Camp Lucy-Mac, Ludington State Park, Michigan: The Newspaper & Old Photos Post

There’s nothing that holds my attention like a good mystery, and for quite some time, the forgotten remains of isolated Camp Lucy Mac in Ludington State Park, Michigan, have been just that.  If you’ve not yet read this article, please follow the link below for the full tour of Camp Lucy Mac as she looks today:

https://thewaywardwanderlust.wordpress.com/2015/06/

But where there’s a will, there’s usually a way, and about a week ago, I finally got ahold of the newspaper articles that would provide me with the information–and even a few of the photos–I’ve been looking for.  Through these articles, I’ve been able to discover some information that was previously unknown and confirm a few of the rumors I’ve heard.

Here in chronological order are some of the more interesting articles, courtesy of the Ludington Daily News, pertaining to Camp Lucy Mac.

July 12, 1939:
July 12, 1939: This is one of the earliest articles I can find about Camp Lucy Mac.  This article makes reference to the location of the camp in relation to the CCC camp in LSP and also lists the camp staff for that year.
July 18, 1939:
July 18, 1939: One of the few photos associated with the articles pertaining to camp, this shows some of Lucy Mac’s earliest campers in what would be the 3rd season that the camp was open.
July 21, 1939:
July 21, 1939:  Not to be outdone, this article focuses on the women who ran Camp Lucy Mac in 1939.  Yet another rare photo of the people who once comprised Lucy Mac.
Close-up photo of July 21, 1939 photo.
Close-up photo of July 21, 1939 photo.
June 8, 1940:
June 8, 1940: This article is the first and only to mention that Camp Lucy Mac is a certified GS Camp.  It also is the first to reference the education that the camp’s instructors undergo.  Mrs. G. O. Kribs, who ran Lucy Mac for a good portion of the camp’s existence as a GS camp, is mentioned.
June 10, 1940:
June 10, 1940:  This article was my first evidence that Boy Scouts also used the camp and that Lucy Mac was not exclusively used by GS.
August 3, 1940:
August 3, 1940: Yet another article regarding Boy Scouts using Lucy Mac.
August 6, 1940:
August 6, 1940: Another article regarding Boy Scouts at Lucy-Mac, this one containing a list of items to bring.
August 17, 1940
August 17, 1940: Not only did Boy Scouts camp at Lucy Mac, they also had ceremonies that reportedly drew close to 300 visitors to this remote site.  In this day and age, nearly 300 people trekking out to a remote campsite for a ceremony without any motorized transportation option available would be outrageous!
June 21, 1941:
June 21, 1941:  This article mentions new buildings being dedicated at Lucy Mac, but does not say what buildings these are.  Given that 1941 was the first year any buildings were reportedly used at Lucy Mac (based on a 1944 article), this article is likely referring to the lodge, the laundry, the recreation building, and perhaps the unknown building northwest of the lodge.
July 8, 1941:
July 8, 1941: This article mentions some of the improvements made to the camp and again references the dedication of even more new–albeit unnamed–buildings.  Once again, based on the date, one can only presume that the buildings in question are the lodge, recreation building, the laundry, and the unknown building to the northwest.
July 24, 1941:
July 24, 1941: The Boy Scouts camp at Lucy Mac yet again. Note the cost of camping per week: $6 per scout!
March 11, 1942: This snippet of an article is by far one of the most interesting, alluding to three
March 11, 1942: This snippet of an article is by far one of the most interesting, alluding to three “moving pictures” that once existed of Camp Lucy-Mac. If you happen to know if these might still be in existence, please leave a comment below!
June 8, 1942:
June 8, 1942: An incredible find, this article goes through more improvements made to the camp, the staff, and even asks those girls and counselors in attendance to bring a specified amount of sugar for their stay–evidence of the cost of WWII.
June 8, 1942: Photo close up.
June 8, 1942: Photo close up.  This photo appears to have been taken with Hamlin Lake in the background and may have been taken near the remote fire pit location at the end of the peninsula (see previous post for the map!).
July 16, 1942: One of my jackpot moments, I believe this building,
July 16, 1942: One of my jackpot moments: I believe this is Bldg 1 from my previous post–the first building discovered upon my exploration of this site.  Note the fireplace, the shape of the building, and the windows overlooking the lagoon.  In the newspaper article, this building is called the recreational building / dining hall / kitchen.
July 16, 1942: Caption associated with above photo.
July 16, 1942: Caption associated with above photo and pieces of the associated article.
August 1, 1942:
August 1, 1942: A look back at health and wellness in the WWII era.
August 8, 1942:
August 8, 1942: This article details some of the day-to-day activities of campers as well as achievements.
October 2, 1942:
October 2, 1942:  Despite the trials of WWII, Camp Lucy Mac sees a boom in enrollment.  This article points out the benefits of camp for the girls who attend, citing relief of “wartime nerves” and teaching the valuable skills pertaining to civilian life in a time of war in addition to normal camp activities.
January 31, 1948:
January 31, 1948: A full 11 years after Lucy mac first opened, Mrs. G. O. Kribs remains the leader at Lucy Mac for Girl Scouts.
April 22, 1949:
April 22, 1949: Lucy Mac isn’t just a Scout camp anymore!  This article lists the numerous groups that are using Lucy Mac throughout the summer.
June 28, 1949:
June 28, 1949:  This article details more activities available at Lucy Mac for GS attendees, as well as local involvement in supporting this camp.
July 5, 1949: Lucy Mac experiences quite the boom in demand as numerous groups reserve the GS camp throughout the summer season.
July 5, 1949: Lucy Mac experiences quite the boom in demand as numerous groups reserve the GS camp throughout the summer season.
September 3, 1963:
September 3, 1963:  An article on the early history of scouting in Ludington, including a reference to Camp Lucy Mac’s opening date (July 11, 1937).

