Tuesday, November 30

Roads, the Old Jail and more

By Paula Dunn

It’s a reader feedback week!

Pam Ferber wondered about the comment I made in the archaeology column that State Road 13 is now Allisonville Road.

That was no misprint.

I think I’ve written about this before, but in case other people have forgotten as well, what we know today as Allisonville Road was State Road 13 in the early 1930s. It became State Road 37 in 1936 when State Road 13 was rerouted.

After the construction of today’s State Road 37 in the mid-1950s, the old State Road 13/37 was referred to as 37A. That lasted for several years, then in the mid-1970s the preferred designation became “Allisonville Road.”

(Who remembers when 86th/82nd Street was State Road 100? I do, I do!)

Ed Snyder was curious about Englewood Academy, the Bakers Corner school that planted so many trees in honor of Columbus Day, 1892.

Bakers Corner was originally called Englewood after three sisters who were the first settlers. However, neither Nancy Massey nor I could find any mention of an “Englewood Academy” beyond a couple of references in some Hamilton County Ledgers of the 1890s.

Bakers Corner built a new brick school in 1889. I’m wondering if that school was the one the Ledger’s Bakers Corner correspondent called “Englewood Academy.”

Some of those old newspaper correspondents tended to get carried away with their own creativity. Maybe referring to the school as the “Englewood Academy” was an attempt to make it sound grander than it was.

We’ve got another wooly worm report — Nicole Kobrowski spotted a “short, fat black one.”

Interestingly, the black wooly worm Lisa Hayner found in her driveway was also very small and very fuzzy — so small in fact, she photographed it next to a penny for comparison.

Lisa wondered if the size of the wooly worm might indicate a cold, but short winter with very little snow. (Remember, black wooly worms mean cold weather.)

The columns that mentioned the old Hamilton County Sheriff’s Residence and Jail brought back fond memories for Marilyn Conner. She performed office work at the old jail in the 1970s.

Marilyn recalled one occasion when Sheriff Larry Cook walked up to her desk and asked if she could cook. When she answered, “Yes, sir,” he informed her she was cooking for the inmates that day!

The regular cook was out sick and Marilyn ended up not only cooking that day, but the following day as well. (The old jail had a very “Mayberry” vibe.)

After the new jail on Cumberland Road opened in 1977, Marilyn spent a lot of time working with records that had been stored in the old jail’s basement, deciding what should be kept and what could be pitched. She described it as a very smelly job!

I also heard from Sharlene Ramsey. Sharlene is the daughter of Roland Guilkey, the Hamilton County Sheriff who arrested check forgers Robert and Willadene Wotring.

Sharlene was ten at the time of the Wotrings’ arrest and she remembers them well. She agreed with me that describing the couple as “armed and dangerous” was a stretch. To her, they “seemed like the people next door — just not having a 9-5 job.”

Special congratulations to Sharlene’s aunt, Phyllis Mendenhall! Sharlene informed me that Phyllis has graduated from being one of our Notable Nineties to being a Sensational Centenarian. (By the way, Phyllis’ husband, Eugene Mendenhall, was the special deputy who helped with the Wotrings’ arrest.)

Diane Crossley Welchel tells me the Fishers Historical Society is raising money to erect an Indiana Historical Marker to commemorate the Fishers grave robberies. She said they’ve raised about half of the $2,950 they need.

If you’d like to contribute to the fund, see the society’s Facebook page.

Paula Dunn’s From Time to Thyme column appears on Wednesdays in The Times. Contact her at younggardenerfriend@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *