Saturday, June 27, 2015

She Was a Yar(d) Vessel

A reader wrote in with a vague memory of someone building a ship in his yard near Randolph and 73rd Ave. during the 1970s/early 1980s. After asking around a bit, I found another person with the same memory — just slightly less vague — who said the shipbuilder's first name was Hans (last name unknown), and he lived on the north side of 73rd Ave., some distance east of its intersection with Randolph. The house where he lived and its outbuildings are gone now. I'm just posting this in the hope of hearing from someone with a clearer memory, or maybe even a picture.

[7/8/2015 update] Chester Wasy has written in with a few more details!
The best I can recall, Han and his wife came from Europe in the early 60's and purchased a small parcel of farm land with a house, barn and chicken coops. He and his wife raised chickens and Han would take their eggs to the Gary area and developed a market to sell their eggs.

When they came to Indiana they had a motorcycle with a side car. This was the vehicle used to deliver his eggs to their customers. Yes he did build a boat in their back yard and had the boat moved to the port of Indiana where it was launched. When I worked for GTE I did visit their home to repair their telephone and when I was working in Portage I did see their boat at the Port.

Now for some possible lead on additional information. The Gary Post Tribune did have an interest story about Han and his wife. You might be able to research the Post Tribune archives for additional information.
If only I could get my hands on that Post-Tribune article, all our questions would be answered. I haven't found a searchable on-line source that covers anything earlier than 1986. The Lake County Public Library has the Post-Tribune from 1907 to the present on microfilm, but I do not have time (at least not right now) to go browsing through a couple of decades of papers to try to find this story. Anyone around here who has been looking for a way to occupy their time may have just found it.

"My, She Was Yar"

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