Camp Lucy Mac Bonus: The Lodge, The Rec Building, or Something Like It…

Since my first article on Camp Lucy Mac, I have struggled to clearly define which building at the camp was the lodge and which one was the recreation hall, opting simply to call the buildings Bldg 1 and Bldg 2 as I could not say with certainty which one was which.  Not necessarily assisting me in my quest to delineate between these two buildings are the newspaper articles that seem to confuse each building with each other for different reasons.  Before I go into detail on the reasoning behind this debate and for your reference, here’s a copy of the map from my previous article.

One of my presents to you--my artistic rendering of the general layout of Camp Lucy-Mac. Not to scale. Bldg 1: Likely the recreational building / dining hall / kitchen Bldg 2: Likely the lodge Bldg 3: Unknown. Reportedly a classroom/sleeping quarters, but this is unconfirmed by newspaper or historic source.
One of my presents to you–my artistic rendering of the general layout of Camp Lucy-Mac. Not to scale.
Bldg 1: Up for debate!
Bldg 2: Also up for debate!
Bldg 3: Unknown. Reportedly a classroom/sleeping quarters, but this is unconfirmed by newspaper or historic source.

So, here we go: why I was so darn confused about the buildings of Camp Lucy Mac!

Case 1: Bldg 1 is the Lodge, Bldg 2 is the Rec Hall / Kitchen / Dining Hall.

Evidence for Case 1: The June 22, 1944 article clearly describes the lodge as being at the end of a lagoon with a “great view of the lake”.  This readily describes Bldg 1 and not Bldg 2, which does not border any water.  Notably, this section of the article doesn’t mention a recreational building at all.

Less on the scientific and more on the intuition side of things, Bldg 1 struck me initially as the lodge, not Bldg 2, which was less scenic and seemed more like a general purpose building.  But hey, they’re foundations.  What do I know.

Case 2: Bldg 1 is the Rec Hall / Kitchen / Dining Hall, Bldg 2 is the Lodge.

Evidence for Case 2: Just when you think you have everything all figured out, a newspaper article gums up the works!  A July 16, 1942 article, which includes a photo of what (structurally speaking) almost has to be Bldg 1, specifically refers to this structure as the Rec Hall / Kitchen / Dining Hall.

Per the photograph in the article, the building is in an L-shape; the only L-shaped foundations found at Lucy Mac were those of Bldg 1.  This clearly does not describe Bldg 2.  The building was described as having a kitchen and a stone fireplace, which have both survived in varying degrees to this day as the fireplace is still visible and the tile in the end of Bldg 1 appear to be from a kitchen.  Structurally speaking, Bldg 2 has nothing to suggest that it ever contained a kitchen or a stone fireplace…or at least, it has nothing remaining!

Case 3: Bldg 1 is all of the above and Bldg 2 is something completely different.

Y’know, sometimes it just happens: buildings undergo structural and/or functional changes, and are known by various names at different times, sometimes going by two names interchangeably.  I believe this is almost certainly the case in this little saga as in one instance, the June 22, 1944 article actually refers to the recreation hall and the dining hall / kitchen / stone fireplace as being the same building: “The rustic recreation building served as a dining hall and kitchen and the stone fireplace was used for campfire when rain prevented the use of outdoor campfire”.  Interestingly, this section of the article doesn’t even mention a lodge.

As a teasing additional tidbit, a June 21, 1941 article describes a dedication ceremony that took place in the “main lodge”, suggesting that there may have actually been two buildings that served as lodges at one point in time.

Now, while the information presented in Case #3 doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibilities of either Case #1 or Case #2 being correct, it does seem to confirm that the same building is being described in two separate parts of the same article and is apparently known by two names.  This is the most likely answer and (for the moment) the best conclusion I can offer to my lingering constructional conundrum at Camp Lucy Mac.

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Fast Backward: The Stone House, Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia

If you’ve never been to Harper’s Ferry, WV, I highly recommend it.  Despite being one of the most history-rich areas I’ve ever toured, it’s also stunningly beautiful–a classic old American town built into the side of mountains overlooking the convergence of the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers.  What’s more, it’s a perfect place for someone such as myself, who finds a certain allure in the abandoned and ignored.

Though a large percentage of the town and the surrounding area are actually contained in a National Park, I’ve found that due to the NPS’s tendency to let ruins be ruins, the fact that these locations are not perhaps as remote or neglected as others I’ve explored doesn’t detract from the mystery of what they once were.

While there are several abandoned places I might take you in Harper’s Ferry, I figured I’ll start with my favorite location: the Stone House.

This is Lock 33 on the C&O Canal, which runs alongside the Potomac River on the northeastern side directly across from Harper's Ferry.
This is Lock 33 on the C&O Canal, which runs alongside the Potomac River on the northeastern side directly across from Harper’s Ferry.  It’s a shady, somewhat isolated place that used to be bustling with activity when Lock 33 was an active lock on the C&O Canal.  Now just populated by walkers and bicyclists, I certainly didn’t expect to find what I did as I descended the steps and took a left…
My first view of the structure at Lock 33, which sits perched above the lock and across Harper's Ferry Road.
My first view of the structure at Lock 33, known as The Stone House, which sits perched above the lock and across Harper’s Ferry Road.

