Friday, January 31, 2014

Pigs of Ainsworth

She wasn't much of a housekeeper, but she fed her little ones well.

st169 Piglets and mom
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

This happy domestic scene was photographed on the old Harms homestead east of Ainsworth. It dates probably to the mid-1930s. I am not sure if all of the children on the fence are little Harmses, and if they are I don't know which is which.

The blank wall at left is part of the granary.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Young Men Do Foolish Things

Marshal Fred Rose, Sr., wasted no time in tracking down the evil-doers responsible for the vandalism to the Hobart school, and the harassment of women and girls (a different doer of that evil).

Crimes solved
From the Hobart News 3 Mar. 1921.
(Click on images to enlarge)

Commenting on the case, the Gazette printed this timeless lament:

Young Men Do Foolish Things
From the Hobart Gazette 4 Mar. 1921.

The vandals' names were never revealed.

Sentencing and White Mule
From the Hobart Gazette 11 Mar. 1921.

The $25 fine and costs, which latter amounted to $50 according to the News, added to the $50 in damages would total to about $1,626 in 2013 dollars.

As the "white mule" story (above) reminds us, older men also did foolish things … and illegal things.


Gambling raids
From the Hobart News 10 Mar. 1921.

(Incidentally, I have no clue what "school problems" the East Ross Community Association meeting, mentioned to the left of "Young Men Do Foolish Things" above, intended to address.)

CPI Inflation Calculator.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 3 Mar. 1921; 10 Mar. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 11 Mar. 1921.
♦ "Young Men Do Foolish Things." Hobart Gazette 4 Mar. 1921.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Unidentified Young Love

Time for another unidentified wedding photo that must have meant something to Minnie Rossow Harms, since she kept it in the steamer trunk.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

The identity of the photographer isn't very helpful in narrowing down the timeframe, since (so far as I know at this moment) W.H. Hayward operated solo in Crown Point for several decades.

And I'm having trouble putting a date on the style of the bride's clothing. I suppose if I had to guess, I'd say early 1890s.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Checked Out of the Hotel McDaniel

"March has been a splendid month so far," said the Gazette, but in the home of George and Mabel Sauter it was miserable. George, who'd been through several illnesses already, was again confined to his bed with some unspecified ailment, unable to work in his grocery store. Mabel was "quite ill with rheumatism" — with a 15-month-old child to care for.

And now we hear from Mary Baird Chester McDaniel, whose ill health perhaps prompted her and her husband, John, to give up operating their Chicago hospitality business, whatever it was — the Gazette now calls it a "rooming house," but had described their 1917 purchase as an 84-room hotel. It's possible they had downsized in the interim. Anyway, the McDaniels were contemplating a move to Hobart or Valpo, probably in search of peace and quiet and fresh air; for a few days now they were enjoying the fresh air at the farm she had once presided over as Henry Chester's wife, now owned by her step-son, Charles Chester. The two granddaughters mentioned in the item below were Helen and Edna Scroggins.

McDaniel news
From the Hobart Gazette of 18 Mar. 1921.
(Click on image to enlarge)

♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 10 Mar. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 18 Mar. 1921.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Third and Main for the Millionth Time

I know, I know: we've seen Third and Main over and over again, but I don't believe we've seen this exact, precise view, which is why I bought it.

3rd looking E from Main
(Click on images to enlarge)

The postmark is unclear, but looks to me like 1924. That seems consistent with the style of the ATS building's façade (it was remodeled in 1926) and the cars in the street.

3rd looking E from Main verso

I haven't identified the sender or the receiver.

I just wish somebody could explain this thing to me:

This Thing

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Three Little Kids

This small, faded photo was loose in the back of Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

Three little kids
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

I don't recognize the girl at left, but the other two are probably Norma and Raymond Lindborg, and, judging by their ages, I'd guess the date to be around 1920 or '21.

