Saturday, June 16, 2012

Historic Zionsville

Thursday we met up with some friends in Zionsville for an historic tour of the town.

It's crazy to think that the history of white settlers only goes back 200 years in this area when other parts of the world have history going back thousands of years.

We walk past this Friendly Tavern on many of our trips to Zionsville. I never knew that it was originally the carriage works. Carriages were made on the upper level and sold on the lower level.

If you look hard on the upper left of the backside of the building you will see a large bricked over opening -- that is where the finished carriages were taken out of the building and down a long ramp. I never knew......

Original Zionsville is now a parking lot! At least the weekly farmer's market takes place in this parking lot so we are retaining something of the history!

This red building was the lumber store.

Outside of the lumber store was the public water pump with a tin cup for all to share.

This house, which is currently a tea room, belonged to a man who went away to World War II and never made it back. I believe he was killed in action 5 days before the Armistice.

Above these shops was the opera house -- probably more of just a gathering center for performances of many kinds.

The building on the left was the bank and the deposit box is still visible in the corner of the building.

This antique shop used to be a "modern" grocery store. It was the first place in Zionsville to carry Birdseye frozen foods! Incidentally, at one time, Zionsville had 9(!!!) food stores!

The floor above the Eagle Creek Coffee Company used to be used as a sort of public hall for events. The wooden stairs on the outside of the building was the way to the top floor. 

This building, tucked on a back street, was the town hall at one time. It had a basketball court (with building-supporting posts throughout the court), and even an ice rink. It was the center of many activities.

Here are some old photos of the brick street. The bricks are different colors down the center now to show where the street tram ran through. The tram ran between towns and ran on electricity, as opposed to the steam train which had its rails one street to the west.

The Village Clock Shop was the location of the tram stop, where you could buy your tickets and get on the tram.

Next door was the livery stable. You can see that transportation is always a main concern of a town. Zionsville had a tram, the railroad, the livery, and the carriageworks.

The Sanctuary was originally a Methodist church built in the 1850's. It burned down and a Baptist church was erected in its place. One year a monkey escaped from the nearby DOW company and found its way to the top of the church steeple!

There was a short-lived school in Zionsville -- not sure where the school eventually was built after this one.

This was the site of one of the first houses -- someone asked the owner why he built it so far from town (that was when town was down about 2 blocks from this current location).

And this house used to be a hotel.

Many of the buildings in Zionsville have burned down and been rebuilt. Sparks from the train contributed to many fires.  But in the age of wooden buildings and fires for many purposes, fires were far too common.

This fancy place used to be the ice and coal store!!!!

We know this shop because it used to be the Village Yarn Shop. It was originally a butcher shop!

Lincoln Park is built on the site of the railroad depot.

The view from the park shows a not-so-pretty back street. But, this is the route the railroad took through town so it was extremely important.

There is a plaque commemorating Abraham Lincoln's train stop in Zionsville and the fact that his funeral train later passed through the village.

The banker built his house on this site (it burned down).

This is the view from the banker's house. The banker reportedly wanted to be able to see the bank from his house, and there it is.

The new house on the banker's site has these two doors in the side -- for ice and coal!!!!

This is the building the Zionsville library was housed in up until 1994!

The kids found some water to play in....

And then we headed to Lincoln Park for some snacks.

And of course the adults got to visit too.

It was a lovely way to spend an afternoon and many thanks to my friend Alex for organizing the tour!!! It was terrific!

And here's Laura "taking some notes" at the end of the day.

Speaking of Laura, she had her MRI this past Tuesday. Sadly, it showed that the cyst in her head has grown in the last 6 months. This means we need to put off fixing the odd vein on her skull and wait another 6 months to do a further MRI and see if the cyst continues to grow. They have determined the cyst is an endo dermoid cyst which means it is still in the growing phase and is not mature. The question is, how big will it be when it is mature and when will it be fully matured. No one knows at this point so we will just have to wait and see. Thanks for your thoughts and prayers for us! Laura is otherwise doing fantastically well!!!


Rachel said...

I really enjoyed reading this post. I love history of any sort and those buildings are so pretty. What a lovely village. I always wondered about Zionsville since I used to send so many letters addressed there. Is this where the postoffice is located too?
Sweet Laura - we are prayinig for her. I think she and Alice have the same sandals! Great for summer.

Reneelynn said...

I like to visit your blog and don't very often comment. I would like you to know that I also will say a prayer for little Laura and your family as you wait and put your trust in the Lord.

Anonymous said...

The Armistace was the end of World War I. WWII ended with VE Day and VJ Day because we actually won that one. WWI ended with a truce because nobody won.