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: Camp Lucy-Mac, Ludington State Park, Michigan

Here’s a question for you: what do you do when someone tells you about a 1950’s-era Scout camp, the remnants of which lie abandoned in an isolated woods within the confines of a popular state park?  You go find it, of course!

It was a cloudy day and a long trek to reach the location that was reportedly the site of a summer camp back in the post-WWII era.  So take a visit to back when times were a little simpler and the forest was just a wee bit thinner.

IF YOU VISITED this page before 11/10/15, it might benefit you to give it another read!  Based on further information discovered, this article has been heavily edited.

PLEASE NOTE: for the sake of privacy, the folks who accompanied me on this visit have been removed from the photos.  As I am not photo shop-savvy, I have simply cut them out of the pics and filled in the area remaining with a solid color.  I apologize for the lack of aesthetics in this post, but do try to look past the glaring edits to see the beauty of nature reclaiming this old campground.

First view of the camp was from a sandy, central-feeling area that is surrounded on one side by a wooded embankment. Two sets of steps lie to the right and left. We took the steps to the right (to the right in the photo).
First view of the camp was from a sandy, central-feeling area that is surrounded on one side by a wooded embankment. Two sets of steps lie to the right and left. We took the steps to the right (to the right in the photo).
View of the second set of steps from the sandy area.
View of the second set of steps from the sandy area.  It was apparent from looking around that this area used to be completely cleared of all trees, except perhaps the big ones growing at the embankment’s edge.
Walking into what was once the lodge. The area to the left reveals a fireplace. The area to the right appears to have been a kitchen with tiling still visible in the decaying floor.
Walking into Bldg 1, which I now believe was once the recreational building / dining hall / kitchen / lodge. The area to the left reveals a fireplace. The area to the right appears to have been a kitchen with tiling still visible in the decaying floor.
Firepit in the lodge.
Fireplace in Bldg 1.
Standing in the lodge kitchen, with some of the tiling still visible.
Standing in Bldg 1’s kitchen, with some of the tiling still visible.  Piping is still visible around the walls of the foundation.
Back edge of the kitchen in the lodge.
Fireplace in Bldg 1.
Looking down the steps we had walked up into what was once a sandy clearing.
Looking down the steps we had walked up into what was once a sandy clearing.
Looking from the lodge area over to the second set of steps.
Looking from Bldg 1 area over to the second set of steps.
A possible firepit location as the trees were certainly not accidentally fallen in this configuration.
A possible firepit location as the trees were certainly not accidentally fallen in this configuration.
What appears to have been a long, rectangular building that, at best guess, may have been either a bunk house or a recreation building with our money on the latter.
Slightly west of Bldg 1, we stumbled across the ruins of Bldg 2. Bldg 2 appears to have been a long, rectangular building and does not appear to have any piping (unlike Bldg 1).
Bunk house / rec building.
Bldg 2.
What looks like a bathhouse with stalls, water hook-ups and a central drainage area still visible.
Bathhouse/laundry: north of Bldg 2, we came across what looks like a bathhouse with stalls, water hook-ups and a central drainage area still visible.
Bathhouse.
Bathhouse/laundry.
Behind the bathhouse lies another foundation in the woods, this one set back a bit from the main camp. Counselor's quarters? The camp nurse? We can only offer guesses at this point.
Bldg 3: Northeast of the the bathhouse lies another foundation in the woods, this one set back a bit from the main camp. Counselors’ quarters? The camp nurse? We can only offer guesses at this point.
Closer photo of unknown building.
Closer photo of Bldg 3.
Walking down a faint trail in the woods, we came to the end of a point. This is the view from the end.
Walking down a faintly visible trail in the woods, we came to a point of land looking out at Hamlin Lake.  It was then that one of my fellow explorers with a keen eye noticed old tin cans submerged under the water at the tip of the point and the remnants of an old dock, its boards and pilings still somewhat visible underwater.
At the end of the point, we found a lot of large rocks like the ones above. Charred areas of ground also suggest a possible remote campfire location.
At the end of the point, we found a lot of large rocks like the ones above. Charred areas of ground also suggest a possible remote campfire location.
Back at camp between the lodge and the rec building, we found this interesting piece of stonework. A campfire? No, alas--a well. Nay, two wells!
Back at camp between Bldg 1 and Bldg 2, we found this interesting piece of stonework. A campfire? No, alas–a well. Nay, two wells!
Second well.
Second well.
The northern edge of the lodge where a stone embankment separates the land from the lagoon water.
The northern edge of Bldg 1, where a stone embankment separates the land from the lagoon water.
Another view of the lodge area, presumed to be the kitchen.
Another view of Bldg 1, presumed to be the kitchen.
Heading back into the sandy clearing.
Heading back into the sandy clearing.
Walking the ledge trail back to Lake Hamlin.
Walking the ledge trail back to Hamlin Lake.
Ducking back to the sandy trail along Lake Hamlin, headed for the dam.
Ducking back to the sandy trail along Hamlin Lake, headed for the dam.
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: Likely the recreational building / dining hall / kitchen / the Lodge.
Bldg 2: Use unknown.
Bldg 3: Use unknown. Reportedly a classroom/sleeping quarters, but this is unconfirmed by newspaper.
A Google Maps view of two possible sites where I believe Lucy-Mac was potentially located. Hamlin Lake is an inland lake that connects to Lake Michigan via the Big Sable River. Note the dam in the photo above wasn't always located where it stands today.
A Google Maps view of two possible sites where I believe Lucy-Mac was potentially located.  When Lucy Mac was in operation, a CCC camp stood in the Hamlin Beach area directly across from the Girl Scout camp peninsula.
Hamlin Lake is an inland lake that connects to Lake Michigan via the Big Sable River. Note the dam in the photo above wasn’t always located where it stands today.

