By Pat Smith
---- — Have you seen the 2014 Decatur County Historical Society calendar? It’s for sale at the Museum on N. Franklin and at Crafts and Occasions on the North side of the Courthouse Square. In case you haven’t seen it though the theme this year is “Postcards from the Past.” Russell Wilhoit, Ginny Garvey and Tom Barker shared some of their postcards for the calendar, Lois Carol McCormack did the research and George Granholt wrote the text.
The front shows two cards, one is simply “Greetings from Greensburg,” and another shows the Greensburg High School when it was on West Walnut Street until the middle fifties when it was turned into a junior high. The back of the calendar shows a postcard that states, “If you don’t come to Greensburg You’re missing the time of your life.”
The inside cover has a history of postcards and tells about a book of Indiana postcards compiled by Robert Reed, published by Indiana University Press in 2003. It quotes a British minister who wrote, “Today I sent my first post cards…They are capital things, simple, useful and handy…”
It was difficult to choose a favorite this year but it would probably be the sanctuary of St. Mary’s Church as it was before some changes were made. The High Altar and side alters are shown on the card that was mailed to St. Joseph, Michigan in August 1908. Granholt wrote that St. Mary’s is conducting a search to collect artifacts and other memorabilia for educational purposes and to evoke memories of the “good old days.”
Another favorite would have to be the picture of the three bridges over Flat Rock River. I’ve always loved that picture because it is so unusual. Only one of the bridges still spans the river. In case you never got to see it, the picture shows the three arch stone bridge, the railroad bridge and the traction bridge. Granholt explained it a lot better than that. The Westport bridge is also pictured.
Next I like the tobacco barns picture, probably because I remember seeing them although only two remained when I saw them. Also, I didn’t know that they were on the Joseph Graham farm on North Broadway. It’s an odd bit of history to think of Greensburg as a place to build warehouses to store tobacco.
I studied the picture of the hospital as it looked in the 1920s and twisted it every which way to determine where the entrance shown then is now. No question, our hospital has changed for the better but the car in front of this 1920s version of the hospital is mighty fine looking. Looks like a 1925 something to me but then I know nothing about old cars. Someone will surely know and tell me what it is.
I love the picture showing George Little with a yoke of white oxen. Granholt wrote that Little also owned a buffalo and a race horse named “Exchange Boy.” I am pretty sure I wrote about Little years ago that showed him with a couple of spotted mules. I only remember writing about them, not what I wrote, but Granholt wrote that the spotted mules were used to pull the city‘s garbage wagon.
Two postcards showing Odd Fellows buildings are in the calendar. The Colfax Memorial Building, the building used as a home for orphaned children, is one postcard. The other shows the Administration building. I know that few people remain in Greensburg that lived in the Colfax Building. In fact, Dody Stutz may be the only one.
The West End School is pictured with a short history of the school. It was built in 1863 for $12,000. From the looks of it it was built to last - and did until 1955. I liked the postcard of “Hillsdale Park” from 1914. I’m sure that I had always heard that place referred to as Doles Pond. I’m sure there is no one around today that remembers it by either name.
I bet you think I’ll tell you the other postcards in the calendar. No. You must go to the Museum on N. Franklin or Crafts and Occasions to see the calendars that sell for $10. That helps the Historical Society with its projects all year. Most of us know former residents of the county and I know from experience that they love to receive these calendars.
Diane Porter Arnold still has a few books for sale if you need gifts this year or in 2014 it makes a find gift. And please give thought to the Optimist’s Flag Project. Those flags look so beautiful when the Optimists put them out.