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Undaunted by the canal and the road, I crossed both and arrived to this view.
Undaunted by the canal and the road, I crossed both and arrived to this view.
Just the shell of a house, I was immediately curious as to what this had once been and what circumstances had led to its ruin.
Just the shell of a house, I was immediately curious as to what this had once been and what circumstances had led to its ruin.
Looking toward the front of the house from the inside.
Looking toward the front of the house from the inside.
Looking to the right side of the house (when facing it), where a stone chimney and two doors remain.
Looking to the right side of the house (when facing it), where a stone chimney and two doors remain.
Looking to the left end of the house.
Looking to the left end of the house.
A look out one of the front windows, which still contains the original wood paneling, though it's been many a year since this window has held a pane.
A look out one of the front windows, which still contains the original wood paneling, though it’s been many a year since this window has held a pane.
The front door, with the original wood frame still intact.
The front door, with the original wood frame still intact.
Looking out the front door to the left along Harper's Ferry Road.
Looking out the front door to the left along Harper’s Ferry Road.
Looking out the front door to the right on Harper's Ferry Road.
Looking out the front door to the right on Harper’s Ferry Road.
View of the window sill and frame.
View of the window sill and frame.
Closer view of the front door side paneling.
Closer view of the front door side paneling.
Looking up at the chimney on the right side of the house.
Looking up at the chimney on the right side of the house.
On a subsequent trip less than a year later, I returned for more photos.
On a subsequent trip less than a year later, I returned for more photos.

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Two stacked doors to the left of the chimney and fireplace.
Two stacked doors to the left of the chimney and fireplace.

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Looking out the side door.
Looking out the side door.
Looking up through what used to be the second story.
Looking up through what used to be the second story.
Looking above the structure at Maryland Heights.
Looking above the structure at Maryland Heights.
Another view of the lock.
Another view of the lock.

As much as I’d love to tell you all I’ve learned about the history of this interesting home, I’ve found myself inundated by the sheer amount of research I’ve located.  Due to this fact, I will be writing a second post on this house, dedicated solely to the history.  Stay tuned!

Fast Backward: The Coast Guard Station and Boathouse at Assateague Island, VA

Hello again, happy readers!  Today, I take you to the barrier islands of Virginia: specifically, the Chincoteague National Wildlife Preserve on Assateague Island.

Whilst walking down the beach on an idyllic vacation in this mosquito-ridden paradise, I glimpsed from a distance a couple of abandoned buildings one fine summer’s eve.  Repelled by mosquitoes who feared neither the threat of slapping hands nor the stench of Deep Woods Off!, I vowed to return one day, armed with a map that showed me the objects of a future photographic mission: the Assateague Coast Guard Station.  It wasn’t until a year or so later when I returned during the winter–and not coincidentally, mosquito-free months–to photograph the lost and lonely of this stunning island.

These photos were taken in the early winter months of of 2012, so keep in mind that these photos are not current.

PLEASE NOTE that these photos are of the Assateague Island CG Station and Boathouse only.  Unfortunately, the Lifesaving Station, which was located near the head of the Woodland Trail, is no longer in existence.

Maps

CWRP Map 2

Behold, the object of my inquiry!  Looking at the above map toward the southern border of the island, you’ll note the Old Coast Guard Station, denoted on the southern-most edge of Tom’s Hook.  While the fish factory ruins are also present along that shoreline, we did not identify those ruins and were only successful in finding the old CG station.

Le Photos

And now, for the meat and potatoes of why you probably read this blog.  The photos!

Building 1, from a distance.  Presumed to be the fish factory ruins, but quickly proven to be something quite different.
Building 1, from a distance. The CG station’s boathouse.
Building 2, from a distance.  This building was correctly presumed to be the old Coast Guard Station House.
Building 2, from a distance. This building was correctly presumed to be the old Coast Guard Station House.
Closer view of Building 1, which, as I get closer, is clearly on the water.
Closer view of Building 1, which, as I get closer, is clearly on the water.
Wooden remnants of the boardwalk as we get closer to building 1.
Wooden remnants of the boardwalk as we get closer to building 1.
Building 1 from the front.
Building 1 from the front.
A handy little sign that reminds would-be and actual trespassers that they're in fact trespassing.
A handy little sign that reminds would-be and actual trespassers that they’re in fact trespassing.
What appears to be a shovel sticking out of the sand.
What appears to be a shovel sticking out of the sand in front of the first building.
Far right side of building 1.
Far right side of building 1.
Far right side of building 1 from shore.
Far right side of building 1 from shore.
Building 1 from the shore.
Building 1 from the shore.
Front of building 1 from the left side.
Front of building 1 from the left side.
Left side of building 1 from the front.
Left side of building 1 from the front.
Left side of building 1 from the water.
Left side of building 1 from the water.
Left side and back boardwalk of building 1 from shore.
Left side and back boardwalk of building 1 from shore.
Back to center of building 1 from shore, front door.
Back to center of building 1 from shore, front door.
Looking back at building 2 (Coast Guard Station) from shore in front of building 1.
Looking back at building 2 (Coast Guard Station) from shore in front of building 1.

Now, before you go assuming the worst of your gracious host, it was at this point that I began to wonder if this building was in fact a fish factory as the map would’ve had me believe.  Given the fact that a boardwalk ran from the confirmed Coast Guard Station out to the mysterious building and the fact that the fish factory seemingly had no business on the water, I had already started to suspect that this building was part of the Coast Guard station and not in fact a former fish factory.

Hopping aboard the boardwalk for a closer look.
Hopping aboard the boardwalk for a closer look.
Looking toward the land at the Coast Guard Station.
Looking toward the land at the Coast Guard Station.

