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  • 12/7/2018 Continuing the list of memorial benches in Noblesville’s city parks . . .
    In Riverwalk Depot Pocket Park:
    Kurt Bolden’s bench is appropriately located near Bolden’s Dry Cleaners. Bolden co-founded Bolden’s Carpet Cleaning and Bolden Manufacturing. He also worked for the Noblesville Fire Department for five years and was active in charity work. 
    Forest Park benches:
    U. S. Army veteran Danny C. Kendall was a 1971 graduate of Westfield High School and a foster parent. His bench is near the 1920 carousel.
    Berniece Holloway, who passed away at the age of 100, had been a cook at North Elementary School. Her bench is on the trail by the Angel of Hope monument.
  • 11/30/2018 Over a year ago, attorney Jack Hittle suggested I write a column that would provide a little background on the people whom family, friends or organizations have memorialized on benches around Noblesville.
    It was a great idea, but at the time I was frantically trying to finish the final chapters of “A Brief History of Noblesville.” I knew a column like the one Jack proposed would involve more research time than I could spare, so I put the idea on a back burner and just worked on it whenever I could.
    The subject turned out to be even more complicated than I originally thought. There isn’t one single bench dedication program in Noblesville — there are THREE!
  • 11/23/2018 A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the site of West Kinderhook, one of Hamilton County’s “lost” towns.
    Technically, West Kinderhook lies in Tipton County, but it’s right on the Tipton/Hamilton County line and when the town was laid out in 1841, that land was actually part of Hamilton County. (Tipton County wasn’t created until three years later.)
    Ed and Claire Snyder served as guides for the outing. That was a good thing because I would never have found West Kinderhook’s location on my own. It sits in a small clump of trees in the middle of a field, about two and a half miles east of Atlanta.
    Besides Ed, Claire and myself, our little group of intrepid explorers included Ed’s sister, Lisa Hayner, and Ed and Claire’s friend, Jody Brown. Jody’s great-great-great grandmother, Eliza Goodykuntz, was one of the people who organized West Kinderhook’s church.
  • 11/16/2018 This year’s Veterans Day not only marked a day to salute our veterans, it also commemorated the 100th anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I.
    (You may remember Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. The name was changed in 1954 in order to honor all veterans, not just those who died during World War I.)
    Back in 1918, Hamilton County celebrated the end of the “great war” — or, more optimistically, “the war to end war” — just as enthusiastically as the rest of the country.
  • 11/2/2018 Time once again for reader feedback!
    Diane Crossley Whelchel emailed to say she’s a descendant of the Eller family (the Ellers were early residents of Fishers) and has lived in the Cyntheanne area since 1977.
    Diane noted that Cyntheanne has made quite a comeback since she moved there. In 1977 it consisted of only six houses. Now, there are many new homes and a new school is being built.
    Nicole Kobrowski attempted to pinpoint the location of Big Deadening, one of those tiny communities that came and went in the 19th century.
  • 10/26/2018 What’s Halloween without a few good ghost stories?
    In the spirit of the season (no pun intended,) I decided to go poking around the old newspapers to see what might have spooked our ancestors.
    The earliest mention of ghostly activity I found appeared in the January 31, 1879 Noblesville Ledger.  
    According to the Ledger, many years earlier an “Indian witch” had been tortured to death on the site of Gus Shutts and Milt Kelly’s “bachelor’s hall” at Clare and odd things had been taking place there ever since.
    My reaction to that was “Huh?” I’ve never run across anything about an Indian being killed at Clare. Then again, it’s not easy to come by information about early Clare.
  • 10/19/2018 After all that warm weather, it finally feels like fall, which conjures up thoughts of apples and apple cider — and Stuckey Farm, THE place in Hamilton County for apples and a whole lot more.
    For that, we can thank Carmel High School graduate (CHS ‘55,) Gene Stuckey, who sadly passed away earlier this year.
    Lifelong farmer Francis Eugene “Gene” Stuckey grew up near 106th St. and Ditch Road, on a farm that is today part of Crooked Stick Golf Club.
    In 1965, as development began to take over the Clay Township countryside, Stuckey and his wife, Rosalyn, bought acreage on the Hamilton/Boone County border, a little south of Sheridan, and moved their farming operations there.
  • 10/12/2018 Much as I hate to say this, it’s time once again to try to figure out what the coming winter is going to do to us.
    Last year the weather signs I collected seemed to be all over the place. This year it’s a whole different ballgame, and not in a good way. Brace yourselves.
    The number of fogs in August is the first indication of what winter will be like.
    For that count I relied on WISH-TV’s morning weather forecast. I kept track of every morning Hamilton County was covered by fog on their fog map and came up with a total of nine. (However, there could be another three because on some mornings fog was mentioned, but they didn’t display the map.)
  • 10/5/2018 Continuing our journey through lost towns of the Fishers area . . . 
    I’ll bet few people have ever heard of Hadad — and with good reason. It was one of those little 19th century hamlets that disappeared in the early years of the the 20th century.
    Hadad was located “about one mile and a furlong from the very prominent city of Olio” at the intersection of State Road 238 and Olio Road.
    According to the May 31, 1889 Hamilton County Ledger, the name came from a young man who would holler over a distance for his father-in-law “in the key of high G,” by saying “Ha, Dad, come here!” (I did NOT make that up!)
    Hadad is described as having 37 inhabitants, “a lot of dogs and other things,” and streets graveled with the very best gravel. (That was a big deal then.)
  • 8/17/2018 Wow, time flies! I hadn’t realized it had been so long since we’d had a reader column.
    The Forest Park columns generated several responses.
    Pam (Gibbs) Ferber remembered the park’s old corkscrew slide being very popular. She said it was scary to climb up the tall ladder to get to the top, but once you were on the ladder, there was no chickening out because a long line of people would be behind you waiting their turn.
    She described the ride down as “bumpy.”
    Pam has a better memory of the park’s other slides than I do. She recalled two tall slides behind the corkscrew — one that went straight down and another which had one or two places where you almost stopped, then slid down at a steeper angle.
    Doug Church reminded me how Forest Park’s old cement pool was completely encircled by a drive. That made the pool a prime spot for local teens to go cruising (or as Doug said, “dragging”) during the 1950s and ‘60s.
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Monday, December 10, 2018

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