Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

I Fought the Lawn and the Lawn Won

All of the vegetation that is up close to the house has to go. Nature is doing her thing and slowly taking trying to take back the land, but this is NOT what we want. We want this glorious house to survive! The war is on. 

Round one went to the ivy, way back when we first bought the place. Eric attacked. The ivy battled back and although Eric fought valiantly he crawled away with a badly broken ankle. One surgery later he's doing better, but we've rethought how to attack this problem. Amanda tried last year to kill it with "non-chemical" (vinegar based) spray. Between her bad health, (too few applications) and there being just too much of it, this didn't work too well either.

This year, we have no choice but to persevere. So the cutting implements have come back out and work has begun. We must stop the damage that Mother Nature is doing to the house and clear the way for work to begin!

Back when Mary Amelia Terrill lived in the house, she was a spectacular gardener and kept Mother Nature in check. This is a beautiful and unusual view of the North face of the house from most likely the 1930's.

In May I took two photos of the crazy growth on the North side of the house. Mother Nature at her worst!

The first inroads we made this week on the overgrowth. One catalpa tree ready for the chain saw and you can see some brick!

More work done! Check out that pile of brush! Looks like a trip to chipper is in order.

Anyone want to volunteer to spend some time hacking line. We've still got a thorn tree that needs to come down. :)

-The HH Family


Friday, June 12, 2015

1889 Irvington Map

Being a Surveyor Eric has a fascination with old maps. Being Eric, he has a fascination with many other things old, so it's not unusual to find him haunting an auction or antique shop if he has a few spare minutes. (Not that he has many of those these days!) But, recently there was one such auction that had some Survey related items and he made the time to go. It turned out to be even more interesting than that once he got his purchase home. :D

What he found was an Atlas of Indianapolis from 1889. It's huge! But the part that's most interesting to you all is that this was before Christian Park was established and you can see that the lands that will eventually become CP were owned by Thomas Moore at that time. But there is a detailed map of Irvington... so here are the pictures I took of the maps. I apologize in advance for the quality.

This is the Irvington Page. Or more correctly two pages. It's really cool. I'm going backwards here. This is the most detailed map in the book. It shows the house outlines on the lots in the shapes that the houses really are. The following seven maps are blowups of this map.

Starting in the lower left corner. Hi the Horner House!!! Notice the strange shape? We now know that's because of the porches that were on it. It's approximately right. 

Next square above the HH. Here you can see Emerson Avenue labeled as the National Road.

Upper Left hand square. You can see how they had the boundary of Irvington going past Emerson in a very jagged pattern. This accounts for where people came up with Howe High School being part of Irvington.

Center top section. See Pleasant Run. (Oh Bad Amanda!) You can see that at this time there were only a few large houses in this whole area.

Bottom center section. Hello Butler University! Hello the Bona! Again, notice how few houses there are in this entire area.

Top right corner. The North Circle and again a very few houses. Irvington in it's early days. But these houses were huge!

Bottom right corner. The South Circle. Hello the Cuff's! Love that house!!! And Bill Gulde's house wasn't built yet. :D Again, few large homes.

Now, let's go out step...

This is the Center Township Page. You can see Irvington in Pink at the Bottom.

Here's a blowup of the bottom of the page. It still shows houses on lots, but they are just little square blocks here are apposed to actual outlines.

That's all the detailed maps I have, but here's the front page of the book. (To do the whole book would be hundreds of pictures and not much interest here.)

To geeks like Eric and I, this is really cool, so I'm going to add a few more blow ups.

1889 Baby!!! The house was only 14 when this was done.

Not done by computer.

So, I just had to share. Eric isn't alone in his love of old things and I thought this find was amazing!!!


***Looking back at the atlas again today not all of the lots are numbered and not all of the houses and buildings are shown on any of the detailed pages. I think they may have just chosen just the largest buildings in any given area. Makes sense when I stop and think about it. Still a cool map!

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Terrill Family Archive - Part One

It's been a while since we've posted and we'll do an update later in the week, but for now, we want to start with something a bit more fun! Way back in November Amanda got the wonderful opportunity to meet with Gail, who's Great Grandparents owned the Horner House back in the 1930's and 40's. What a trip that was!!! Through the generosity of the family we have been gifted with an unbelievable treasure trove of information about the house, the neighborhood, and people that lived here during the early 1900's. It's going to take years to track down all of the leads that we have been given and that's no exaggeration. This is a gift to us, and to Irvington. We've talked to the Historical Society and to Bill Guild and will be sharing out the fun and the duties as time permits. :D 

But on to the goods. What I want to share today are two of the photos. These are just simply pictures. They don't tell us a whole lot, but are two of our favorites. Enjoy!

This first photo is of Mary Amelia Terrill taken July 5, 1932. Taken almost 83 years ago! Can you say Wow!?! It's one of Eric's absolute favorites. The front porch is still intact, there are flowers in the yard, and Mary Amelia (who's diary we have) looks so happy. It's just a great photo.

The second photo we have chosen is one of Amanda's favorites from July of 1939. There are two reasons for this. The first is that you can clearly see the fourth story tower intact and more importantly really see the iron cresting in this picture. And the second reason is that this photo shows just how far back the house used to sit from Emerson Avenue, before it was widened. You can really see the extra grass between the sidewalk and the street here. Boy how times have changed!

Hope you enjoy these photos as much as we have. There are many more to come!