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The boardwalk, extending to the right of building 1, into the ocean.
The boardwalk, extending to the right of building 1, into the ocean.
Looking down at the ocean into a mission section of boardwalk.  Exciting!
Looking down at the ocean into a mission section of boardwalk. Exciting!
Building 1 from the right side, boardwalk.
Building 1 from the right side, boardwalk.
A look inside the front right window of the building.  This was additional confirmation that this building was definitely not a fish factory...at least, not recently.
A look inside the front right window of the building confirms that this was in fact a boathouse.
Looking across the front porch.
Looking across the front porch.
Looking inside the window immediately to one side of the front door.
Looking inside the window immediately to one side of the front door.
Inside the front left window.  At this point, I had figured out that this was minimally a boathouse that was part of the CG operation.  At most, it was, perhaps, a lifesaving station.
Inside the front left window.

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Making our way around the left side of the building toward the back via the boardwalk.
Making our way around the left side of the building toward the back via the boardwalk.
A look inside from the windows on the left side of the building.
A look inside from the windows on the left side of the building.
And this was perhaps the most interesting discovery of all...rails leading from the back of the building and into the bay.  Clearly not a fish factory!
And this was perhaps the most interesting discovery of all…rails leading from the back of the building and into the bay.
Looking at the back of the building: doors that lead toward the ocean on rails.
Looking at the back of the building: doors that lead toward the ocean on rails.

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Rails disappearing into the encroaching water.
Rails disappearing into the encroaching water.
A few more looks inside from the vantage point of the windows on the left side of the building.
A few more looks inside from the vantage point of the windows on the left side of the building.

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Immediately following the section of the adventure, we followed the boardwalk back to land and found ourselves staring at this remarkable piece of history that stands very nearly alone on an all but abandoned spit of land: the Assateague Island Coast Guard Station.

The Coast Guard house on the island just to the south of the boathouse.  This is the northwest side of the house.  The porch in this photo (the larger of two) faces the west.
The Coast Guard house on the island just to the south of the boathouse. This is the northwest side of the house. The porch in this photo (the larger of two) faces the west.
Looking north, back at the boathouse, boardwalk to the right.
Looking north, back at the boathouse, boardwalk to the right.
A look inside the front window from the west porch.
A look inside the front window from the west porch.

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View inside the right west porch window.
View inside the right west porch window.
Looking more and more like quarters to me.
Looking more and more like quarters to me.
West porch, sans screen.
West porch, sans screen.
Looking west.
Looking west.
Down the west porch steps.
Down the west porch steps.
West porch, looking north toward the boardwalk/boathouse.
West porch, looking north toward the boardwalk/boathouse.
The west porch.
The west porch.
The south porch.
The south porch.
South and west porches, looking roughly northeast.
South and west porches, looking roughly northeast.
Looking inside the windows at the south porch.
Looking inside the windows at the south porch.
Second view inside the south porch window.
Second view inside the south porch window.
Looking south from the south porch, one outbuilding surviving to the right.
Looking south from the south porch, one outbuilding surviving to the right.
Looking in the window on the door at the back (north) side of the house at a very 1940's-esque kitchen.
Looking in the window on the door at the back (north) side of the house at a very 1940’s-esque kitchen.

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Looking north at the boathouse/boardwalk.
Looking north at the boathouse/boardwalk.
Looking north at the south porch.
Looking north at the south porch.
Lookout tower, located just southwest of the house.
Lookout tower, located just southwest of the house.
Outbuilding, slightly south of the house.
Outbuilding, slightly south of the house.
Viewing the house from the southeast.
Viewing the house from the southeast.

Links

http://www.uprootedphotographer.com/post/30034314463/abandoned-assateague-island-coast-guard-station
More photos of the boathouse and coast guard station.

http://www.chincoteague.com/AssateagueTrailMap.pdf
Trail map for Chincoteague National Wildlife Preserve.

http://www.piping-plover.org/images/4-97-g_Settlement_on_Assateague_Island.pdf
Source for location of original lifesaving station and reference on Tom’s Hook Fish Factory location.

http://www.stripersonline.com/t/826533/chincoteague-fears-proposal-to-move-beach-would-hurt-tourism-economy
Forum with local lore regarding location/visibility of fish factory.

http://www.fototime.com/ftweb/bin/ft.dll/detailfs?userid=655C590AEC814724816140FDC236FC40&ndx=102&albumid=3935E68AAEB749549B136804B766592B&pictureid=B219475E389C4BE3BF7DC13ACBB019A6
Photos of the actual fish factory.

fish factory ruins
Flickr photo of the fish factory ruins.

8601 Continues: The Hicks House History

Well, things just got interesting.

As many of you who’ve been following along with the Hicks Family History are well aware, I’ve been looking for some time for proof that Dr. John H. Hicks actually lived at 8601 Dixie Highway, and while it seemed likely, I couldn’t actually find anything by way of hard fact to prove that such a speculation was true.

New Evidence: Part I

Enter the 1956 public record on Ancestry.com, which shows Dr. John H. Hicks with an office at 524 S 28th Street, Louisville, KY, and his residence (denoted as “r”) simply listed as “Valley Station Ky”.

John Hicks 1956 Valley Station

Now this was a landmark finding.  Not only does this record show Dr. Hick’s medical office, confirming that this is in fact our John H. Hicks, but it shows him as living in Valley Station, and while there’s no address listed, it’s no stretch of the imagination to presume that Dr. Hicks, who would’ve been in his 70s, had left his home in Louisville and was living with his son’s family.

