|5420 to 5502 East Washington Street c1910|
Our tour begins in front of the Irvington Post Office at 5502 East Washington Street. You will note that it is a very fine modern building. More letters come in and out of this building than just about any other in the city. Many of those notes are from college students likely asking for more money from their families. George Russell (60 North Ritter Avenue) is our postal clerk. He is a man who wears many hats. Men, if you are looking to buy real estate in our fair community then dash upstairs and have a visit with Mr. Russell. Ladies, you will note that Mr. Russell also sells school supplies. Some people say that Mr. Russell is the unofficial mayor of our fair suburb. If you have any questions then please do not hesitate to contact him.
|Irvington Post Office at 5502 East Washington Street c1910|
We shall now cross Ritter Avenue and head west. You will note that the streetcar tracks are in the middle of Washington Street and are relatively new. Many in our community work in downtown Indianapolis so it is quite easy to get from Irvington to near Monument Circle in short order. We have recently bricked most of the streets in the neighborhood. Don't these paths look lovely? May I remind the men in our tour that you are to walk closest to the street as we do not want any of our lovely women to get splashed from a puddle by those blasted new automobiles. They are loud and annoying, but what can you do? Everyone in the neighborhood seems to want one. I prefer my horse and buggy. Onward, please.
|Weesner Drug Store at 5464 East Washington Street c1910|
Our next stop is Weesner Drug Store at 5464 East Washington Street. Gentleman, feel free to bring your wives here for a soda. Theodore Weesner (4850 Julian Avenue) is the proprietor of this popular establishment. You may know that Butler College is located near here and the students love to stop for an ice cream sundae. I don't approve of the young women who come in here without a chaperone. I have complained to Mr. Weesner and he is sympathetic, but he is also a businessman. Upstairs you will find various offices for local physicians and dentists if you need one. Dr. Gilbert Layman (351 North Ritter Avenue) is here if any of you need a tooth pulled. Please pass under the awning and note that Benjamin F. Staley (5441 Julian Avenue) operates a jewelry store. Next door, is my favorite spot along our fair street! Can you smell that wonderful aroma? Charles W. Stevens operates a bakery here.
There is no time to lag. Let's gather under this tree. Next to me is one of the most important buildings in Irvington as it is our Independent Order of Odd Fellow's Lodge Hall at 5454 East Washington Street. Many of us utilize the second floor for important meetings. Our residents have strong opinions on most subjects so our gatherings can be...how shall we say...animated? On the first floor, Theodore Portteus (306 North Irvington Avenue) sells dry goods. If Mr. Portteus doesn't have what you need then no one in Irvington does either. He has the most complete inventory in eastern Marion County. Next door, Elmer E. Allen (19 South Butler Avenue) runs the neighborhood hardware store.
|The Independent Order of Odd Fellows Hall at 5454 East Washington Street c1910|
|5524--5546 East Washington Street c1910|
I know I am rushing you, but I couldn't wait to show you our beautiful wood-shaked and gabled fire station at 5432 East Washington Street. Isn't it lovely? You see, in Irvington, aesthetics do matter. We hired architect John Stem to design it. It was completed in 1903 and we have needed the services of these brave men because we have had a few bad fires recently. We lost the school twice and some of our lovely homes. We have several fire signal stations located throughout the neighborhood although we do ask you to talk to your children about the seriousness of false alarms. The company recently put in a telephone so if you see a fire you can actually phone the station instead of looking for a fire box! I don't personally have a telephone, but my neighbor does so I will run over to his house if I smell smoke.
|Irvington Fire Station at 5432 East Washington Street c1910|
Our final stop today is front of the Masonic Hall. Gentlemen, I can tell you that the Masons are the most popular fraternal organization in our community. We are growing by the month and may need a new building soon. You can probably tell I am a proud Mason. Ladies, we do have a dinner every year on George Washington's birthday. We will be sure to invite you along with your husbands that evening. We perform skits, roast various prominent members of the community, and dine on delicious food. You won't want to miss it. Of course, you must understand that only Protestants are Masons. The Pope seems to have some issue with our organization. While we are here, you can see that on the first floor of this wonderful building, you can stop by and order your meat from Joseph Karns (5432 Julian Avenue). He obtains his pork and beef from reputable farmers here in Warren Township.
|Masonic Building in Irvington at 5420 East Washington Street c1910|
I would love to take you beyond Whittier Place, but I have many important engagements. I hope you have enjoyed your stroll down part of our business corridor. You will find more commercial enterprises west and east of here. We also have a small business district along South Audubon Road. I would like to remind you that if you choose Irvington as your home, please know that garishness is not welcome here. This is a quiet place where one has time to read and write letters, visit with neighbors on their verandas, and take walks under our canopied boulevards. Spirits are also forbidden. Thank you so much for your interest in our community.
The historic postcard is courtesy of Carol Orbison. Sadly, every structure pictured in this post has been demolished.