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

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Potato Fest at Medaryville Part 1

On Saturday, August 14, I drove over to Medaryville to see what the Potato Fest was like. Medaryville has a Potato Fest because from about 1940 until sometime in the 1970s the William Gehring farms to the west grew large numbers of potatoes. Medaryville was even called Tatertown. There are no potatoes grown close by anymore, but the Potato Fest continues.

Medaryville, by the way, was named after Joseph Medary, who was a governor of Ohio. It was a railroad town, built along the tracks of the New Albany and Salem Railroad, which eventually became the Monon Line and is now part of CSX.

When I arrived I was worried about where I would park. I should not have worried. I could not tell that any kind of festival was underway. The downtown was empty.
I wandered around a bit and found people in the park that is just south of the downtown. Some guys were even playing horseshoes, so there must have been some kind of horseshoe contest.
The day was cloudy, as you can see in the pictures. That kept the temperatures a bit lower and made the high humidity tolerable.

I thought some of the playground equipment looked like it would be a lot of fun for kids.
I was planning to attend an event that started at 3:30 Medaryville time and was about 45 minutes early, so I wandered around a bit to take some pictures. The old Evert House, also known by some other names such as the Joseph B Shultz house, was the second building built in Medaryville and was restored a couple of years ago by Brian Capouch. The last time I was in Medaryville the ruins of the old Horner Bank were still standing across the street from it. It was built in 1905 and in its prime was the most impressive building in downtown Medaryville, Since my last visit to Medaryville, it has been demolished.
I checked the Pulaski County Indiana Historic Sites and Structures Inventory to see what they liked in the downtown and found that even these nice Italianate buildings dating from about 1890 are just listed as "contributing." Perhaps that low ranking is because the bottom floors have remodeled.

I also checked out the Medaryville branch of the Pulaski County Library.
It is rather small, but very attractive inside.
After a look inside the library, I went to the Medaryville Historical Museum, which will be the topic of part two of this adventure.

Update: Part Two has some corrections to this part.

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