Friday, July 3, 2015

An Early Snowstorm--1938

Temperatures began to drop in Indiana on Tuesday, November 22, 1938. By nightfall the wind picked up and the snow arrived in Indianapolis.  By the morning of November 23, city residents awoke to four inches of snow. The Indianapolis Star reported that the snow had caught the state off guard. Dozens of residents flocked to service stations to place anti-freeze in their vehicles.  Slick roads made last minute preparations for Thanksgiving that week very difficult.  A giant car show at the Fair Grounds still went on and plenty of folks attended the event. Most travelers still made it to their Thanksgiving destinations. One Irvington family did suffer a tragedy that week. Vigil McDermid of 5376 Burgess Avenue died after sliding off a road in northern Marion County. The fifty-four-year-old man, was a father of three and worked as a salesman for the Pearson Piano Company.

On Julian Avenue, Edward and Georgia May Lollis welcomed Malcolm Benjamin Campbell and his wife Bessie Fields Campbell from Yakima, Washington. Georgia May Lollis was the niece to the elderly couple who were in town to celebrate Thanksgiving with the Lollises'. Mr. Campbell was 81 and Mrs. Campbell was 69. Excited by the new morning snowfall, the families left the warmth of 5919 Julian Avenue to document the early snow.

Photos from the snowy day, show not only the Lollis and Campbell families, but also some of the nearby properties.

Georgia May Campbell Lollis beamed as she held up her baby, Ted, and stood next to her aunt and uncle, Malcolm and Bessie Campbell on November 23, 1938.  The car belonged to the Campbells, who were most likely either in route or coming back from Nova Scotia to visit relatives. The most visible home in the photo (behind the Campbells) was that of 5884 Julian Avenue. Emil and Esther Bjorklund dwelled in that house in 1938.

Edward Lollis had to shovel the sidewalks before going to work on November 23, 1938. Mr. Lollis took the streetcar to his office. He generally left his car in the garage. Behind him, you can see the bungalow at at 5922 Julian Avenue. George and Jessie Thompson lived at that address. Mr. Thompson ran a grocery store at 3116 East Michigan Street.  

Georgia May Lollis and Ted Lollis stood outside on a cold and snowy morning on November 23, 1938.  Behind them you can see Bernard home at 5925 Julian (soon-to-be-Seaton home) and a temporarily vacant house at 5929 Julian Avenue.  

The historic images are courtesy of Ted Lollis.  To see more images from this block click on the Lawton or Readle family links below.  

Sources: "Skidding Mercury Brings Snowfall," Indianapolis Star, November 23, 1938, 1; "City to Keep Snow Coating Over Holiday," Indianapolis Star, November 24, 1938; "Virgil McDermid Salesman, Dies," Indianapolis Star, November 25, 1938.

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