Wednesday, November 28, 2012

School #77 Photos c1949

School #77 began on September 6, 1932, to help alleviate the crowding in nearby elementary schools.  With the development of neighborhoods north of Pleasant Run Parkway and eventually along East 10th Street, Indianapolis Public Schools officials scrambled to find classroom space.  The first building was to be temporary, but would serve as a school nearly twenty years on the northeast corner of Arlington Avenue and Pleasant Run Parkway.  The school district built a more permanent structure on the site in 1952.

In these historic photos, likely taken around 1949, school children gather on the front yard of IPS #77. In the top photo, some young women raise the American flag. You will note that they have their hands over their hearts. In the second photo, patrol boys gather on the steps. If you recognize any of these folks then drop me a note at The historic images are courtesy of Larry Muncie, a local historian and author.

Girls raise the flag (c1949) at IPS #77 on Arlington Avenue

Patrol Boys (c.1949) IPS #77 on Arlington Avenue

School #77 is a charter school in 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Film Clip: Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery and a Grand Avenue Scene c1933

Charles Dorn, a popular Irvington grocer, operated a Standard Grocery Store on the northwest corner of Brookville Road and Grand Avenue. In this very brief clip, c. 1933, patrons exit and enter the store.  The final scene shows some employees standing along South Grand Avenue.  Behind them, you can see houses on the eastern side of the street (400 block).  I have included a shot of those dwellings in 2012.  This historic film is courtesy of Larry Muncie.

400 block of South Grand Avenue in 2012

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Film Clip of Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery and the Nearby Horner House c.1933

Charles Dorn operated a small Standard Grocery store on the northwest corner of Brookville Road and Grand Avenue. (just east of South Emerson Avenue) Sometime in the early 1930s, a family member or friend filmed Mr. Dorn and some of his workers as they exited the store.  Mr. Dorn can be seen wearing a hat and smoking a cigar.  Larry Muncie, a local historian, remembers going to the store during World War II with his mother Margaret Muncie and his Aunt Gladys Shimer.  During the war years, Mr. Dorn could only carry canned goods because of the rations on meat and other items. Eventually, a Standard Grocery Store would be built on East Washington Street. Mr. Dorn's store still stands today although it has been drastically altered and is now a church.

So you know what you are seeing, I have included a sequential history by clip:

0-5 seconds--The exterior of the store

6-20 seconds--You can see the employees exiting the store and playfully posing for the camera. Behind them, you can see a bungalow on the southside of Brookville Road near Emerson and a brief shot of the Horner House on South Emerson.  Towards the end of this segment, you can see Mr. Dorn standing along the Grand Avenue side.  A small bungalow on Grand is behind him.

22--27 seconds--You can see a young man come from around a bus parked on Brookville Road.  Behind him, you have a clear shot of the Horner House on South Emerson Avenue.

This amazing film clip is courtesy of Larry Muncie. I am working to get rid of the labeling on the film. Contemporary images show the same views in 2012.

Charles Dorn's Standard Grocery in 2012

The Horner House has recently been purchased. You may follow their blog by clicking on my favorite links.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Reunion at New York Street Double c1943

Orville and Alice Bowman dwelled in their duplex located at 5755 East New York Street for many years. The couple hailed from Ohio and raised their three sons, Gerald, Deforrest (Forry), and Albert in the house. Mr. Bowman was an insurance salesman.  The Bowman double was valued at $10,000 in the 1930 Federal Census.

In 1943, the Bowman sons gathered for a reunion with their parents.  In the top photo, Deforrest and his wife Marilois and his son, Michael, posed with his brother, Gerald, sister-in-law, Maxine, and his nephew, Richard in the family home on East New York Street.  The families gathered in the dining room for this photo.  Note the wonderful light fixture above the men.

