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

Saturday, August 22, 2009

A quick visit to Mt Ayr

An unexpected trip took me west to Illinois recently, and on the way home I decided to take a slight detour and visit Mt Ayr. I had discussed Mt. Ayr at a dinner this summer, and that discussion was one of the reasons I thought it would be fun to visit. I also wanted to take pictures of the two churches in town for upcoming Sunday posts.

On the south side or the town it the community center. I think I was told that this was the former site of the Coach Lite Inn.

The most prominent building in town is the old school. When I came to Rensselaer it was a middle school. I am not sure when it closed, but it was not too long after I came in 1974. It still seems to be in pretty good shape. though a look at the interior might tell a very different story.
The last time I was in Mt. Ayr (not just passing by) was to attend an auction at this school. I think I bought something, but it was so long ago I do not remember what it was.
It is regrettable that no other use for this building was ever found. Location was probably the biggest problem.In front of the school is what appears to be a bus shelter. Is it for kids waiting for the school bus in winter?
Part of the former school grounds is now a park. The landfill south of town has provided some of the funds for park improvement according to my Mt Ayr sources.
There were two children playing in the park while I was there. I wonder if it ever gets very busy. It is centrally located in the town.
Kitty-corner across the street is a building that looks like it was once part of downtown Mr Ayr. At present there are no retail businesses in town. There is also little if any new housing, but I did see two houses that seemed to be vacant and decaying.
Walking east I found this building that looks like it might have been some kind of hotel or rooming house in the past. Does anyone know? I think it is apartments now.
I tried to see if there were any evident traces of the old railroad left but did not see any. These buildings look like they belong near railroad tracks.
There was an old truck scale in the area. Was this once part of a grain elevator?
If there are any Mt Ayr residents who read this, please correct any mistakes and feel free to tell us what has been and still is in Mt Ayr.


maggie79_99 said...

I grew up in Mt Ayr in the 1970's. The railroad did run through town near the Grow Farm Grain Elevator which is where you found the scales. The photo of the building with the green truck parked in front used to be a small store. As a child we (all the kids of Mt. Ayr) called it "Bluebeards" I believe the owner was Mr. Kriz. Dudley Vaughn ran the store for bluebeard. The photo that shows the apartment building was actually an apartment building but in much, much better shape. I do not know who owned it. I attended 5th and 6th grade in Mt. Ayr. Our teacher, Mr. Smith was also the principal so the librarian, Mrs. Summers was actually in our class room of five 5th graders most of the day. Seeing the photo of the old elevator, bluebeards and the school park (which is very nice now) brought back many memories.

hiedi said...

hi my name is hiedi i live in mt.ayr close my friends dad owns the school and we got to go in it . it is in really bad shape in the inside we dont have much people in this town there is 6 kids under 12 and 6 kids over 12 so if you have any ?'s just ask me i will be glad to answer you :) :0

Anonymous said...

I lived in Mt Ayr for about 20 years and I don't recognize any of the things in these pictures. Some of them look like they're from other towns in the area.

Anonymous said...

That school burned down today. I first the flames at about 5 this morning shooting very high out of the roof. Driving past it now at noon and is still burning. All that is left of the building is the exterior bricks walls. Today is 3/29/12

Lenny said...

Bluebeard was the guy that owned and ran the store. Seemed his real name was Yarrow Kriz. He had the best ice cream cones I ever had, and he didn't mind heaping it on! We used to ride horses into Mt. Ayr in the summer to get his ice cream there. Don't think my butt could sit in a saddle that long now. Used to be a guy that sold fruit on down at the intersection, Jess something,( Maybe Turner ) would always give you a free sample. Don't think he was into it for the money, just liked to talk to people.
Also, I was sittin' in that school when the news came in that President Kennedy had been shot in Dallas.

Korman Smith said...

I went to school in Mount Ayr in the 1950s. Loved the town and school. Still have great memories.