Thursday, August 21, 2014

Abscess on the Brain

I can't find the Harold Guernsey, Otis' son, in the 1920 census — not even in Montana, which is where his brother William had to go to fetch him when he became dangerously sick in June of 1921. Harold was about 21 years old at this time.

2014-8-21. "South of Deepriver" column
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Images from the Hobart News 23 June 1921.

All the other news on this page is much more pleasant, including an ice-cream social at the home of Arthur and Mary Strong, south of Deep River; and in Crown Point, a party for Elmer Bullock's 18th birthday.

In the left-hand column we find notices of an upcoming show based on the popular comic strip, The Gumps. The fact that it would be held under a "big rainproof tent" is alarming to those of us who know what waterproofed tents could do when they caught fire. But no reports of disaster came out of "Henpecked Andy" in this case.

2014-8-21. Ad for entertainment featuring the 'Gumps'

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nolte-Wasy Barn

Continuing our look at the 1947 photos of the former Nolte farm after it passed into the hands of the Wasy family, we come to this large, impressive barn.

2014-8-19. DRF Cow Barn 1947 001 detail
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of Chester Wasy.

I wonder if this relates to the long concrete floor you can still find among the trees between Big Maple Lake and the Deep River? But again, there was plenty of time for other construction between 1947 and … whenever the Lake County Parks Dept. bought this property.

2014-8-19. DRF Cow Barn 1947 001

Sunday, August 17, 2014

The Shadow of the Speedway

The Hobart Historical Society museum has on display a gigantic aerial photo of Hobart dated 1967. Seriously, this thing is about seven feet high and wide.

Although by 1967 the Hobart Speedway was long out of use, on that photo you can still see its shadow in the fields south of Cleveland Avenue. This is probably the sort of thing that could not be seen from ground level, only from the air.

Here is a photo I took yesterday of that part of the gigantic aerial view.

IMG_6793 copy

Here it is with labels:

IMG_6793 labeled

You can see the whole set of images I took, trying to get a good shot, here.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wildflowers of Ainsworth: Water Horehound

Found growing in the low ground beside the Canadian National tracks.

2014-8-16. Water Horehound
(Click on images to enlarge)

The flowers are tiny (less than ¼" across), white with purple streaks, and grow in the axils.

2014-8-16. Water Horehound blossoms

The leaves on the upper part of the stalk are toothed. Further down, they are deeply lobed.

2014-8-16. Water Horehound lower leaf

I can't find much information about this plant. Its cousin, common horehound, gets all the press.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

"Camp Grounds in Much Favor"

The Cleveland Avenue campground's first summer was proving its value to travelers.

2014-8-14. Campground
(Click on images to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette 10 June 1921.

How I wish I had the picture taken May 10, 1921:

2014-8-14. Campground photo
From the Hobart Gazette 17 June 1921.

(Also: Wood-Rose genealogy revealed in the "Local Drifts"!)

Here a Gary newspaper mentions a Chicago newspaper's praise of the Hobart campground:

2014-8-14. Credit for campground
From the Hobart News 23 June 1921.

(Also, the obituary of William Scharbach, Sr.)

Local people found the campground a convenient and pleasant spot for outings, too, and Augustana Lutheran Church held its annual picnic there on June 30, 1921.

2014-8-14. Picnic at campground
From the Hobart Gazette 8 July 1921.

The "Local Drifts" column of the same issue noted the entrepreneurial spirit of the McAfees' 15-year-old son, Warren:
Warren McAfee has established a refreshment stand near the park entrance, and is meeting with very good success supplying tourists with refreshments. His stand is also well patronized by campers.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Harms Road

From the Lester Harms collection.

Harms Road is an odd little stretch of two-lane blacktop just south of Route 30. It cuts diagonally across the countryside to connect two regular east-west section roads, E. 83rd and E. 89th. Back in the old days (circa 1930s, perhaps later) it was known as the Sitzenstock Road in honor, I believe, of the family of Ernest and Emma Sitzenstock, whom we find on the 1908 Plat Map owning a farm that straddled the road just as it dove southwest from present-day E. 83rd Ave. Its name was changed in honor of Lester and Mathilda "Sue" Harms, who owned 80 acres at the junction of Colorado St. and the Sitzenstock road at the time the road names were being formalized and set — well, not in stone, but on street signs and maps, I suppose. Why them, instead of any of the other landowners along that road? Perhaps they had been there longer than anyone else, but if that's the case then the street name must have been assigned sometime after 1950, when the Sitzenstocks still owned their old farm.

1950 Harms Sitzenstock
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From the 1950 Plat Book.

Or maybe "Sitzenstock" wouldn't fit onto a street sign.

Anyway, today our selection from the Lester Harms collection is an undated aerial view of the farm that gave Harms Road its name.

2014-8-12. lh091
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Image courtesy of E.H.

We are looking northwest. Lester's farm is in the foreground, with Harms Road running in front of it, horizontally across the picture. Beyond it you can see Colorado Street. The little collection of buildings and trees on the west side of Colorado is the farm of William and Louise Prochno. Their daughter, Mathilda, after losing her first husband (Noland White), would become Lester's second or third wife — I am really confused at this point over how many times Lester was married and to whom.

Today, Lester's former house and the big barn are still standing. Maybe some of the other outbuildings are, too, but I'm not sure. Nothing is left of the Prochno buildings.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Saloon Building to Come Down

The "dilapidated structure" that is the subject of this Times article is the Sauter saloon building. The work begun last fall has long since been abandoned. The building has been sitting empty, with a big hole in the roof and an unlocked door, so nature and vandals have been free to do as they please. Now it's a wreck. Historic — 115 years old — but a wreck.

Since I moved to Ainsworth, we've lost the blacksmith shop and the general store. The train depot and the original school were gone before I got here. Now the saloon is about to go. Ainsworth is disappearing.