And with this, folks, we come to the end of Mildred's album. I always feel, when we come to the end of a collection, that we're saying goodbye to a friend! I wish I were able to thank Mildred for putting this all together and captioning so many of the pictures; she has allowed us a glimpse of life in Ainsworth some 80 or 90 years ago.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Minnie of Many Names

Otis and Minnie Guernsey
(Click on image to enlarge)
Otis and Minnie Guernsey.
Image courtesy of Victoria Rickey.

OK, here's the thing that surprised me, when I just recently re-learned it, about Otis Guernsey's wife, Minnie: she was born a Schavey, half-sister to Henry and the other Schavey siblings, thus some sort of half-aunt to Mable Schavey Breyfogle. I learned this from her father's 1910 obituary:

Frederick Schavey Sr. obit
(Click on image to enlarge)

Fred Sr.'s first wife came to this country and then departed this world in between censuses, so I don't even know her given name. The 1870 census shows Minnie in the household with Fred's second wife. (However, my assumption that I've found the right household requires me to believe that the enumerator made a mistake in putting Frederick down as "Philip," and there's also what seems to be an older sister to Minnie, named Augusta, while the obituary has Minnie as the sole surviving child of the first marriage by the time of the second marriage — but in between 1870 and 1910 there was plenty of time for confusion of memories, nor would it be the first time we've seen a mistake in an obituary.) In 1880, Minnie was still at home (and Augusta, whoever she was, was gone).

And then Minnie got married to someone who wasn't Otis Guernsey … but I can find no record of it. We know she was Minnie Jones when she married Otis (and furthermore she had a son, John Jones, who served in France during World War I, and afterward came to the Guernsey farm in July 1919*). I thought there might have been a second marriage pre-Otis, because we've encountered a son of hers with the surname McDonald. However, the Dewell family archivist has done some detective work on that question, and writes:
I started to try to figure out if Clarence really was her son, and came to a negative conclusion.

1) There is a Clarence listed in the 1900 Census living in the Guernsey household. His birthdate is listed as June 1892, which would have been before Otis [Guernsey] and Amanda [Rex, Otis' wife before Minnie] married. Amanda says she had 5 children and 5, including Clarence, were living in the household. So perhaps Amanda was married before or had Clarence 'McDonald' out of wedlock.

It would seem natural that if Minnie raised the children after Amanda ran off and met her horrible end, Minnie would have received notice of Clarence McDonald's death in 1918, being sort of the next of kin.

Now it gets tricky... shows a Clarence Edward McDonald getting married in Newton Co IN on 20 Dec 1919 to Amanda Myrtle Parks. And his mother is listed as Amanda Rex! So is it possible that Clarence was resurrected by the US Army? I suppose the name may have been common enough that there could have been a mistake made. Did they have dog tags? What a shocker that would have been!

Clarence has a WWI and WWII draft card showing his birth in Hebron IN on 12 June 1892. SSI records show death in Lake County in Oct 1970.
♦    ♦    ♦

Now let's look at some incidents from Minnie's time under the surname Guernsey. Well, she was exposed to the hazards of farm life, as this 1910 incident shows:

Mad cow attack

Shortly the cow attack, several of the Guernsey kids came down with scarlet fever and the house was quarantined. I believe they all recovered.

In 1913 Minnie had serious problems hinted at in a short news item: "Attorney R.R. Peddicord and Henry Schavey went to Longcliffe Saturday and returned with Mrs. Otis Guernsey, who has been an inmate of the Northern Hospital for the Insane for the past three weeks." That was the only such incident, so far as I know from the newspapers. Three years later, she temporarily left Otis — we can only speculate as to why.

There you have it, a brief summary of the highlights, or the lowlights, in the life of Minnie Schavey McDonald(?) Jones Guernsey.

* The Dewell family archivist has also found John Jones living in Minnie's household in 1900, 1910 and 1930.