What’s even more incredible–especially in spite of my initial research–is the presence of a 1960 directory that also shows Dr. Hicks with an office at 524 S 28th Street and still residing in Valley Station.

While I cannot prove definitively that Dr. Hicks was at 8601 Dixie Highway starting in 1956 as there is no address listed, there are a few compelling reasons to believe this is in fact the case:

1.  That’s what the oral history of the area says.  Many, many people who claim to have known the Hicks family or grew up nearby have commented on this blog and many others to say that this is in fact the Dr. Hicks home.

2.  The chances of Dr. Hicks NOT living with his son and yet coincidentally moving to Valley Station as an aging gentleman are very slim.

3.  The house looks like it has a set-up on the side for a doctor’s office.  While there’s no way I can confirm that, common sense argues that this is likely the case.

New Evidence: Part II

Now for the second piece of new evidence that keeps this seemingly solved story a mystery: on a yet another repeat search of Google for 8601 info, I found the following websites that now show a “year built” for 8601:

http://www.homesnap.com/KY/Louisville/8601-Dixie-Highway
http://www.trulia.com/homes/Kentucky/Louisville/sold/263039-8601-Dixie-Hwy-Louisville-KY-40258

You see that?  Year built: 1962.

New Mystery

Now, here’s what I’m trying to wrap my head around.

The house was allegedly built in 1962 per the above sources.

Dr. Hicks reportedly lived at the house.

Dr. Hicks died in 1960 per the Ancestry.com death record.

New Hypotheses

See the issue?  So if the white house we’re seeing on Dixie Highway wasn’t built until 2 years after Dr. Hicks died, how the heck did he have a medical practice there?  The following are my best guesses at explaining this conundrum:

1.  Dr. Hicks was living in Valley Station, but the family lived at a different house, probably on the same land.  Several people have commented that there used to be more houses owned by the Hickses on this land.  Did the family live at one of these homes while Dr. Hicks was alive and build 8601 after his death?

2.  The 1962 build date is incorrect and Dr. Hicks did in fact live at 8601.  This seems to be the most compelling theory so far given the oral history and the house layout, which both suggest that a doctor once lived and practiced at 8601.

3.  The 1960 death date for Dr. Hicks is incorrect.  This could be owing to two things: a) the Ancestry.com date has been transcribed incorrectly.  As I cannot actually see this record myself, I cannot verify that the 1960 date is correct.  b) The John H. Hicks who died in 1960 isn’t our John H. Hicks.  Also unlikely, especially based on the family tree that links Dr. John H. Hicks with this death date.

That’s all for now.  Until the next clue comes my way!

The Rosenberger Family History

Hello again, history fans!  Please prepare yourself for part two of the Aydelott-Rosenberger house history, which focuses on the second family to occupy the home–the family that was the last to live in the house near the ponds.

The Basics

As with my previous post, I’ll start with the family patriarch who was responsible for moving the family into the home.  Meet Martin P. Rosenberger and his wife, Addie Plenge, who married right around 1920.  Martin is from a large family of seven children, and as best I can tell, his family had lived in Jefferson County around Louisville since about 1860, which would’ve been about 20 years after his grandfather immigrated to the US from Germany.

For your reference, I have included a family tree for you which starts with Martin and Addie.

Rosenberger Tree

Census Records

1920

Just to give you a feel for who the Rosenbergers were, let’s start in 1920.  Martin P. (25) and wife Addie (26), married earlier that year, are renting their home on a Cane Run Road farm in Albemarle, Jefferson, KY.  Martin indicates that he’s working on a truck farm on his own account.  There are no children in the home at this time.  In addition to another family that lives in the home, there is a servant named Henry Sharp (46) also living in the home.

1930

It is in this year that I believe we get our first look at the Rosenberger family occupying the Aydelott-Rosenberger house.  Martin (35) and Addie (36) are living in Louisville, KY with their three children: Plenge (9), Martie L (6), and Patty (3).  Martin indicates the home is owned and worth $14,000, which translated into modern dollars, is just shy of $196,000.  Given the size of the house and farm, this seems consistent with the Aydelott-Rosenberger house and land.  If that isn’t enough to convince you, then consider that just one dwelling down in the census is the Moreman family, whose home still sits less than a mile from the Aydelott-Rosenberger house.

It is noteworthy that Martin and his family aren’t the only ones living on the farm in 1930.  Also listed under family #100, farm #33 is one August Rosenberger (25), wife Sallie (20), and daughter Margie (1).  A search of previous census records shows that August and Martin are brothers.  While Martin and his family are listed in dwelling #89, August and his family are listed in dwelling #90, which is consistent with the Aydelott Family History post in which there is a sketch of the farm and homestead that lists several private dwellings aside from the main house.

1940

Ten years later reveals Martin (45) and Addie (46) living at the intersection of Cane Run Road and Bethany Lane, the latter of which is written vaguely in the margin of the census record and positively confirms the location of their residence as the Aydelott-Rosenberger house based on street names.  At home are Plenge (19), Martie Lee (16), and Pattie (13).  Martin and Plenge list their livelihood as farmers.  Their farm number is 69.

Still next door on the same farm are Martin’s brother and sister-in-law, August Rosenberger (35) and Sally (31).  Their children, Margie (11) and August (6 months) are living with them.  August indicates that he is a farmer.

Further proof that the family is in fact occupying the Aydelott-Rosenberger house and land is the fact that the Moreman family shows up in the census records one dwelling away.

1940 and Beyond

By 1940, Plenge is a young man, poised to move out and start a life of his own, and his sisters are quickly preparing to follow in those footsteps.  From 1940, we see the nuclear family split up and go their separate ways, making new families of their own.

