31 July 2009
30 July 2009
I did it. I gave in and bought a frickin' digital television which is what "the man" wanted all along. But I'm not giving in to cable...I refuse. The bunny ears set in the window pick up PBS...which was why we bought the new tv anyway. I'm kind of an impulse buyer.....it just takes me six months (the length of time we talked about buying a tv since the switch over and we lost digital PBS, even with our converter box-don't get me started on that) to get my impulse up. A few Saturdays ago I was walking aimlessly through the house, then walked up to my wife and said "I'm going to go buy a tv" and returned 20 minutes later with a tv and new dvd player.
But so far I have watched the building of the parthenon and an archaeological dig in Utah and this fall Ken Burns new series on the National Parks comes out. Man, I've missed PBS. And of course, Homer Simpson looks so much better in digital too!
29 July 2009
28 July 2009
Once again a few alignments of the LH can cause confusion in Elkhart. A later alignment turns west onto Indiana Avenue and bypasses the downtown while the original route continues northwest on South Main. The original route has this interesting angled intesection near St. Vincent Catholic Church.
As the LH enters downtown Elkhart it passes by this old garage and service station constructed about 1920.
The LH enters Elkhart County on County Road 50 from Noble County. It continues west until it reconnects with Highway 33 again, heading northwest. A short section is bypassed once it reconnects with 33, likely because of a tight curve (above). One of the best Indiana Lincoln Highway buildings is located just south of the little town of Benton. It is the Lee Cabin Inn, constructed in 1926. I had an interesting conversation with the owner written about before on HH here http://hoosierhappenings.blogspot.com/2008/11/finding-jesus-on-lincoln-highway.html.
The small town of Benton is next. The settlement has importance in Elkhart County history because of the Elkhart River ford located at this site that allowed the county to be opened up for settlement.
After a short drive through additional farmland, the LH enters Goshen on its southeast side near the highschool. Highway 33 joins with Highway 15 and heads north through Goshen's downtown. Goshen has a vibrant downtown with some great architecture of the LH period, along with some fantastic older buildings including the 1870 Elkhart County Courthouse.
On the southeast corner of the courthouse green is an Art Deco inspired police booth, constructed in 1939 to keep watch during the bank robbing heydays of the 1930's. I think it may be one-of-a kind.
The LH turns west and follows Highway 33 just north of the downtown for a few blocks before you have a choice to make on which route you want to follow. You can either continue west and cross the river, then make an immediate right onto Chicago Avenue, or you can make a right just before the river and continue following the east and north banks of the river (River Avenue)until you cross this fantastic old iron bridge (this is the original route).
27 July 2009
25 July 2009
Highway 33 skirts the south side of Merriam with a section of the LH bypassed so as to not traverse the town cemetery as the LH once did. It also goes past an unusual c. 1935 house dubbed the "airplane house" at least as relayed by its current owners. They weren't sure why it was called that, but I believe its Art Deco form gives some insight.
The small town of Wolf Lake follows and is home to the 1929 Luckey Hospital, once a private establishment, but now a museum. The Jr's Dari-Sweet on the north side of town appears to have been serving cool treats to passers-by since the late 50's.
The outstanding 1876 Kimmel Farm north of Wolf Lake, now a bed & breakfast and eatery, has been pain-stakingly restored and is a must-stop.
North of Kimmel the LH/33 joins up with Highway 5 and at the junction of the roads is Stone's Trace, an exceptionally well-maintained pioneer homestead with Stone's Tavern constructed in 1838. This is maintained as a historical site with a fall festival held each year.
A brick section of the LH still exists north of Stone's Trace, bypassed by 33.
23 July 2009
My great x 4 grandfather's name was Ezekial Chapman. He was born in 1783 in Onondaga County, New York to family from Massachusetts. Ezekial settled with his family in Ohio before moving on to Indiana, first to LaPorte in 1840, then to Argos in 1844. Ezekial's son was Dr. Clarke Chapman, one of the first men to graduate from the LaPorte Medical Institute and also patented one of those cure-all elixirs in his day. Clarke was responsible for relaying the story of Johnny Appleseed visiting their farm in Ohio and called him his father's cousin.
So, I began to investigate the story. The time frame would work for John Chapman, aka: Johnny Appleseed, to visit their family farm in Ohio. We know that John Chapman was born in Massachusetts in 1774 and traveled mainly through Illinois, Ohio and Indiana planting apple trees. I did a search on Appleseed's kin and came up empty with the connection, however the generations would align. This is where I need the History Detectives to step in.
Dr. Clarke Chapman (1823-1898), second cousin to Johnny Appleseed
Johnny Appleseed died on Hoosier soil and was buried in Fort Wayne in 1845. Of course, everyone is familiar with the tale of the lanky fellow wearing a tin pot for a cap crossing the wilderness on foot planting apple trees. He has become an American legend due to his peculiar dress, transient lifestyle and generous nature. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Appleseed
His relationship to me may just be one of those legends I let live on....and not try to prove or disprove. It does make for a great story; but I've not played it up too much with my kids.....they have enough trouble being related to Hoosier Reborn.
Laporte Medical Institute
For the record: I may have planted a lot of trees in my lifetime, but never an apple tree. My dad told me a story once about the old apple tree at his parent's farm that he planted as a kid. He traded a turtle (if I remember the story correctly) for the sapling. My only connection besides being a bit obsessive with planting trees is that I have a great weakness for apple dumplings. And occasionally I put an old tin pot on my head.