Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Yorks of Berry Avenue

T. Edgar and Mary York dwelled at 121 South Berry Avenue for many years.  Their home was located on one of the shortest streets in Indianapolis.  With only ten houses on the block, the Yorks possessed the largest lot.  Mr. York owned a moving business and the couple previously dwelled at 5721 Bonna Avenue where all five of their children were born.  They always referred to the Bonna home as the big house and the Berry home as the little house.  At both locations, Mr. York sheathed the dwellings with asbestos tile siding, a popular material in the mid-twentieth century because homeowners thought they would never have to paint again.  Both homes predate the York family and had been covered in wood clapboard siding.  One of the attractions of the Berry Avenue property was the sizable plot where Mr. York could park his moving wagons and trucks.  Many east side families employed the Yorks as movers and they remained a fixture of the neighborhood for decades.  Mrs. York helped to raise the couple's five children.  When they moved into their modest Dutch Colonial home on Berry Avenue, Mrs. York suddenly became self conscious about hanging her laundry out to dry because of the number of passenger trains along the Pennsylvania Railroad that passed her home everyday.  She also disliked the coal soot that fell upon her clean sheets.  However, the couple had a large garden and remained in the home until their deaths.

T. Edgar and Mary York in 1960 at 121 South Berry Avenue

T. Edgar York in front of one of his moving trucks c1945
In-laws:  Mary York posed with her daughter Anna Belle and her new sister-in-law, Esther Dickerson along with little Bobby Dickerson in 1948 at 121 South Berry Avenue.  You will note that the original porch columns were still on the house.  

Mary York loved to sit out on her porch. She could watch the freight and passenger trains as they passed by on the Pennsylvania Railroad.  (1960)

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