Sunday, November 20, 2016

Seven Years and Still Counting

What is it about this special neighborhood that has kept me writing about it for seven years? It hasn't always been easy. There have been droughts when the historic photos were hard to find and there have been feasts when I could have posted everyday if I could have found the time. There have been moments when I thought about stopping. Does anyone really read this blog? And just when I start to doubt myself, I receive a note from one of you or in a few cases a trunk full of historic photos.

I live in this beautiful place called Irvington. Nearly every evening, I walk the winding streets under the tall maples and catalpas planted fifty to one hundred years ago. I never tire of imagining who might have lived in these dwellings. Each residence, no matter the size, has at least one to one thousand stories. I  have told a few of those tales. What awaits me in the coming year? I wish to particularly thank the following people for their contributions this past year. They include: Ted Lollis, Judy Niedenthal, Janet Chapman, Dick Palmer, Nancy Ostrander, Carol Yeager, Emily Jarzen, and Deedee Davis. This blog could not have been possible without you.

So, let's see where the next chapters take us. I look forward to more walks especially those that transport us back in time. Thank you, Irvington!

The dining room of Walter and Mary Fee Palmer at 333 North Audubon Road in 1943 (Photo courtesy of Janet Chapman) 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Life Along Dewey Avenue

The Schweiters family dwelled in the bungalow at 6076 Dewey Avenue for decades. They raised their two daughters, Barbara and Dorothy, in the dwelling and the family watched as the city line near their home moved to the east as a result of the Marbar development. Photographs from the Deedee Davis collection reveal snapshots of life along the quiet street in the early 1940s.

Dorothy Schweiters looked on as her daughters, Barbara and Dorothy, posed along their front walk at 6076 Dewey Avenue in 1943.

Little Barbara Schweiters posed for this snapshot near an unidentified neighbor sometime during the winter of 1940. Behind the young girl, you can see the houses on the north side of Dewey Avenue looking towards Arlington Avenue. The Ricketts, Brennen, Spitzer, and Ashcroft families might have been home when this photo was taken of their front yards and porches. 

Little Barbara Schweiters of 6076 Dewey Avenue ran towards the photographer on a winter's day in 1940. Behind her, you can see the city line of Indianapolis and the open farmland beyond Sheridan Avenue. The Turk, Maloy, Harrison, and McVey families dwelled along the north side of Dewey Avenue and might have noticed the photography session. 

Irene Spitzer (6064 Dewey Avenue), Mary Jo Harding, Barbara Schweiters, and Dorothy Schweiters gathered for this photograph on September 19, 1944, in front of the Schweiters family home at 6076 Dewey Avenue.

Hugh Maloy--on the top step (6104 Dewey Avenue), Ann Shumaker, Dorothy Schweiters, and Barbara Schweiters gathered at 6076 Dewey Avenue in the winter of 1945.  

Barbara Schweiters stood in front of the family home at 6076 Dewey Avenue on February 7, 1943.

The Schweiters family home c1950 on a lovely summer's day....

The historic photographs and stories are courtesy of Deedee Davis. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

A Playhouse and Fun Times Along Dewey Avenue

Frank Roehm, a local general contractor, was the grandfather to Barbara and Dorothy Schweiters of 6076 Dewey Avenue. In 1944, he built a beautiful playhouse for his beloved granddaughters complete with a high-pitched gabled roof, a chimney, and shutters for the windows. The small structure resembled something out of a fairy tale. The girls could invite their friends over for any number of fun scenarios. Mr Roehm custom-built a table and two benches for the interior and a picnic table for the backyard. Inside their small cottage, the girls could sit on the window box or open it and take out a toy! Dorothy's good friend Irene Spitzer, who lived nearby at 6064 Dewey Avenue, also had a playhouse although it had been previously used as a chicken coup. The girls would travel from one small "dwelling" to another.  Amazingly, Mr. Roehm's whimsy still stands on the property 72 years after he first built it.

Dorothy and Barbara Schweiters swing next to their playhouse in the summer of 1945

Dorothy Schweiters stood next to her sister, Barbara, who was dressed up for her first day of school in 1945. Behind the girls, you can see the playhouse built for them by their grandfather, Frank Roehm.  

Barbara Schweiters stood in front of the playhouse in September of 1945. The Schweiters dwelled at 6076 Dewey Avenue.

Neighborhood girls gathered in the sandbox in front of the Schweiters family playhouse in the backyard of 6076 Dewey Avenue in 1945. Pictured:  (left to right) Irene Spitzer, Lynda Ashcroft, Dorothy Schweiters, Mary Jo Harding, Barbara Schweiters

Laura, Leslie, and Debbie Davis, the great granddaughters of Frank Roehm, gathered in the playhouse in the backyard of the Schweiters home at 6076 Dewey Avenue in 1970. 
The historic images and stories are courtesy of Deedee Davis.