Martin P. Rosenberger only lived two more years after the 1940 census.  His death certificate indicates that he died of kidney cancer at age 48.

Despite Martin’s early death, his wife Addie Rosenberger lived to be nearly 100 years old, dying in December of 1982.

A website showing the final resting place of Martin and Addie is linked below.
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=74126583&ref=acom

The Rosenberger’s only son, Plenge, who bore the maiden name of his mother, apparently continued to live at the Aydelott-Rosenberger house for some time.  A Valley Station public record from 1976 lists him at 6618/6814 Bethany Lane, both known addresses of the Aydelott-Rosenberger property.  He was a member of the Free Masons and also ran for public office back in the 70’s as a Republican candidate for the Kentucky state house of representatives.  While I can find very little information about him, Plenge married a woman named Rosetta, or “Bunny”.  Plenge Rosenberger passed away in 1993 at 73 years old.
http://valleylodge511.com/lodgehistory.htm
http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/rosenberger-rosenstein.html
http://www.findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GRid=74126631&ref=acom

Martie Lee Rosenberger remained in the Louisville area, marrying one C.T. Korfhage and having four children with him.  They lived in nearby Shepherdsville, KY where she was reportedly involved with her church and kept the books for her family farm with C.T.  Martie Lee died in 2013 at the ripe old age of 90.
http://hosting-23044.tributes.com/show/Martie-Lee-Korfhage-96094007

Patti Rosenberger, the youngest daughter, attended U of L and UK.  She married Don Huebner in 1945, and the couple moved to Kansas in 1963.  They had four children together.  Patti worked in the Huebner Insurance Agency as an office manager until 1986.  She was reportedly a talented cook, a seamstress, and active in her church.
http://www.quisenberryfh.com/fh/obituaries/obituary.cfm?o_id=2015752&fh_id=13637

Families Intertwined

Yet again, while this isn’t necessarily relevant to the Rosenberger family that occupied the home, my research took me back in to Martin P. Rosenberger’s family history, and I found a few interesting things back there.

First is that Martin Rosenberger wasn’t the only Rosenberger to marry an Plenge.  Martin’s older sister, Lillie, reportedly married one William H. Plenge.  His younger sister, Loraine, also married a William H. Plenge (upon further research, I believe these two men are in fact cousins or uncle/nephew).  And finally, another younger sister, Minnie Mae Rosenberger, married a John Henry Plenge.  In total, four out of seven Rosenberger children married Plenges.

Double Identity

One of the more confounding mysteries I’ve ever seen hit me while researching Martin’s family history.  For this rabbit trail, I made you another family tree, this time encompassing Martin’s parentage and grandparents.

Rosenberger Tree - Copy

Jumping back to 1880, we see Martin P.’s father, Martin W., living at home with his father and brothers.

1880: Cane Run, Jefferson, KY:
Rosenberger, Phillip     60  Head of household
Rosenberger, Phillip     30  Son
Rosenberger, Codie      29  Daughter-in-law
Rosenberger, Phillip     2    Grandson
Rosenberger, Henry     22  Son
Rosenberger, Martin    17   Son

Now, Phillip (60) indicates that he was born in “Bravia”, which appears to be a misspelling of Bavaria.  Expecting I’d be able to find him in 1870, I took a look, only to be stunned by the fact that there appears to be no Phillip Rosenberger in the entire country that matches our guy!

Imagine my surprise when I look into the 1860 census to find this:

Louisville 1860, District 1
1860 Louisville Dist 1

 1860 Louisville, District 8
1860 Louisville Dist 8

If you study the records above, you’ll notice what appears to be two almost identical families living right next to each other, the exceptions being the name of the wife in the Phillip Rosenberger homes and the last name of Peter Rosenberger is changed to Rosenbaum in one census.  Otherwise, everything from the names and ages of the children to the ages of the adults are exactly the same to the occupation of the men to the countries of origin are exactly the same.

Now, what does this mean exactly?  Here are the options as I see them:
1.  Peter and Phillip are brothers who moved in 1860 while the census taker was making his rounds.  This would explain the similar names and ages and how the families would’ve been in two places at once.
2.  Peter and Phillip Rosenberger are separate people from the other Phillip Rosenberger and Peter Rosenbaum.  While this explains the slight discrepancy in the name of Phillip’s wife and Peter’s last name, this doesn’t explain how two incredibly similar families are both living in Louisville at the exact same time and then disappear exactly one year later.  One possibility is that these families are in fact related, but they are perhaps cousins who used family names for their children in the exact same order at nearly the exact same time.  In my opinion, this isn’t likely.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a good answer for you on this one, dear reader.  Neither of these men appear in the 1850 census, so it’s impossible for me to say which family represents our Rosenbergers, or if in fact both do.

Fin

That’s all I have to tell you at this point about the Aydelott-Rosenberger house, its inhabitants, and their histories.  Please be sure to visit my previous posts regarding the Aydelott Family history for their genealogy, photos, and a map of the farmstead as sketched by a Rosenberger descendent.
https://thewaywardwanderlust.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/the-aydelott-family-history/

And don’t forget to visit the post that started this all, complete with photos of the home in 2013.
https://thewaywardwanderlust.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/bethany-lane-louisville-ky-the-aydelott-rosenberger-house/

Until next time!

316 West Dixie, Elizabethtown, KY: The Garnett House

One house down from the home featured in my previous post is 316 West Dixie, or the Garnett House & Executive Offices.  Also a recently abandoned building, Google maps confirms that back in August of 2013, this home was inhabited…though based on the rocking chair and motorcycle on the front porch, it doesn’t exactly appear office-like.

