Open Door

Open Door
Indianapolis, Indiana

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



  1. What is happening at Toad Hall? Seems nothing about it has been posted on here, or FB since 2016. Has the project been abandoned ? Please let us know !
    I drove by there Wednesday, and it looks like it's falling down....again....

  2. Yes please let us know what is happening with the house. And the owners , hoping everyone okay

  3. have the fine people who were restoring Toad House (Horner House), abandoned it? haven't sen anything new since 2016. went by there east week. looks like it's abandoned as well as the house the fine people were living in next door. oh so sad for this house. I lived a block from this house for 22 yrs. only one person took it on in all those yrs. I was in high hopes for it with the people from Michigan.