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

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Tuesday night, June 17, 2014

The Jasper County Historical Society had its annual carry-in dinner on Tuesday night. The attendance may have been bigger than they expected--they almost ran out of seating space. At the table I was at, a couple old telephone directories were passed around and I could not resist taking some pictures. These are all pages of the Rensselaer telephone directory from 1956.
 I do not remember anything about the businesses listed above. Perhaps they were all gone by the time I arrived in 1974.

The Jasper County Abstract Company is still in business. Established in 1928, it must be one of the oldest businesses in Rensselaer. I remember Brusnahan's, which is the ancestor of Superior Sales and Service on Vine Street. I think they were out of the coal business by the time I came to town. The bottling plant had at least two locations, but was probably at the corner of Clark and Cullen in 1959. The building later was a laundry and is now empty and for sale.
 I know nothing about this camera shop/photography studio.
 George Warden, manager of Talbert-Schaab, used to live on the same block as I do. When my oldest son was pre-school, Mr Warden befriended him and was nice to him. He was retired and quite old at the time. I do not know anything about the shoes, though the x-ray fitted sounds interesting.

I left the historical society meeting early and headed over the the court house for the County Council Meeting. As I approached the Court House, I noticed that the tattoo shop that had been in the same building as Long's Gifts was now on the second floor of the old Oddfellows Building (which has a new owner as of a couple months ago.) It is in the space vacated by the Monfort Law office, which is now in the old Sears Building or Town Mall Building.

The County Council meeting was short. They approved a number of things that the commissioners had approved or initiated: transfers of some funds, agreement to purchase the old Johnny Rusk building, and renewal of the cumulative bridge and cumulative capital fund rates.  (Some actions require approval of both the commissioners and the council.)  The Council appoints one member to Board of Zoning Appeals, and they seemed unprepared for that item. After a bit of discussion, they decided to come back to it at next months meeting.

Then there was a discussion of a motion passed last month but which exceeded the authority of the council, being a matter under the jurisdiction of the commissioners. The Council had voted to shut down part of the county website that contains tax information; that is not their decision to make. They moved to rescind that motion, and then to pass again the part of the motion that was in their jurisdiction.

The director of the JCEDO reported the expansion plans of ConAgra that will add up to 80 jobs at the Rensselaer plant. New product lines should be running in October. Taco Bell will probably not open until late July or early August, but the Dollar General may open this week, possibly as early as Wednesday. (We will see.)

(While on the topic of websites, the state now has a list of all reported meth lab sites. The one for Jasper County that is most odd is the Rensselaer Police Department Pistol Range.)

Update: Dollar General will open on Thursday.


Anonymous said...

X-Ray fitted. I grew up in Chicago. My local Poll Parrott had a type of Flouroscope device. The child put his feet in a slot on one side of the machine. The parent and usually the salesperson could see the kid's feet inside the shoe and note HOW MUCH ROOM the kid had in the shoe. Around the 80's these disappearer, as people said the x-ray device could cause Cancer.

Tom Jurek (x-wrin) now retired in Grand Rapids, MI

Anonymous said...

I am lucky enough to have an old advertising thermometer from Cheer Up Beverages hanging on my wall.

Gene said...

I remember the Poll Parrot shoe store uptown on West Washington Street. We couldn't afford the high priced shoes but we kids often went into the store just to talk to the caged parrot. It was the first time I ever heard a parrot say, "Polly want a cracker."

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Pennington is still alive and lives the George Ade Care Center. She lived above the store on Washington St. Use to love to go in the store and get my shoes with my mother for church and then my church shoes became my school shoes. Enjoyed talking to the green parrot. What a beautiful bird! Mrs. Pennington was also our typing and shorthand teacher. As the Farmer's Daughter I never did get around doing a story on her.

Anonymous said...

Those old ads certainly call up memories. You sat a a perfect table last night with all of the people who grew up in Rensselaer, Brian and Pam Papak, Anita Risner, and Karen and Scott Donnelly. I wish I could post your photo. :)