316 w dixie

This side-view of the home from July of 2008 reveals that there’s more to this place that what it seems…the backyard and all that lies therein opens up an entirely new set of questions.

316 w dixie side

But let’s not find me getting ahead of myself this early in the post.  You’ve seen the before pictures.  All photos to follow are present-day.

316 W Dixie, looking a bit more lonely these days with boarded windows and doors, the rocking chairs long gone.
316 W Dixie, looking a bit more lonely these days with boarded windows and doors, the rocking chairs long gone.
View of the right side of the house from the front.
View of the right side of the house from the front.
Close-up of the front right window.
Close-up of the front right window
View of the left side of the house.  Running immediately down this side is a small road called Thomas Street.
View of the left side of the house. Running immediately down this side is a small road called Thomas Street.

At this point, I took Thomas Street, which runs along the left side of the house, toward the backyard.

View of the back of the house.
View of the back of the house.
Back of the house, a small outbuilding in the left background.
Back of the house, a small outbuilding in the left background.  It may not be visible in this resolution, but the sign on the door at the bottom of the steps reads “laundry”.
Back of the house on the left side.
Back of the house on the left side.

At this point, I imagine you may be scratching your head and thinking, What in the heck is this blogger trying to show me that’s so significant in the backyard?  Standby, gentle reader.  From the back porch area, let’s look into the back yard.

Looking toward Thomas Street from the back porch area.  What you're seeing is a small office-like building ahead to the center of the photo and trailer homes to the right.
Looking toward Thomas Street from the back porch area. What you’re seeing is a small office-like building ahead to the center of the photo and trailer homes to the right.

In the backyard, we found a parking area immediately off Thomas Street, a courtyard-like area (pictured in the foreground of the above photo), a small white building that sits right on Thomas Street, and a bunch of trailers that seem to reside permanently in the backyard along the property line.  If you scroll back up to the Google Maps screenshots, you’ll notice that in the second shot that looks down Thomas Street shows a parking lot and this small white building.

The back of the house from the parking lot.
The back of the house from the parking lot.
Taken from the parking lot off Thomas Street and looking west toward the trailers and small office-like building to the left.
Taken from the parking lot off Thomas Street and looking west toward the trailers and small office-like building to the left.  Note the parking lot area has reserved parking by apartment number.
At the edge of the property line that borders on the nextdoor 318 W Dixie, the trailers are tenuously suspended on brick piles over a bricked creek, now empty, that flows under the Dixie Highway and westward.
At the edge of the property line that borders on the next door 318 W Dixie, the trailers are tenuously suspended on brick piles over a bricked creek, now empty, that flows under the Dixie Highway and westward.
We decide to take a stroll in this empty canal.
We decide to take a stroll in this empty canal.
The canal runs past a little white and red building that sits perched over the canal just behind the house.
The canal runs past a little white and red building that sits perched over the canal just behind the house.
The red and white building near the main house.
The red and white building near the main house.

It’s hard to describe the layout in text, so please reference the hand little paint map I made you below in case you’re beyond lost in this backyard.

316 w dixie overview

Intrigued by this office building/trailer park HQ/apartment complex, we decided to poke around a bit.  We started out at what we assumed may have been an office at one point as this structure stood near the parking lot at 102 Thomas Street.

The office building from Thomas Street.
The office building from Thomas Street.
The front of the office building as it sits on Thomas Street.  This building appears to have been built in phases, the part of the building on the far right having been built first.  Despite all sense that would decry such a conclusion, it appeared that this building may have started out as a chicken coop and been modified for human use at a later time.
The front of the office building as it sits on Thomas Street. This building appears to have been built in phases, the part of the building on the far right having been built first. Despite all sense that would decry such a conclusion, it appeared that this building may have started out as a chicken coop and been modified for human use at a later time.
The front door area, which sits to the south west of the building.
The front door area, which sits to the south west of the building.
An open door on the part of the building that faces the trailers lets us come in for a bit of exploration.
An open door on the part of the building that faces the trailers lets us come in for a bit of exploration.
Not a lot to see, as is usually the case.
Not a lot to see, as is usually the case.
View of the trailers standing to the west of the white office building.
View of the trailers standing to the west of the white office building.
While these trailers didn't' appear particularly new, it was also obvious that they hadn't been standing abandoned for long.
While these trailers didn’t’ appear particularly new, it was also obvious that they hadn’t been standing abandoned for long.

P1040182

We hopped up on a trailer hitch for a peek inside.  Definitely hasn't been deserted for long.
We hopped up on a trailer hitch for a peek inside. Definitely hasn’t been deserted for long.
The other curious structure we found was this little building that is just west of the white office building.
The other curious structure we found was this little building that is just west of the white office building.

Having thoroughly explored the backyard, we completed our round-the-house tour.

Looking between the red and white building and the right side of the house toward Dixie.
Looking between the red and white building and the right side of the house toward Dixie.
Photo taken from the canal looking at the right back side of the house and the red and white building.
Photo taken from the canal looking at the right back side of the house and the red and white building.
The right side of the house.  This photo was taken from the canal.
The right side of the house. This photo was taken from the canal.

And that’s it for the photos!  When I searched for this house on Google, I went with a few questions in mind.

