Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Birthday Gathering at the Stokesberry Bungalow at 352 Burgess Avenue






Sometime around 1937, Hattie Jones Ruhsensberger (1872-1973) and her sister Isadora Jones Louiso Cannavan (1868-1955) gathered in the living room at the home of Chester and Veta Cannavan (1905-1985) at 352 Burgess Avenue. Veta was the daughter of "Dora" and hosted the event. The two sisters had remained close over the years, and they loved to celebrate their January birthdays. Hattie dwelled at 5930 E. Washington Street and Dora lived in several places before moving to Irvington to be near her daughter and sister. Dora worked as midwife and upon her death in 1955, the local newspaper called her "an angel on horseback." She also attended wounded World War One veterans at a military hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. You may learn more about the Ruhsenberger family by following the link listed below.

Chester Stokesberry moved into this two-bedroom bungalow in 1927 with his first wife Marie. The home was only a year old at the time and was likely built by contractors Keith and Effie Stonegate in 1925. The Indianapolis newspapers reported dozens of new bungalows for sale in the Irvington area in the mid-1920s. Most contained a long living room, dining room, kitchen, two bedrooms, and one bath. Some like this one had a breakfast nook and built-in features next to the fireplace. After their marriage, Veta Cannavan Stokesberry took up residence and the Stokesberrys would live in this house until the 1980s.

Chester Stokesberry (1895-1984) was a jeweler, watchmaker, clockmaker, and an artist. Some of his work appeared at various exhibitions including at the John Herron Art Institute. His paintings are highly collectable in 2011. He specialized in landscape scenes. In the photo you can see two of his works on the walls of the Burgess Avenue bungalow. The Ellenberger Park painting hanging above the ladies in the photo eventually moved to the Ruhsenberger home and is still in the family's possession. The other three works featured on this post recently sold at a local art auction. The scene depicting snow is called "January Thaw." These paintings were completed in 1956.

Be sure to study the black and white photograph. Veta Stokesberry kept a beautiful home and she loved antiques. The exterior photo of the home was taken on July 24, 2011. The historic image and the stories are courtesy of Ann Stewart.

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