1870 Census.
1880 Census.
♦ "Death of Old Citizen." Hobart Gazette 2 Dec. 1910.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 10 June 1910; 1 July 1910.
♦ "Mrs. Otis Guernsey Returns From Northern Hospital for Insane." Hobart News 10 July 1913.
♦ "South of Deepriver." Hobart News 24 July 1919.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Guernsey Report

In February 1921, the Melvin Guernsey family, back from their unsuccessful Florida experiment, moved onto land described as "the Neilson farm five miles east of Crown Point." I don't know where that is, so I'm going to forget about the Melvin Guernsey family for now.

In April we hear from my favorite Guernseys, Otis and his fourth wife, Minnie.

Guernsey farm sale
(Click on images to enlarge)

I can't find Otis Guernsey on the 1908 Plat Map, where I believe he should be, but I can find him in the 1926 Plat Book, where he shouldn't be … unless he bought his farm back later.

O. Guernsey 1926

In going through my notes, I discover Otis had been trying to sell that land way back in 1913, when he described it as an "improved farm of 78 acres about 2 miles southeast of Deepriver, adjoining the C. & O. railroad station." But I also discovered something interesting about Minnie Guernsey, which had completely slipped my memory after I first made note of it. I will get to that in the near future.

As for the buyer of the farm, this James Jeffrey, in spite of his having "lived at Liverpool for quite a while," I can't find him in the 1920 census. I believe he was born circa 1876 to John and Ann Jeffrey of Hobart. In 1902 he married Angeline (or Engeline) Escherich; by 1910 they had four children, whom James supported by doing "odd jobs." Their stay on the former Guernsey farm was less than ten years — by 1930 they had moved to a farm in Winfield Township (and added four more children to their brood).

Anyway, in early May, Otis and Minnie Guernsey returned from their visit to St. Louis, but I don't know where they deposited themselves, since their farm was already occupied by its new owner.

1880 Census.
1910 Census.
1930 Census.
♦ "Additional Local News." Hobart Gazette 24 Jan. 1913; 6 May 1921.
Indiana Marriage Collection.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 10 Mar. 1921.
♦ "Local Drifts." Hobart Gazette 22 April 1921.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Lester Harms

Having posted a picture of Lois Harms, I can't very well neglect her brother, Lester, now can I? This photo comes from Aunt Minnie's steamer trunk.

Lester Harms
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

This may be a confirmation portrait (there's a cross on the book he's holding — a catechism, maybe?). Lester was born in 1904 (Social Security Death Index), and here he appears perhaps 13 years old, so I'm guessing the photo dates to about 1917.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Sunday School, Dandelion Wine, and a "Period of Retrenchment"

After Daisy Raschka became Mrs. John Fleck, Lesta was the oldest daughter still at home; but in the spring of 1921, at about 22 years of age, she was making plans to leave — destination: marriage. She was engaged to Otto Maicke.

On the evening of Friday, March 4, Daisy hosted a shower for Lesta at the Raschka home on Lake Street. "The evening was spent in social converse, during which a dainty luncheon was served," said the Hobart News. "Miss Raschka was the recipient of many beautiful gifts."

On Monday evening, Lesta brought her Sunday School class over to the house, and I hope her parents were home from their missionary board meeting in time for the fun:

Lesta Raschka et al.
(Click on image to enlarge)

That social column is packed with news of people we know — brothers Christ and Tony Springman drunk on dandelion wine; Albion Paine traveling from his farm west of Ainsworth to seek medical help in Chicago; and Paul Newman busying himself with a proposed tourist camp for travelers on the Yellowstone Trail where it ran with Cleveland Avenue into Hobart.

The last item in the column mentions the local effects of a depression the nation was going through. Among the men laid off by the Pennsy Railroad was our friend Peter Palm. I am not sure what his job with the railroad was, as the 1920 census is illegible on that point — but he described himself then as a farmer as well as a railroad employee, and he took the layoff in stride, saying that he had plenty of work to do on his small farm.

