Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ainsworth Then and Now: Summit Lawn/Indian Ridge

Circa 1898, and 2015.

2015-5-28. Dorman house circa 1898
2015-5-28. Indian Ridge 2015
(Click on images to enlarge)
First image courtesy of the Hobart Historical Society.

I had intended to take the "now" photo in the winter, when the view wasn't blocked by all those leaves, but you know how it goes. The circa-1898 photo is not very clear, being a reprint from the Gazette souvenir edition of 1898 — how I wish we had the original. When I moved out here in 1990, there was still a house standing among those trees. I'm not sure whether it was the same house as in the 1898 photo; it was knocked down so long ago that I scarcely remember how it looked.

The stone pillars and walls remaining on the grounds may date to 1911, when "John R. Dorman … greatly ornamented his home place by erecting some tall stone posts" ("Ross Township Notes," Hobart Gazette 1 Sep. 1911).

2015-5-28. Pillars

2015-5-28. Summit Lawn pillar

2015-5-28. JFDorman pillar

The newspapers rarely referred to the Dorman place as "Summit Lawn," but I do find this in my notes from the Hobart Gazette of Sept. 13, 1907:
Dorman's Summit Lawn Stock Farm of Duroc Jersey swine captured nine firsts and two seconds, also sweepstakes making this the second year the same herd has done this. He showed against 5 different herds and breeds this year at Porter County Fair.
When I go back and read the 1890s newspapers, I hope to get a better idea of when John Dorman bought this parcel. The 1891 Plat Book shows it belonging to George Sykes, but John Dorman owned it by 1899 per the notes I have on hand, and perhaps earlier.

Another pillar, north of those shown above, has halfway collapsed. I have no idea when or why it got a horseshoe embedded in the cement:

2015-5-28. Horseshoe

Here is a picture of John Dorman in his later years, from an unidentified 1944 newspaper (clipped and pasted into a scrapbook by Minnie Harms).

John Dorman circa 1944.
(Click on image to enlarge)
Image courtesy of Eldon Harms.

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[7/18/2015 update] From the Hobart Gazette of June 15, 1928, here is an article describing the types and sources of the rocks composing these pillars:

Stone pillars on Dorman (Indian Ridge) property
(Click on image to enlarge)

The description of pillars — their height and the four-sided pyramid topping them — matches the existing pillars, but I'm wondering why the article was not written until 1928 if the pillars were indeed erected in 1911. On the other hand, the article does not say they were recently built.


LLoyd Puchek said...

Is this some where on route 51? , I'm trying to understand where this is.

Ainsworthiana said...

Indian Ridge Golf Course, east side of Route 51 on the north side of the Deep River.

LLoyd Puchek said...

Thank you, I had a hunch where that is, Thank You !