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

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Chamberlin Building

The Chamberlin Building on the corner of Kellner and Weston is on the outskirts of the downtown and is a nondescript building that is easy to ignore.

As I was searching for something else in the library a while back, I noticed in the 1962 Robinson's Directory that there was a Chamberlin Ice Cream Company listed at that address. I have asked several people who would have been in town at the time of that directory if they remembered it, and only one did, and his recollections were rather vague.

I am not sure what is in the building at present. There are two offices in the back, and one of them says "Law Office." I recall that at one time there was a military recruiting office in the building. My guess is that it is now being used for residential apartments.
On another trip to the library, I found a detailed insurance map of Rensseler for 1921. The Chamberlin Building seems to been in its location already at that point, and the map identifies it as an ice cream factory. The building that is now Elk Investment is also on this map, as a filling station.
I think the colors indicate the type of construction. Pink is brick, yellow is wood. I am not sure why this building is pink. It looks to me like it is a cement block building, and I think the code on the map for that is blue.

What do you know about this building and its past uses?


Gene said...

I remember that in 1979 the Kellner Street entrance led into the local branch of the State Unemployment Office, being run at the time by Ron Huhn. And that's all I remember about the Chamberlain building.

Gene said...

In my previous comment I gave the wrong name for the office manager of the Unemployment Office in the old Chamberlain Building. It should have been Larry Huhn, not Ron. Sorry about that.

Anonymous said...

Someone I know said that as a kid he used to go in the Chamberlin building, and the folks there would give him popsicles and ice cream. It was a manufacturing and distribution center for ice cream, but he lucked out. He thought it had possibly some brick facade, but he is not sure.
He remembers a bit of an ammonia smell, but that had to do with the refrigeration. They had their own trucks that would come to the back of the building. The front was on Weston.

Anonymous said...

I remember the old Chamberlain Ice Cream building. When I was a kid in the early 1960's, there was a man named Dale Boyle(sp?) who worked there. My dad was acquainted with him. As to the ammonia smell, i remember a time when Dale was telling my dad that the walk in freezer had a leak, and ammonia had leaked out. - Ed Davisson

Anonymous said...

I have been doing research on my great grandfather, Lora C Hays. He was a Forman for Chamberlin Ice Cream Company (Factory). Would love to know who owned the factory and possibly others that worked there back in the early 1900's. The one thing I am looking for is the name of the store that was next to my great grandfathers house, located at 2520 Kossuth St. Some say it was a bread store others say it was a grocery store.
It would be greatly appreciated if someone could answer some of these questions.
Thank you,