1920 Census.
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 10 Mar. 1921.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lois Harms

Speaking of John and Sophia Harms' children (as we were yesterday), here's one of them: Lois.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

Cute as a button! … And on the topic of buttons, look at her high-top shoes. How did a mother ever do up all those buttons for a wriggly toddler?

Lois was born in 1915, I believe, and here she looks to be about three years old.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ellen's 78th Birthday

It's a collection of Ainsworth old-timers, as two Chester sisters — Carrie Raschka and Lovisa Nelson — visit Mrs. C.E. Smith, née Ellen Harper. Carrie and Lovisa must have known Ellen from their childhood, as she and her husband Cyrus were already their neighbors when they came into the world.

Mrs. C.E. Smith; John Harms move
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 3 Mar. 1921.

Also, it's the farm-moving season, and John and Sophia Harms, with their two children, at last are occupying the land they bought in August 1919.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Baring His Sole

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

53 Lindborgs and friends, side yard
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

Mildred didn't give us a caption for this one.

The background is the west side of the Lindborg house in Ainsworth.

In the back row, from left to right, we can recognize Gust Lindborg and his daughters, Mildred and Gladys. I'm not sure who the next two women are; the album's owner thinks they might be Edna and Mickey Kimball/Goyette, but looking at the full-size scan of the photo, I wonder — they seem too far apart in age to be sisters — so I'm going to call them unidentified for now. At right are Norma and Anna Lindborg.

In the front row, the kid at left with his foot to the camera is Frank Hanson; crouching next to him is his father, and then Raymond Lindborg.

I am told that the Hansons were friends of the Lindborgs who lived in Gary. The 1930 Census shows a Peter and Josephine Hanson in Gary, with a 15-year-old son, Franklin. (Irene Hanson's parents were also named Peter and Josephine, and their ages correspond to Franklin's parents', but I can't find any intersection of Irene and Franklin.)

As to the date of the photo — judging by the mixture of 1920s and 1930s waistlines among the women, and by the apparent age of Raymond Lindborg, I would guess it was taken about 1931 or '32.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Steam Broke His Ribs

The early automobiles had their bad points, but among their advantages over horses was that automobiles could not get scared.

John Berndt v. runaway horses
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News of 3 Mar. 1921.

Friday, January 17, 2014

When They Are Married

From the steamer trunk.

Has Herman Harms already decided that he wants to marry Minnie Rossow? This postcard was playful, of course; perhaps nothing more than playful.

(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

Don't you wonder about the models in these postcards? — Who they were, how they found themselves sitting for such photos, where their lives led them afterwards? — no? I'm the only one? OK.

(And who, having jotted down that doggerel at the bottom, said to himself/herself: "Perfect!" or even "That'll do"?)

… Just look at this beautiful Ainsworth postmark. May 11, 1912.


Thursday, January 16, 2014

Aunt Molly

Obit of Molly Ahrens
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette, 25 Feb. 1921.

I hope I've got this right: Molly Schavey Ahrens was the sister of Henry Schavey, who was the father of our Mable Schavey Breyfogle.

Molly had married Fred Ahrens in 1906. Their children were quite young at her passing — Helen about 11, Fred Jr. about 6.

(Above Aunt Molly's is the obituary of Jennie Clifford, whose son, Claude, was once a Hobart plumber.)

Additional Sources:
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
Cook County, Illinois, Marriages Index.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Phone 289 for Moehl's Garage

I bought this little cigarette lighter some time ago; finally got around to attempting to photograph it, not very successfully, since it's little and round and has a heavy side and a light side and always wants to lie heavy side down. This is as good as it's going to get.

Moehl 1
(Click on images to enlarge)

Moehl 2

Moehl 3

There's still a spark in the old thing!

Moehl spark

… but no fuel, probably, so no flame.