1.  What did this house start out as?  Single family vs. apartment/boarding house?
2.  The main house is huge.  Is the back half of this house an addition?  The mere size as well as a difference in roof profile (see the most recent photo and pay attention to the roofline in front of and behind the drainpipe) suggest that it may have experienced a sizeable addition at some point in its history.
3.  This house has served a lot of purposes.  It was clearly an office building at one point as the sign out front says, but it was also used at some point as an office/services building for a trailer park (hence the trailers that remain in the back yard) and also as actual apartments (check out the photo above once more and note the staircases leading down from different doors on the structure, suggesting that the house had been divided up into different units).  Which came first?  Are the reserved parking spots in the parking lot off Thomas Street for the tenants of the main house or for the trailer tenants?
4.  When was it built?
5.  How many rooms does it have?

Thankfully, I found a few sites that helped me answer at least a few of these questions.

First, the site below indicates that this house was built in 1910–the same year that its neighbor at 318 W Dixie was built.  The same site indicates that the house was a single-family dwelling with a whopping 6 beds, 4 baths and 4,478 square feet.  Last sale was in February of 2007 for $255,000.
http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/316-W-Dixie-Ave-Elizabethtown-KY-42701/96951627_zpid/

My next site hit was one that dealt with the Garnett House, the executive offices that once occupied the building.  The info shows that the Garnett House was incorporated in 2007 and was categorized under investment offices.  It employed about 2 staff and grossed $130,000 annually.
http://www.manta.com/c/mmy27mh/garnett-house-llc?utm_expid=82789632-28.cEgZ_XOVRPaI6jwvn6oKhQ.0&utm_referrer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.google.com%2Furl%3Fsa%3Dt%26rct%3Dj%26q%3D%26esrc%3Ds%26source%3Dweb%26cd%3D14%26ved%3D0CC4QFjADOAo%26url%3Dhttp%253A%252F%252Fwww.manta.com%252Fc%252Fmmy27mh%252Fgarnett-house-llc%26ei%3DatuHVJuAGMqVNoKlhMAH%26usg%3DAFQjCNFIXnEIOSOWW1vJpUd2IMDVjlXnjA%26sig2%3DTo5vZQsdoPYUQNCQx9scEA

 

I also found a site that gives the 316 W Dixie address as the office and location of City Mobile Park.  While there is no information on the site regarding when the mobile park functioned, when it shut down, etc, it was nice to find a name to put to the stray trailers that remain on the site.
http://www.mhbo.com/mobile-home-park/25715-city-mobile-park-316-w-dixie-ave-elizabethtown-ky-42701

Finally, my last hit was a website that shows one of the building’s former renters (in an official capacity, anyway): one Janice Jefferson, attorney.
http://attorneys.elizabethtown.ypeek.com/results.htm?pid=p102&sub=elizabethtown&what=Attorneys&where=Elizabethtown%2C+KY&id=455713043

Thanks for reading once again!  This is the wayward wanderlust at the Garnett House signing out.

P1040215

 

21502 Dixie Highway: A-1 Montgomery Auto Mart / Construction, West Point, KY

Off 31W just outside of the understated yet impressively historic town of West Point, KY, is an old building that is falling quietly into ruin.  It’s clearly a survivor from another era, a run-down little structure that has the look of an old business.  Angled to face the Dixie Highway, it’d be a natural office for an auto salesman.  It was on another cloudy winter day that I found a bit of time for a look around.

P1040094

From the front, the roof–peeling shingles and all–just out over the first story entrance.  A sign resting against the front window betrays the identity of this former store.

P1040095

The sign gives “21502 Dixie Highway, West Point, KY” as the address, listing phone and fax numbers for a car dealership.

P1040096

A peek inside the front window (to the right as you face the building) betrays a disheveled office and some mysterious murals that are being stored inside the structure.

P1040097

Looking inside the window to the left betrays the remnants of a staircase, now with a ladder to serve as the steps, and more murals.

P1040098

Moving to the left, the building starts to show its worst areas of decay.  A hole in the side of the building and a badly deteriorated ad along with falling shingles betray nature’s wear and tear with time and human neglect.

P1040099

P1040100

The back of the building shows a base of cinder blocks and brick.  Covered with plywood and open in other spots, I begin to wonder if the upstairs served as a personal residence while the downstairs was the store/shop.

P1040101

A small, unlocked cinder block room enters the base of the structure at the back.  Not much to see here.

P1040102

Looking straight up, this shot shows the various materials used in construction.  The obvious cinder block division to the right of the photo begs the question: was this building built in pieces or added on to at a later time?  It would certainly seem that way based on the pattern in the blocks.

P1040103

Debris scattered at the base of the back wall.  The remnants of a full set of china and what might be a table further begs the question: what was the building’s upstairs used for?

P1040104

P1040105

P1040106

Looking across the back of the building from the building’s right (as you’re facing the front).  A steep embankment guards the access from the left side of the building.

P1040107

Facing the building and looking to the right.  Heavy overgrowth stands guard on this side of the structure.

P1040108

One final view from the front.

This is yet another structure whose history is largely unknown.  A google search brought up the following links to businesses at this address:

http://www.largepro.com/a-1-montgomery-construction-house-and-room-addition-contractors-in-west-point-40177-area
This site gives a description of an A-1 Montgomery Construction business at this address.

http://411dir.biz/6573667_kentucky_west_point.html
A-1 Montgomery Construction, owned and operated by John Montgomery.  Annual sales: 243,080.  Builders and general contractors, single-family housing construction.  No dates given.

None of the searches brought up any information on the auto mart other than the fact that it was operated from the same address.  None of the searches turned up dates for either businesses, either.  Is it possible that the auto mart was the first business here, and when it went out, the owner (John Montgomery) turned to construction and ran a contractor business out of his old auto shop?  That would seem the most likely answer, especially as the building had no information/visible signage about the construction business.

That’s all for this time!  Thanks for reading.