Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Bay Windows (Plural)

The house is supposed to have two, yes two, bay windows on it. One was removed long ago. Currently there is a lovely hole where the original bay window on the South side once resided. It was most likely structurally unsound when it was removed, as they shortened the two windows in the bedroom above and added a support beam in the remaining opening. Initially, this was the only "evidence" that a second window had ever existed.

 Here you can see the windows and the beam referenced above.

As time wore on were able to clear away enough of the brush at the base of the boarded up area that we found a portion of what looked to be the original limestone foundation of the window. This was very exciting and for a long time was the best evidence we had that the window really had existed.

 On left side of the photo up against the house there is a tree growing out of the middle of the remaining limestone and on the right side the limestone comes away from the house in a nice solid line until it stops pretty abruptly at the block wall. 

Then came the day we had some young men from the neighborhood come and do some work for us. They were asked to take any loose bricks and pile them up and cut down anything and everything, which they did. Bricks were pulled, pryed, dug, and stacked. The next thing I know they are asking questions about bricks laid out patio style... Wait! Wait a minute! What are we looking at?

 The black arrow points to a stack of foundation bricks that run along the inside of the limestone foundation. There is a matching pile that runs along the inside of the foundation on the other side of the opening. 

The black arrow shows a line of bricks that is most likely part of the original foundation wall of the house. 
A significant amount of new evidence to show that a bay window was originally on the
South side of the house. Still not convincend? Then check this out? Photographic proof. Thanks Gail!
 A photo of the Southside bay window. Intact. From the Terrill Family Collection. 
-The H. H. Family




Friday, July 17, 2015

Terrill Family Artchive - Gail's Visit and What She Left Behind

For those of you who follow the FB page, you saw that on July 1st Gail R. Anderson came to stay with us for a few days. Her great grandparents, George C. and Mary Amelia Terrill, owned the house for just over two decades in the early part of the twentieth century. Gail was here to do some genealogy research and to pass on more records for the Terrill Family Archive. 

The archive already consisted of digital copies of photos and documents, original deeds to the house, one day journal written by Mary Amelia from 1932, three scrap books made by Norma Terrill (Mary Ameila's youngest daughter, or going the other direction, Gail's Grandmother), and a desk once owned by George Terrill during the years of the Horner House. Memorabilia from at least one of the scrap books is somewhat pertinent to the Irvington neighborhood, as they lived there during the time period it was created. Until it is cataloged and the contents researched we will not know just how many gems and tidbits of neighborhood history we will find.

The new addition to the archive is much larger. Here are some photos to help tell the story:

To start things off with a bang we have two hand crocheted items with the Terrill family name on them. They are complete cylinders and having no idea what they could be used for Amanda showed her Grandmother the photos. She (Grandma) immediately recognized them as "pillow covers." They are fancy ends that would be stitched to the end of a pillow case to "dress it up." Both will need to be taken to the conservitors at the Historical Society for some minor repair work, but beyond that... WOW!

One box chock full of military correspondence, photos, notes, etc. Norma Terrill was a war photo journalist and was sent to Europe. One of the scrap books goes along with this box too. For those interested in the WACs this is a dream come true!

This bucket contains loose pictures and negatives. It's about half negatives. Be still my heart!

This stack of annuals has three from Shortridge High as well as one from the school where Mary Amelia and George met. We need to go through them and mark where the family is referenced and shown in photos.

Now for the crazy part. Yes, we are just getting there. Fourteen, count them, fourteen photo albums on this table! Oh my! Yes there are! They are all piled up there in the upper left hand corner. The large pile to the right hand side middle is genealogy research that was mostly compiled by Mary Amelia back in the early part of the twentieth century.

Here we have miscellaneous items including a 78rpm record made by Norma's son sent to her in place of a telegram.

Another stack of diaries! Seven more!!!

Last, but certainly not leaset, a drawer from George's desk. This has two of the photo albums in it, a few of the loose photos, and a few of the negatives. These were ones that Amanda pulled out while her and Gail were going through things. This is because these were ones that are specific to the Horner House or Irvinton. There is also a book in this drawer that once belonged to George Terrill that Gail has graciously gifted to the archive as well.

We are very grateful to Gail for the amazing gift that she has given to us. Getting this cataloged,  protected, and researched is going to be a massive undertaking, but with the all the support that we have received we know that it will get done. Many thanks to Gail for her gift! And many thanks to the members of the community for the continued love of everything old!

-The HH Family


Tuesday, July 14, 2015

I Fought the Lawn and the Lawn Won - Part Two - Revenege of the Chain Saw

When we last left it, the lawn was giving as good a beating as it was taking. And I can't say it didn't go down without a fight. One broken chainsaw blade, one mild case of poison ivy, the standard cuts, bruises, fatigue and we are mostly victorious. It only took Two grown men, one woman, three teen boys, and four days. And there's still work to be done. Stumps to kill, more brick to pick up, and a thorn tree to cut down. For now, though, we are claiming victory!

Since I didn't get a chance to do an interim update, but I did get pictures, I am just going to follow this with the photos, in the order I took them, so you can see how it progressed. Here they are:

The North side is still covered in the evil ivy, but the trees on the fence line are mostly gone. (Or at least laying on the ground.)


Here are downed trees in the trailer and on the ground. We had already hauled off two full loads of trees at this point. 

Another "in progress" photo. This ivy had wrapped around the back and getting that carpet threaded through the posts was a real challenge. We eventually had to cut it free, but were worried that by doing so we wouldn't get it all off.

A back view of the evil ivy. It picks up the paint from the house and you can see the lines where the mortar is. Strangeness.

The South Side after *much* hard work. Many thanks to the young men from the neighborhood who worked so hard to clear this area!

It's bald! Most of the ivy came off and what didn't is dying out!!! It looks sooooo good!

Another view that shows clean cropped house!

A slightly crooked picture. (I was probably dancing with joy!) There's still some clean up to do, but we'll talk about that later!

And last, but not least, the evil ivy has been beaten!!! As long as we kill the roots, we are home free!!!

Yes, it's a small victory, but still a victory, and we'll take it!

-The HH Family