Park
    4/28/2021 Tim Townsend recently asked if I had any information about Arcadia’s Bishop’s Park beyond what he’d read in Lois Costomiris’s books.
    Although I’ve run across references to the park a few times, I’d never done any research on it. When I went digging through the old newspapers to see what I could find, I quickly realized I had another column!
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  • Norman Norell never forgot his Noblesville
    4/21/2021 A few weeks ago Betsy Reason tipped me off to a recent Vogue magazine article about Noblesville’s gift to the world of high fashion, Norman Norell.
    That reminded me that, although I’ve written a fair amount about the Levinson family in the past, I’ve never devoted a column specifically to Norell. Since he would have turned 121 this week, this seems an appropriate time to honor him.
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  • Continuing last week’s tornado tales . . .
    4/14/2021 On April Fool’s Day, 1884, a “cyclone” damaged homes and barns at Hortonville, Cicero and Strawtown, and tossed a Cicero farmer and his horse and buggy 20 feet in the air. The farmer and the horse landed unhurt, but the buggy was torn apart.
    Several newspaper articles about a tornado that hit Ekin in 1922 noted that older residents were comparing the damage done by that tornado to destruction caused by a twister that had visited Hamilton County on May 12, 1886.
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  • A whirlwind history of tornadoes in the county
    4/7/2021 A few weeks ago when Sid Davis dropped off the information on the WLS picnic, he also brought a couple of articles about a tornado that struck Hamilton County in 1902.
    That inspired me to try to compile a list of all the tornadoes in this county prior to the devastating Palm Sunday tornado of 1965. 
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  • Paula ‘parsley’ right
    3/31/2021 After several years of what I consider rather offbeat selections, the Herb of the Year for 2021 is one of the most basic herbs of all, parsley.
    Rich in vitamins (it has one of the highest concentrations of vitamin C of any food,) and antioxidants, parsley is more than just a decoration for your plate. It qualifies as a superfood. 
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  • Greasy Pigs, The Prairie Farmer and . . . mangos?
    3/24/2021 I know it’s really spring now – Gatewood’s is open again! As soon as I found out, I ran up to get some pansies and onion sets. (I’ve even planted a few onions in my garden already!)
    What better way to celebrate spring’s return than with a long overdue reader column?
    After I wrote about the A&P in January, Sydney Susie remarked on some of the changes in grocery stores since the 1950’s. She noted, for example, how back in the ‘50s nothing came in sealed packaging and the only lettuce available was iceberg.
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  • Cicero High School's OTHER 1916 basketball team
    3/17/2021 When I wrote about the 1916 Cicero High School boys’ basketball team a couple of weeks ago, I really didn’t intend to do a sequel.
    However, Lois Costomiris’ book, “More Rail Fences, Rolling Pins & Rainbows,” also contains a chapter on the Cicero girls’ basketball team of that era and, this being Women’s History Month, it seems only right to devote equal time to the girls.
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  • Forest Park's Barn Dance combines country music and comedy
    3/10/2021 Having been stuck in traffic at Deer Creek . . . er, I mean the Ruoff Music Center (for old timers like me it will ALWAYS be “Deer Creek”) . . . a time or two, I was blown away when Sid Davis recently told me about a concert held at Forest Park in 1939 that supposedly attracted a crowd of up to 65,000 people.
    Whoa! That’s well over twice the capacity of Ruoff.
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