Wednesday, October 12, 2016

At the Edge of the City--1950

Residents in southeastern Irvington lived near farms and meadows in the 1940s. The Schweiters family, who dwelled at 6076 Dewey Avenue, could walk to the edge of their street and find themselves in the country. South Sheridan Avenue was merely a dirt path and was likely a farm lane. Sometime in the winter of 1950, Irene Spitzer and Dorothy Schweiters went for a walk on a cold and frosty day along what would become South Sheridan Avenue. Behind them you can see vast stretches of undeveloped land and a tree line near English Avenue.

Irene Spitzer (left) and Dorothy Schweiters along with Smokey the dog walked upon South Sheridan Avenue in the winter of 1950. Small brick houses occupy this site in 2016. 

Irene Spitzer (left), the daughter of Edmund and Freida Spitzer of 6064 Dewey Avenue, posed with Dorothy Schweiters, the daughter of Norbert and Dorothy Schweiters of 6076 Dewey Avenue, in the winter of 1950 along South Sheridan Avenue. Note that the "street" was merely a dirt path at that point in time. 

Dorothy Schweiters (left) and her friend Irene Spitzer posed in the fields near their homes on Dewey Avenue at the edge of the city line in 1950. The Marbar Development Corporation added 100 homes upon the site in 1951. Beyond the girls, you can see the farms that existed just east of Irvington. 

In the summer and fall of 1951, contractors for the Marbar Subdivision were busy constructing 100 brick homes on the empty land near the Schweiters. On December 2, 1951, the public was invited to tour two of the model homes at 6019 Ivanhoe Street and at 338 South Webster Avenue. The small dwellings were marketed towards veterans and cost $11,500. Veterans needed to put at least $1,000 towards a down payment, but they could also finance that money as well. Those who qualified paid $63.89 for their mortgage. Visitors to the model homes noted the hardwood floors, full basements, tiled bathrooms, storm doors and windows, automatic furnaces, and Youngstown metal kitchen cabinets. The Schweiters still living nearby would have watched as their rural playground vanished and traffic along their once quiet street increased dramatically as families moved into the modern residences. (Information for the Marbar Subdivision came from: Indianapolis Star, December 2, 1951, 36; Indianapolis Star,  January 20, 1952, 30)

6019 Ivanhoe Street served as the model home for the Marbar Subdivision on December 2, 1951.

Typical modest brick homes in the Marbar Subdivision along South Webster Avenue in 2016
The historic photograph and information on the Schweiters family is courtesy of Deedee Davis.

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