In the second photo, Michael and Richard Bowman, posed for their grandparents in the same home. The contemporary photo, shows 5755 East New York Street in 2012.  The home still retains its original wood clapboard siding and rafter beams.  The historic photos are courtesy of the Bowman family.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Grandkids visit the Meek Family

Homer G. and Ruth Bonner Meek dwelled at 5809 Lowell Avenue for many years. The 1930 Census reveals that their home was valued at $7500. The Meeks hailed from Greensburg and moved to Indianapolis in the 1920s. Mr. Meek worked for the London Assurances Corporation as an insurance salesman. They raised their daughters Ruth and Marilois in the two-story stuccoed home. Marilois eventually married the boy next door or at least a block away. The Bowman and Meek families joined together in 1936 when Marilois married Deforrest Bowman.

The Bowmans had two children, Michael and Susan, who frequently visited both sets of grandparents. In these photos taken in the late 1930s and 1940s in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue, the Bowman children played with each other or with their parents. I have also included photos of Homer and Ruth Meek when they were young and still living in Greensburg, Indiana.

Michael and Susan Bowman play in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue in August of 1949

Deforrest Bowman plays with his son Michael in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue in 1938

Marilois Bowman proudly poses with her son Michael in the backyard of 5809 Lowell Avenue in 1938

Michael plays in the beautiful backyard belonging to the Meek family at 5809 Lowell Avenue in 1938. Note that Mrs. Meek has planted nasturtium, gladiolus, and zinnias next to her stylish birdbath.  

Homer Meek c.1905

Ruth Bonner in 1905

5809 E. Lowell Avenue in 2012

The historic images are courtesy of the Bowman family.  The contemporary image shows the front of 5809 Lowell Avenue in 2012.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Lowell Avenue Scenes c.1948

Michael and Susan Bowman loved to visit their grandparents, the Meeks, who lived on Lowell Avenue and the Bowmans, who lived on East New York Street.  In these two photos, the Bowmans gathered on the front yard of the Meek home at 5809 Lowell Avenue.  The home behind the family in the photo is actually 5816 Lowell Avenue.  You can also see the rear of the Dutch Colonial homes along North Bolton Avenue.  Today that view is not possible because a small house has been built obscuring the views of 1948.  In the top photo, Marilois Bowman posed with her two children.   Little Susie Bowman stood upon a landscaping rock.  In the second photo, Michael Bowman showed off his new bike while a neighbor girl (in the scarf) and his sister admired the gift.  The contemporary images, taken in 2012, shows the same views sans the cute children.

Marilois Bowman and her two children, Susan and Michael, c1948 in the front yard of 5809 Lowell Avenue

Susan and Michael Bowman (left) and a neighbor girl standing in the front yard of 5809 Lowell Avenue c1948

5816 Lowell Avenue in October of 2012

Lowell Avenue looking towards North Bolton in 2012 

The historic images are courtesy of the Bowman family.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Bowman Family of Walnut Street

Deforrest and Marilois Meek Bowman grew up just a block apart in Irvington and settled down in the neighborhood.  They set up housekeeping at 5218 East Walnut Street after marrying in 1936.  Mr. Bowman was a  businessman and a talented athlete who used to exercise in nearby Ellenberger Park.  Mrs. Bowman was an interior designer.  The couple raised their two children, Michael and Susan, in the large duplex on Walnut Street.   The following photos, courtesy of the Bowman family, show the children in the late 1940s and images of Mr. and Mrs. Bowman.

Michael and Susan Bowman posed for this photo around 1949 in their front yard at 5218 East Walnut St.

Beautiful spirea served as a perfect scene for Michael an Susan Bowman around 1948. Their Mom likely took this photo in front of their home at 5218 East Walnut Street. Behind the children, you can see houses just east of the home.  

The Bowman children gather for Christmas around 1950 at 5218 East Walnut Street.  

Deforrest Bowman was a talented athlete who used to workout in Ellenberger Park.  He posed for  this photo with his young son Michael around 1939 on the front porch of 5218 East Walnut Street.

This beautiful photo shows Marilois Meek Bowman on her wedding day on June 13, 1936, at the Irvington Presbyterian Church.  

