If you're looking for a good afternoon activity that gets you out of the heat, look further than NMPL's Indiana Room! This room is full of local and state history, including some absolutely FASCINATING family histories and diaries from the olden days.
A record of extracts from the Diary of P.H. Bolinger caught our eye on the shelf, and soon we were gasping in shock and surprise at some of the stories the diary revealed! Harold Bolinger was born on August 8, 1853 in Perrysburg, Ohio. His family moved around the Midwest area for a few years, before settling in North Manchester in 1866. The News-Journal published a number of pieces from his diary some time ago, and these pieces were archived in the Indiana Room.
The diary spans the years between 1882 and 1899. It seems that 1886 was particularly eventful!
"March 5th - Last night a mob took Reuben Swank, who had been accused of beating and abusing his wife, from his home and drove him through Main Street to the railroad. He was made to take off his coat and two of the mob flogged him with wagon whips. They say there were 150 to 200 in the crowd.
March 6th - Some of the boys arrested for their fun night before last. Excitement still running high owing to the fact that Swank came back this morning and walked down Main street with revolver in hand. Sheriff Walters came this afternoon."
Is that not something straight out of a movie? It seems the excitement continued through the month of March and April.
"March 7th - Coral Halderman and Alvah Tillman married at Lutheran church.
March 10th - Row in high school.
March 18th - Albert and I went to Indianapolis to "see the sights".
April 2nd - Another row in high school. Henry Eichholtz died. Tobias Peugh sold restaurant. Lawrence Nation bank success Eel [R]iver Valley Bank. Jon Hoke, bookkeeper for Lawrence & company disappears.
April 9th - George McElroy killed by falling between cars near Plymouth. Mrs. H. Reynolds died.
April 13th - Fred Redeye's team ran away."
Are you on the edge of your seat yet? We are! Who would have thought North Manchester was once the scene of so much drama! Come in to the library to page through these records yourself to find more stories. P.H. Bolinger's diary can be found in the genealogy section. (GEN FAM Bol) For more gems from the Indiana Room, click HERE.
Hot weather got you down? Come cool down at the library room! The cool quiet of the Indiana Room is particularly pleasant this time of year, and you never know what you might discover! We were browsing the shelves and found this amazing book of photos from North Manchester through the years... take a look at these photos of Main Street:
That image on the bottom left is absolutely beautiful! It's just made for a postcard, isn't it?
(We couldn't resist!)
The book also has old images of the railroad depot, the old schools (Chester and Central!), gas stations, bridges and more! Check it out today - you can find it in the Indiana Room in the North Manchester section (NOR Ols).
Remembering old friends, seeing favorite teachers, reliving treasured memories... who doesn't like strolling down memory lane by paging through a yearbook? But don't worry about digging out your copy from the attic... did you know we have a large collection of yearbooks here in the library? We even have books dating back to the early 1900s! Here is a sample of a yearbook page from the Aurora Manchester College 1919 yearbook - check out those hair styles! Chester High School is represented by this page from a 1957 yearbook, and some patrons might recognize a few people in this page from the Crest Manchester High School 1998 yearbook! Check out our Yearbook collection yourself next time you are in the library! (Gen Yea in the Indiana Room.)
For more Indiana Room finds, click HERE!
Indiana history is full of amazing characters and forgotten memories. Our Indiana Room is a great place to discover all sorts of incredible stories! Unsure of where to start? Try checking out "A Pictorial History of Indiana" by Dwight W. Hoover (INC HOO). This book is full of fascinating photos and stories from across Indiana. Did you know one of the first women millionaires had her business in Indianapolis for a time? Madame Walker moved her cosmetic factory to Indianapolis for five years before moving to New York. We love the photo of Madame Walker driving her friends in 1910 down the Indy streets! We also particularly like the the photo of a tired looking Miss Harnley and the ornery group of kids from the children's home in Knightstown! Scroll through this post to see some of our other favorite photos from the book and stop the Indiana Room to check it out yourself!
Did you know we have archives of all the North Manchester Newspapers, some even going back to the 1800s? Bound editions and microfilm copies can be found in the NMPL Indiana Room for research or pleasure reading.
We pulled out an 1870 issue of the the North Manchester Journal, published on Thursday, May 22nd to see what was happening in town 139 years ago!
On the front page was a stern lecture on proper courting habits from a New York minister. "It is a disgusting fact that palaver of lovers is worse than the purring of cats," Rev. Goss stated.
Turning our attention to more local matters, the comings and goings of certain Liberty Mills residents were outlined in fascinating detail! Judge Comstock appears to be on the mend (from his dive into the dam perhaps!?), Isaac Beaver's baby girl is as handsome as an "amsden peach", and the "bold and daring Colnel" got "badly scooped by his girl"!
Stop by the Indiana Room on your next visit to peruse our newspaper archives!
Have you ever been waiting in line at the North Manchester Post Office and found yourself idly staring at the large mural on the wall? Ever wondered about the story behind the painting? We have the answer for you! Stop by the Indiana Room and check out "A simple and vital design: the story of the Indiana post office murals" by John Carlisle (INC Car) to get the behind-the-scenes scoop! The mural is titled "Indiana Farm - Sunday Afternoon" and was painted by Alan Tompkins in 1938 for a fee of $540! We particularly enjoy this little anecdote about how the farmer's wife was originally hanging laundry, but the drawing was changed when it was decided she wouldn't be doing such a task on a Sunday!
This book is full of interesting tales about all kinds of post office murals - check it out today... we have two copies!
If you haven’t checked out the NMPL Indiana Room, be sure to do so on your next visit! There are so many wonderful stories archived in that room! Tales of the Old Days by William Billings has many such hidden gems. We love this thrilling tale of Judge Comstock and the dam break... And who can’t help but smile at this old time reminisce by Adrienna Church and the poplar trees that prophesied “old maid status”!
The mission of the North Manchester Public Library is to provide materials, programs, and services necessary to meet the recreational and educational needs of the community in an easily-accessible facility, which is a community center of activity and information.