The building that once housed Moehl's Garage was at the northeast corner of the junction of Second and East Streets. I believe it was the one recently demolished and replaced by another building on the same site. Thank goodness for Google street view, which lags behind real time — they haven't sent their cameramobile down that street since the demolition, so I went in there and nabbed this picture:*

Possibly Moehl's from west

I have checked local directories; the earliest Moehl's Garage appears is 1947, and the latest, 1974. A 1956 directory gives the proprietor's name as Elmer, a 1962 directory has it as Lowell, but I think they might be the same guy.

*Why didn't I think to do that with the Crisman house right away? It's too late now. The cameramobile has gone down 73rd Avenue again.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Phil Making a Face

Among Lillie Newman Barnes' miscellaneous photos was this one:

Phil making a face
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.

The only ID is a cryptic note on the back: "Phil was making a face at Marci when she took this snapshot." But since Lillie's sister, Bliss — known to the family as well as to census-takers and county registrars as "Dollie" — married Philip Roper, Jr., we can guess at this Phil's identity. If that's Dollie's husband, that may be Dollie herself standing so close to him.

But I can't even guess at who this Marci was, taking the snapshot.

I tried to find a picture of Phil Roper for comparison. The only one I could find was this, from the Roper genealogy file at the Hobart museum:

Boys from Roper genealogy file
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

Under this photo are handwritten notes:
Top Row  Robert & Phil
Bottom   Luther & Ernest
Those are indeed Phil's brothers' names. Taken at Showman's Gallery, the photo probably dates to sometime between 1893 and the turn of the century; Phil was born in 1884 — that seems consistent, since the kid at the top right looks about 14 years old.

But I can't say I see any resemblance! — and I'm not sure there would be much, between a serious adolescent boy, and a face-making man of perhaps 40 or 45.

Monday, January 13, 2014

How the Andersons Didn't Party

When 18-year-old Louise Rossow got married on February 20, 1921, it was a quiet celebration, nothing like big sister Minnie's wedding.

Anderson-Rossow wedding
(Click on image to enlarge)

I wonder why the difference?

(Incidentally, the News gives the witness' name as Gladys Humes, not Hill, and I don't know which is correct.)

A 1922 Gary directory shows the young Andersons living at 235 Tyler Street, he working as a telegraph operator.

1920 Census.
♦ Polk's Gary (Indiana) City Directory 1922. R.L. Polk & Co., 1922.
♦ "Anderson-Rossow Wedding." Hobart Gazette 25 Feb. 1921.
♦ "Anderson-Rossow." Hobart News 24 Feb. 1921.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Happy to Be in Hegewisch

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

52b Franklin, Gust, maybe Ollie Larson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of E.H.

Here we are again, at the same house in Hegewisch we've seen twice before, though not on the same day.

The guy on the stairs is Franklin Lindborg, that's Gust in the hat, and the young woman is uncertainly identified by the album's owner as Ollie Larson.

And Gust is smiling! So is Franklin, of course, but that is not quite so rare.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Baity's Motel and Restaurant

Another matchbook cover from another Merrillville business I know nothing about.

Baity's Motel and Restaurant
(Click on image to enlarge)

This one says it was on U.S. 30 west of Broadway. And it had TV!

I think I need to have a guardian appointed for myself, so I don't go around squandering my money on stuff like this.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Ice Cream and Soft Drink Parlor

Imagine my surprise to discover that in February 1921 there was an ice cream and soft drink parlor in Ainsworth!

Ice Cream parlor in Ainsworth
(Click on image to enlarge)

I suspect this parlor occupied the former saloon building, rented from the Wollenbergs.

Harry Sherman is a mystery. There was someone by that name who grew up on a farm in Ross Township, but he apparently spent the early 1920s living and working in Gary. Another possibility would be some Chicago relative of the Wollenbergs — I find a 1911 reference to the Wollenberg boys visiting an aunt in Chicago, "Mrs. Sherman" … perhaps she had a son named Harry who wanted to try running a business in Uncle Bill's defunct saloon. Makes sense, doesn't it? — even it's if all in my imagination.

