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

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Light attendance

Lots of events are going on now that the warmer weather has arrived. Maybe too many things, because attendance seems to be light at most of them.

On Saturday there was a 5K at Brookside Park, part of the SAFER (Sexual Assault Forensic Exam/Education Resource) event. If I had entered and been able to finish the run, I would have been in the top ten. I would have not done as well with the walk. (Below you can see the runners starting and the walkers waiting.
 On Sunday I went to another lightly attended event, the jazz vocal and band concert at SJC. I followed that up on Monday evening with the lightly attended harp "cushion concert" at the library. The harpist was from the Lafayette Symphony Orchestra, but lives in Indianapolis. From the way she presented her program, she clearly does a lot of programs for kids.
 I missed the Convocation Day at SJC on Monday morning, but did get to the meeting of the Jasper County Historical Society on Tuesday night and met the newest addition to the museum, Linda. She previously hung out at Grant's Fashion.
 There were a several interesting tidbits that I picked up at the meeting. The attendees posed for a picture with the Indianapolis Speedway flag. Mainstreet Rensselaer has decided to take part in a contest that the Indianapolis 500 sponsors, the Back Home Again in Indiana Community Decoration Program. We are one of 23 communities entered. The winning community will win $20,000.
 One of the advantages that Rensselaer has in the competition is that it is the birthplace of James Hanley, mentioned in post not quite a month ago. Below you can see the storefront of one of our empty downtown stores getting the Hanley makeover.
The Facebook page for this promotion is Back Home Again in Rensselaer.  As I write this they have 159 likes, but want a lot more.

(Speaking of empty stores, I noticed today that the IAMMA (martial arts academy) is no longer in the College Mall. There are now three vacant stores there.)

Back to the historical society meeting.

The short program after the meeting was about one-room schools. Today only four or five of them still stand. The Mcoysburg School had classes from 1890 until 1924, and then was converted to a church. It is now a residence.

The Wasson School, which is out near McCoysburg, had classes from 1880 until 1915. It was remodeled after its school days were over, and is also now a residence.

The Rosebud School was active from 1874 until 1928. In 1977 it was moved to the Jasper County Fair Grounds, where it is open to the public during fair week.

The Moffitt School, between Fair Oaks and Virgie along the old Coalie Railroad, was open from 1894 until 1924 and is also now a house.

Several people in attendance said that the Virgie School was at one time one-room and later two-room. It is now used as a community center by the Virgie Church.

At one time there were 100 schools in Jasper County.

Another thing that caught my interest was something the county genealogist was working on. The historical society has the cards that women filled out during World War I as part of the effort to get people united behind the war effort. No one at the historical society seemed to know when the museum got these records or where they came from, but it is quite remarkable that they have been preserved. It provides a complete or nearly complete listing of all the adult women in the county at the time, so is very interesting from a genealogical point of view. I pulled one out and photographed it to show what was on it. It looks like the name on this was Mrs Elizabeth Ash, who was married, 40 years old, white, born in the U.S., without kids, and willing to volunteer two hours a day. She went to Butler for college, probably for teaching training (Normal). She circle the things she could do, which included cooking, housekeeping, gardening, and teaching. On the other side, people described their health. (I reduced the size of the picture and saved it a low resolution, so it is not as clear as it could be.)
I am not sure what kind of research could use this set of data, but I am sure there is some kind that could. Wikipedia has only a very short entry on it.

One other little tidbit--in discussing the Indianapolis 500, one person recalled that her parents or grandparents used to watch the traffic going to the race on the old Jackson Highway, the auto route to the north before US 231 was built. It went through Virgie, then to Aix, then to Rensselaer.


Brittany said...

What happened to Amy's Attic?

Anonymous said...

good question. she never seems to be open. i have stuff there. =/

Anonymous said...

I liked the information you discovered at the historical society meeting. You listen and watch carefully.