This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

The Fellows' Dinner

On Saturday I attended the annual Fellows' Dinner at SJC and ended up sitting with two people who grew up in Mount Ayr. Mt Ayr was a busier town in the past than I realized. Its best days were in the days of the railroad and before the automobile. I had not realized that it once had a railroad, the same one that ran through Fair Oaks and Virgie, the Chicago, Attica, and Southern Railroad. (For a map, click here and scroll down to page 14. The tracks from this railroad were removed in the 1940s.)

In the past Mt Ayr has had a drugstore and a doctor, a grocery store, a saloon, a small hotel, two gas stations, and two churches, and maybe a few other commercial establishments. (It still has two churches.) There was a blacksmith shop that served Amish settlers in the area well into the twentieth century. (I never knew that there were Amish in this part of Indiana.) One of my table companions had worked at the local telephone company, connecting calls at the switchboard. She said that her uncle owned the phone company. I think the last business in Mt. Ayr was the Coach Lite Inn. Now a community building occupies its former site. Money from the landfill has allowed the town to develop a very nice town park.

I remember when the Mt. Ayr school closed and there was a big auction there. I attended, but do not remember if I bought anything. That may have been the last time I visited Mt Ayr. Does Mt Ayr still have a post office? I know there is some kind of node for the Internet there, because SJC connects to it in Mt. Ayr. What else is there?

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