♦    ♦    ♦

There are too many Fasels around for me to feel sure that the Frank Fasel who is mentioned on the page above is the same one who once faced a "serious charge" by Christ Ols, or who was little Mable's uncle, or even the Frank Fasel who turns up in the 1920 census running a dairy farm on his own land in Ross Township — why would he leave his own farm to move to the "old Bodamer farm"? If he did, it was an ill-fated move; in January 1921, while the Fasel family was away from home, the barn caught fire and burned down, taking with it other outbuildings, as well as some pigs and chickens, and hay and grain.

Where exactly was said "old Bodamer farm," anyway? The 1921 Union Township plat map shows several Bodamer parcels along the Lincoln Highway.

You know what? I hope Frank goes and lives happily ever after east of Chesterton so I don't have to worry about him anymore.

Frank Fasel public sale

1900 Census.
1910 Census.
1920 Census.
♦ "Ainsworth." Hobart News 17 Aug. 1911.
♦ Polk's Gary (Indiana) City Directory 1922. R.L. Polk & Co. (1922).
♦ "Local and Personal." Hobart News 13 Jan. 1921; 24 Feb. 1921.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Questions for Palm Relatives and Inquisitive Genealogists

I have received an inquiry concerning Hulda Palm from a genealogist in Sweden, who writes:
Some of my grandmother's siblings emigrated to America from Öland, Sweden in the late 1800s - early 1900s. Their surname was Sten and in USA they translated their name to Stone. I've got information from one of my now living relatives that Hulda Stone perhaps is the daughter of John Stone, a brother of my grandmother, and that Hulda married Peter Palm and they got three children: Helen, Ester and Elmer. I was so surprised to find this family on a picture from Labour Day on your blog. The thing is, that according to what I've found out, Hulda is probably not the daughter of this John Stone, because the dates doesn't agree. I think perhaps you could be the person who would know who Peter Palm's wife Hulda was, her background and where she came from. If you do so, I would be so grateful if you would take time and write back to me telling me what you know. Perhaps she is one of my ancestors, perhaps not.
Unfortunately I don't know enough about Hulda Palm to settle this question. Her maiden name was Stone, of that I'm convinced, as Peter Palm lived in Chicago and the Cook County marriage records show him marrying Hulda Stone in 1910; their ages in that record correspond with their ages in later censuses, and their children were all born after 1910.

But who was this Hulda Stone? Was she the daughter of John Sten? Did she come to this country from Öland, Sweden? I can only hope that someone who knows the answers to these questions will see this post and respond.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Well House? Watch Tower?

Another photo from Lillie Newman Barnes' "John Gruel Farm" envelope, and this time I believe it may actually be the farm. The photo is undated, but a partially visible car at left, behind the fence, looks 1920s-ish to me.

(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Diane Barnes.

I think (though I'm not sure) that the barn in the background at right is still standing.

But let us look at that tall, thin, gabled structure in the foreground. What the heck is it? My guess is a well house, perhaps with a water tank in the upper part, which would create water pressure via gravity.

It's interesting to compare the above photo with one from the Chicago Daily Tribune "fortress" article. One of the aerial photos in that article identifies a tall, thin structure near the entrance to the farm as a "watch tower."

Entrance to Carrozzo farm
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Chicago Daily Tribune, date unknown.

This photo isn't clear enough to see the details of the "watch tower" for comparison, but notice its location with respect to the other outbuildings, especially the barn towards the right edge of the picture. Whatever purpose it served, I think we may be looking at the same structure in both pictures.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


Even knowing that he grew up to be a cold-blooded murderer, I can't help feeling sorry for the eight-year-old Richard Chapman, sent away from his foster home in the winter of 1921:

Dunhams send Richard away
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart News, 24 Feb. 1921.

I haven't heard of any illness or other trouble that would make Louis and Gertrude Dunham unable to care for the boy. The problem may have been that they were at their wits' end in trying to deal with his behavioral problems; years later, Louis would testify in court about Richard's "early tendencies toward crime and his peculiarities."

