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

Saturday, November 4, 2017

And then there were three

The big news from the past week is that Fair Oaks Farms held the ceremonial groundbreaking for a new hotel that will be located just south of the Farmhouse Restaurant. It will be a Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott with 99 rooms and is scheduled to open in early 2019. One thing it will not have is an indoor water park, something that had been rumored. Here is more info and here is a nice picture of what the hotel will look like. 

In much less important news, this week Find A Grave added a third famous interment to their Weston Cemetery pages. (Without looking, can you name the first two?) The new member on this list is Eleanor Stackhouse Atkinson. I controlled her find-a-grave memorial for the past year and had written a short biography for the memorial. The people at Find A Grave deleted it and replaced it with the entry from Wikipedia. I was a little disappointed at that.

In Milroy Park there are three stones commemorating authors who came from Rensselaer and one of them is for Eleanor Atkinson. What is rather odd is that the last house in which the Stackhouses lived before they left Rensselaer was in the old Milroy home that was located where Milroy Park is now.  The residences of the Stackhouses while they were in Rensselaer are recounted in an essay that Harry Stackhouse wrote for the July 21, 1941 issue of Rensselaer Republican  and that was reprinted in the Winter 2007 issue of Vintage Views. The early Stackhouse children were born in the "square north of the entrance to Weston Cemetery", so both markers for Eleanor are quite close to former places she lived. 

Milroy Park was the first Rensselaer park. The person who was key in getting this park established was Mary Ellen Travis Thompson. She was the wife of Alfred Thompson, an early Rensselaer banker, and they built an impressive house on Park Avenue (which at the time was probably River Street--it was renamed when a young lady wanted a more impressive address and organized the residents to change the name). Mrs Thompson also was the largest donor for the Milroy statue and her name is on the base of the statue, in the back.
The sculptor of the Milroy statue, Mary Washburn, did a bas relief of Mary Ellen Thompson in 1905 and a sculpture of the young Edwin P Rhoads in about 1906. Both are illustrated in the Winter 2006 issue of Vintage Views and one of the members of the Jasper County Historical Society would like to know if anyone has any idea of what happened to them.

During the past week workers on the Washington Street bridge have been putting steel in place so that the sidewalks can be poured. Below is the view from the south looking at the west side of the bridge.
 Below is the view of the west side of the bridge from the north.
I do not know what the white pipe is for.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I am saddened about the Find A Grave entry for Eleanor Atkinson. Your research was grand and thorough.