Michael Bowman boxes with his father at 5218 East Walnut Street in 1940.

5218 East Walnut Street in the autumn of 2012

Homes just east of 5218 East Walnut Street in 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

A Walk on North Ritter Avenue c1948

Mike and Susan Bowman, who lived on Walnut Street, walked along North Ritter Avenue around 1948. Perhaps they were going to school or just out visiting friends or family. They are bundled up and the leaves are gone from the trees. Behind them, you can see 71 and 75-77 North Ritter Avenue and beyond. More wonderful photos will be forthcoming from this interesting Irvington family. The contemporary image of the same view was taken in the autumn of 2012.

Mike and Susan Bowman on North Ritter Avenue c.1948

North Ritter Avenue 2012
The historic image is courtesy of the Bowman family.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Two Years Later: A Cornucopia of Historic Photos!

November 7, 2012 marked the second anniversary of Vintage Irvington.  It has been my pleasure to post over four hundred historic images of the neighborhood.  Many of those wonderful pictures have come from generous readers like you. I am always eager to post more so keep them coming!  To celebrate, I am including some of my personal favorites from the past two years.  My obsession to document this neighborhood began with the idea of finding historic photos of the homes of Irvington.  You will note that all of the pictures I have chosen captured people.  Thank you, loyal followers and I hope you will join me for another year of documenting this wonderful place we call or have called home.

Ann Stewart donated this beautiful image I have titled "Cousins in the Garden."   The photo, taken in 1936, shows Roger Ruhsenberger and Ann Hart in the backyard at 5930 East Washington Street.  Ann has been one of the most loyal followers of this blog. Thank you, Ann! 

95 year-old, Dr. Victor Vollrath, loaned me many historic photos of his time in Irvington.  He still dreamed of his childhood home on South Audubon Road even though he had not lived there for over seventy years. Here he is pictured with his loyal dog Fite in 1932.  

Amy Friedly, the great granddaughter of Hilton U. Brown, Jr., was very generous with her collection of Butler University photos.  This wonderful candid shot shows fraternity members posing inside 209 Downey Avenue in 1919.  

Brian and Emily Mack have won awards for their restoration of a Gustav Stickley home on North Hawthorne Lane. They were also kind enough to lend me their collection of Hartsock family photos. This sweet image shows one of the Hartsock grandchildren enjoying a swing in the backyard at 59 N. Hawthorne Lane in 1940.  

Helen Hunt and her daughter Janet were two of my favorite donors. Besides giving me historic photos, they also fed me. Irvington is blessed to have such kind people.  Here is an image of Helen with her daughter Janet standing in front of their South Audubon Road home in 1961.  

Don Rouse stunned me when he sent this photo of the Bruckmann family posing on their farm in 1893. The estate used be located on the northwest corner of East 10th Street and Arlington Avenue.  Mr. Rouse kindly lent me other incredible neighborhood shots as well.  

Sue Thompson is a cheerleader for Irvington.  She grew up in the neighborhood and married an Irvington boy. She was extraordinarily generous with her collection of photos including this wedding shot taken of Rodney and Sue Thompson in 1953 in her Ohmer Avenue home!

Evan Finch loves history. He has done a beautiful job of documenting his family's story. He kindly lent me several fun photos from his father's collection. The Finches lived along Good Avenue (above) and also on Burgess.  

One of the most artistic images I received came from Don and Lisa Flick. Lisa grew up in Irvington. Her father, Harold Crook, was a photographer and snapped this image of himself and his wife Thelma in 1958 in their home at 63 North Irwin Avenue.  

Some of my favorite shots have turned out to be candid moments like this one donated by Lori  Malander. Harry and Ruby Geren washed dishes in their home located at 211 Good Avenue and were frozen in time by an unnamed photographer.  This 1940s shot is fascinating for all of the detail in the kitchen.  