I do not know exactly where this "Home of the Friendless" was, as that name was not uncommon for charitable institutions. A 1905 Chicago directory of such homes mentions two with "Home for the Friendless" in their names, and Chicago was a convenient distance.

Anyway, with Richard gone on Friday, he could not be blamed for the vandalism at the school the next Monday. From the wording of that news item, I get the impression that there might have been specific suspects for that and the earlier crime.

Monday, January 6, 2014

The Secret Lake of Ainsworth Road

From the steamer trunk.

This spring-fed lake didn't used to be such a secret; this photo (probably dating to the 1920s or early 1930s) shows it lying amidst open fields.

Secret lake 1
(Click on images to enlarge)
Images courtesy of E.H.

Nowadays, it's screened by grown trees. You can see part of it from the road if you know where to look, and you can see it in satellite images on-line.

The photo below may have been taken a little later (in the 1930s?), as here the lake's surroundings look slightly more grown-up — or perhaps it's just the angle of the shot.

Secret lake 2

I don't know whose barn that is in the background.

At the time these photos were taken, the lake was on the Harms farm, lying northeast of the house. Herman Harms, Sr. kept the lake stocked with fish, and rented boats to people who wanted to fish on it. That brought in a little money for the family.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Shearer & Son

Shearer & Emery ad for coal
(Click on images to enlarge)
Who knew there were so many kinds of coal? (Ad from Hobart Gazette 14 Jan. 1921.)

Shearer & Son announcement
From the Hobart News 24 Feb. 1921.

Paul Emery, as you may remember, married Bliss Shearer in 1915, so the firm had been, in effect, Shearer & Son-in-Law. It was just losing the "in-law."

Scharbach ad for coal
The competition.
(Ad from the Hobart Gazette 4 Feb. 1921.)

♦    ♦    ♦

Speaking of things that are almost indistinguishable, the Gem Theater would be hosting an ambitious demonstration — live music v. recording.

Is it live or is it Edison? demo
From the Hobart News 24 Feb. 1921.

Could an audience of 1921 really not hear any difference between a live performance and an Edison Chippendale phonograph?

(The "Mr. Tilford" who was kind enough to lend his phonograph for the occasion was probably Thomas Tilford, described in the 1920 Census as a 56-year-old railroad lineman.)

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Schmidt's: Good Food Served Right

Bought ages ago but just recently unearthed from the mess on my desk, a matchbook cover from Schmidt's in Merrillville:

Schmidt's matchbook cover
(Click on image to enlarge)

Per the description, it was at the intersection of Broadway and 73rd Avenue. Anybody remember exactly where?

♦    ♦    ♦

[1/6/2014 update] Mystery solved thanks to Steve S., who sent this information and image:
Attached is a photo of Schmidt's Restaurant location. This current building is still standing just west of Broadway and has been converted to apartments. In the early '60s I remember Schmidts also had a 2 (or 4?) lane manual bowling alley operated by pinboys. The restaurant and bowling alley lasted until 'Merri-Bowl' opening at 7610 Broadway.

(Click on image to enlarge)

Friday, January 3, 2014

A Bloody Night at the Opera House

Not only did the Strattan Opera House hold a big boxing match in February 1921, but ladies attended, and none of them fainted!

This event's connection to the American Legion post lent it an air of respectability, with such upstanding citizens (and military veterans) as Dr. Dwight Mackey and Carl Krausse conducting the proceedings.

Boxing in the Strattan Opera House
(Click on image to enlarge)
From the Hobart Gazette, 18 Feb. 1921.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Aunt Larson's Other Awesome Dress

From Mildred Lindborg's photo album.

52a Anna and Aunt Larson
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of N.B.

No caption, no date. Fortunately we recognize these two: at left, Anna Lindborg; at right, Aunt Larson, wearing a variation on the winged skirt.

That building behind them looks like the one behind the smiling Gust.