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  • 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.
  • 11/17/2017 

    I have something new to be thankful for this Thanksgiving — well, technically I have two new someBODIES to be thankful for.

    Last month, I visited a friend I hadn’t seen in several years who just happens to volunteer at an animal shelter.

    I was still mourning my cat, Chloe, and had absolutely NO intention of adopting anybody yet, but my friend wanted me to see her shelter’s new building and I agreed, thinking it might be a way of starting — just starting, mind you — to get myself psyched to go looking for a new furry companion. 

  • 11/2/2017 Oh man, the news that Clancy's is coming back to town sure stirs up memories!

    Okay, technically the restaurant will be the "Grindstone Public House" and it's supposed to be more of a Grindstone Charley's than a Clancy's, but still, Toppers will be back and there's nothing that says "Clancy's" more than a Topper!
  • 10/25/2017 I recently saw where Bigfoot was spotted again in California. As far as I know, Hamilton County can't claim any Bigfoot sightings, but over the years we've had our share of mysterious creatures wandering about.

    The Jan. 3, 1924 Noblesville Daily Ledger told of a strange animal terrorizing northeastern Hamilton County and southeastern Tipton County with its weird cries.

    That mystery was soon solved - more or less - when the beast was shot by a homeowner who caught it peering through his window.
  • 10/19/2017 The good thing about this time of year is that I can start thinking about running up to Gatewood's to replenish my persimmon pulp supply.

    The bad thing is, it's time once again to try to figure out what the heck the weather signs are telling us about the coming winter.

    First on the agenda is counting the number of fogs in August. Since I went on vacation then, I got that information from my cousin, the Dancing Librarian. (Don't worry, she's qualified. Her grandmother, Sheridan's Clara Hoover, was THE local expert on interpreting weather signs.)
  • 10/12/2017 I've got more reader feedback this week!

    Karen (Booker) Fuller wrote that she worked at the Acorn Farm Camp while she was in college during the early 1960s. As head counselor for "the Chipmunks" (the five year-old campers) she heard a LOT of camp songs. Karen not only remembers the song that begins "Do your ears hang low . . .," but all the hand motions that went with it!
  • 10/5/2017 Okay, I've been driving on roundabouts for a few years now and I can honestly say I'm no more fond of them today than I was when they first started sprouting up in this county like toadstools after an April rain.

    I can handle the smaller, less busy ones, but I avoid those big ones like the plague. If I wanted to up my heart rate that much, I'd take up running again.

    The roundabouts have, however, given me a greater appreciation for what drivers must have felt like in the early 1920s when they encountered their first traffic signals.
  • 9/29/2017 With the 18th annual Potter's Bridge Fall Festival set to take place this week, this seemed a good time to devote a column to a little Potter's Bridge history.

    For those of you completely new to this area, Potter's Bridge is the only remaining covered bridge in Hamilton County. It's one of four that once spanned White River. (Besides Potter's Bridge, there was one at Strawtown, the Logan Street Bridge in Noblesville, and the Eller & Heady - later just "Eller" - Bridge at 116th Street.)
  • 9/21/2017 Homecoming last week started me thinking about Noblesville high school football fields of the past. There have probably been more than you realize.

    Unfortunately, the really early years of NHS football are a little hard to research. During the first decades of the 20th century, football wasn't nearly as big as baseball and basketball, and the games weren't always written up in the newspaper.
  • 9/14/2017 Last month, thanks to some very nice friends, I was able to take a vacation on the east coast, part of which was spent in the Washington, D. C. area with my college roommate and her husband.

    In between catching up with my roommate and playing tourist, I managed to slip in a little Josiah F. Polk fieldwork.
  • 9/7/2017 I've been an avid gardener for most of my life, but I'm basically a city girl and I don't know beans about farming. (Okay, that was bad, but I couldn't resist.)

    I was able to correct some of my ignorance recently, though, when I got the opportunity to attend Becknology Days at Beck's Hybrids near Atlanta, Indiana.
  • 8/31/2017 Time to catch up with readers again!

    Remember Paul Coverdale's question about the unfinished limestone ranch home on State Road 19, just north of 206th Street? I think we finally have an answer to that mystery.

    It all boils down to legal trouble.
  • 8/18/2017 I recently called my local phone company to question some information about my long distance carrier which they'd included on their bill.

    Since they only supply my local service, the customer service rep just kept repeating they didn't handle my long distance and knew nothing about it - never mind that they clearly had a record of my long distance carrier since they'd put that information on the bill they'd just sent me.
  • 8/3/2017 I can't believe school is in session already. Man, have things changed since I was growing up here in the 1960s.

    I remember my mother said on several occasions that Dale Swanson (the Noblesville School Superintendent in those days) once told her Noblesville students would never start school before Labor Day as long as he was in charge.

    And we never did.
  • 7/27/2017 I think I first heard about Herb and Dee Sweet from Betty Gerrard (Betsy Birdwhistle.) Betty became friends with the Sweet's daughter, Judee Sweet, when they worked together at Conner Prairie.

    Judee eventually left the museum and went on to create the character of Hoosier pioneer woodswoman, "Buckeye." As half of the duo of "Buckeye and Molly," and later "Buckeye and Hollow Bones," she's performed at school, corporate and social gatherings all over Indiana, as well as at the Pioneer Village at the State Fair.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

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