Bill Ferling grew up along Beechwood Avenue. His photos have been some of the most popular I have posted.  In this shot, neighborhood boys sail a canoe down the flooded Beechwood "River" in August of 1955.

Andrea de Mink loves her beautiful American Four Square along Layman Avenue. One day, she received a visitor who gave her several wonderful shots of her home. This early color photograph (c.1950) is amazing for not only capturing the charming and beautiful Zoercher and Schulmeyer girls, but it also allows current residents to see mid-century paint colors and some really cool cars.  

Ernest Payne was an actor and he loved to ham it up. In 1898, he portrayed a hobo and remained in character while walking about the neighborhood. He lived in the "Castle House" on the south circle so he was far from poor. Linda Cuff, a caretaker of history, loaned me this popular photo.  

Marty Book Powell not only gave me historic family photos, but she also allowed me to interview her for an Irvington Historical Society project. She is a walking encyclopedia and a true gift.  Here she is in 1932 in her Arlington Court apartment.  

Isabelle Layman Troyer was a sweet woman who loaned me several photos of her childhood along East Washington Street.  I was struck by this image as I have seen so few of the African-American population who lived here.  Emma Cook helped to raise Isabelle and the two of them are pictured here in 1907.  

Bob Montgomery is a wonderful friend and Irvington patriot. He LOVES Irvington. His photo showing his mother in a 1928 School 57 photo was the first one I posted on this blog. Thanks, Bob for your constant enthusiasm and encouragement.  

Monday, November 12, 2012

Bonna Avenue Business--1939

Bonna Avenue is a small street that runs parallel to the former Pennsylvania Rail Line.  A smattering of modest bungalows sat next to the busy transportation corridor.  The Irvington Depot used to be located along Bonna near Audubon Road.  A few family businesses opened along the narrow brick path as well including E.R. Mullin's Tinner, Furnaces, & Roofing at 5517 Bonna.

Elmer R. Mullin opened his shop in 1924 and served the greater Irvington area until his untimely death in 1943.  The Mullin family lived in a two-story Queen Anne home at 203 South Ritter Avenue.  (see previous post) This historic photo, provided by Robert Montgomery, was taken in April of 1939.  You will note that Mr. Mullin is in his truck and ready to fix a broken down furnace or pipe.  You could reach him by dialing IRV7152.

Elmer R. Mullin in his truck and in front of his shop at 5517 Bonna Avenue in 1939

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A Cottage Reappears 44 Years Later

The last time anyone saw the Fisher-Mullin home was in 1968.  It was torn down in that year to make room for a commercial development along South Ritter and Bonna Avenues. This late nineteenth-century house at 203 South Ritter Avenue was first the home of the Fisher family. Charles Fisher was the Warren Township Trustee in 1910. Later, Elmer R. Mullin, a tinner and furnace man, moved his family into the home and remained there from the early 1920s through the 1940s.

203 South Ritter c.1920...note the old street sign

200 block of South Ritter in 2012

Robert Montgomery, the grandson to Mr. and Mrs. Mullin, recalls the trains which passed by his childhood bedroom window near the Pennsylvania Rail Line.  Seventy years later, he noted that the sound of a distant train reminds him of his childhood years in Irvington. In the historic photo, taken around 1920, you will note that the house still had its fish scales in the upper gables as well as a wonderful Queen Anne porch.  If you look closely, you can see Mr. Mullin's tin shop behind the home at 5517 Bonna Avenue.

This historic photo is courtesy of Robert Montgomery.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Soldier Poses Next to Former Campus Site--1942

Butler University had been gone from Irvington for 14 years when this photo of Joseph Clark Moffitt was taken in 1942.  All of the main buildings had been torn down by the late 1930s so the area behind him was full of weeds and tall trees.  Developers began building small two bedroom homes on the land shortly after Private Moffitt posed for this photo. Only the Bona Thompson Memorial Library further east is all that remains of Butler's tenure in Irvington. Little is known of Private Moffitt at this moment, but hopefully one of our readers will be able to put us in touch with folks who remember him.