And now, the history…

As you might imagine, a find like this left me itching for answers.  While my source knew the approximate location of the abandoned ruins of the above camp, my source wasn’t sure what years the camp operated, what it was called, or if it was a Boy Scout camp versus a Girl Scout camp.  Upon returning home and to internet coverage, I began my search immediately.

Surprisingly, information about this particular location was hardly forthcoming.  Several hours of searching left me thinking I’d never get to the bottom of this one until a name popped up in an old newspaper clipping from 1941: Camp Lucy-Mac.

Upon reading the article, I realized I had found what I was looking for.  I found yet another newspaper article, this one from 1944, which gave me the lowdown of this little-known campground.

Back in 1932, the Girl Scouts (GS) took over a Boy Scout camp at Canfield Lake, which is just north of Ludington near a town called Manistee.  It was renamed Camp Michawa.  This worked out well for a few years until this small inland lake dried up to the point where it no longer supported water activities, and the GS folks moved across the lake to Wisconsin to Camp Sinawa in 1936.  But the Michigan GS troops wouldn’t find themselves traveling across Lake Michigan to attend camp for long.

In the early months of 1937, a lady named Lucy McCarthy was watching her efforts to create a GS camp in Ludington State Park (LSP) take root.  Having organized the meetings between the Michigan Conservation representatives and the GS leaders, the site for a GS camp within LSP was approved on a 6-degree March day.  From that point on, construction and reorganization began.

Mrs. McCarthy organized local men from Ludington to come out and cut down trees, clear out poison ivy, and make the area generally inhabitable for excited Girl Scouts and their counselors.  She also orchestrated the transfer of items from Camps Sinawa and Michawa to the new site, bringing over everything from tents to tent floors to latrines and an outdoor stove to Lucy-Mac via Lake Michigan.

On July 11, 1937, Camp Lucy-Mac opened and was named in honor of the lady who had worked so hard to start it.  According to the Ludington Daily News, Mrs. Jennie Lind was the director, and the camp, though humble, was off to an auspicious start.  By way of activities, Lucy-Mac boasted outdoor cooking classes, swimming, boating, hiking, overnight trips, handicraft, and an opportunity to work on scout badges.

That isn’t to say the budding camp wasn’t without its problems.  In its first year, there were no permanent buildings–only tents.  The Girl Scouts who attended that year named the main dining tent “the sieve” due to the amount of water that poured in through its holey roof during rain showers.  The outdoor stove was the only location where food could be cooked in the entire camp, and so all food was cooked outdoors–rain or shine.  The wells that were sunk on the day that the camp opened were soon shown to have bad water, so all water was brought to Lucy-Mac from the CCC Ludington-Pere Marquette camp from across Hamlin Lake in large milk cans.  To boot, it seems that the men Mrs. McCarthy had recruited to pull poison ivy were not as thorough as they ought to have been as the paper reports that this first year, most of the staff got poison ivy so badly that nearly each of them had to go home at some point to recover.

In later years, permanent buildings would be added, starting in 1938 with a screened-in kitchen.  The outdoor stove became an incinerator and a convenient location to make popcorn at night.  By 1941, the State Park would add a bathhouse, laundry, a lodge, and recreation building.

According to a newspaper article from June 22, 1944 (which is the main source for this article), the lodge building, which is likely referencing Bldg 1 in this particular case, was described as being at the end of a lagoon with a great view of the lake. (For further info on why this has been a point of contention in my research, please scroll down for a link to the next article pertaining to Lucy Mac!)

Behind (south of) the lodge, there was the sandy playground–surely the clearing we came upon on the way to the camp–which was used for making tin can breakfasts, playing baseball, and hosting nightly campfires and evening dramas put on by the campers.  The girls’ tents were set up around the lodge and swimming area.  And finally, Pirate Island, which was just north of Lucy-Mac, was nearby enough to host camp-outs and tin can cookouts (remember those tin cans one of my companions had noticed in the water?).

While I was able to discover its opening date, I have not yet discovered when or why Camp Lucy-Mac was closed or what led to it being demolished to its foundations.  If any of you happen to know the history behind this curious camp, please leave a comment below!

EDIT 11/10/15: I have recently gained access to the aforementioned newspaper clippings that reveal more information and also contain some photos of this camp.  The article containing this info is now live!  For your convenience, please follow the link below:

https://thewaywardwanderlust.wordpress.com/2015/11/10/camp-lucy-mac-ludington-state-park-michigan-the-newspaper-old-photos-post/

Sources

Main newspaper article referenced in this post: Ludington Daily News, June 22, 1944
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=110&dat=19440622&id=HWlOAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rTwDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6843,6701702&hl=en

Ludington Daily News, July 14, 1944
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=110&dat=19440714&id=8ZkJAAAAIBAJ&sjid=t0IDAAAAIBAJ&pg=4247,461187&hl=en

Newspaper snippets about Camp Lucy-Mac:
http://www.vintagegirlscout.com/campMI.html

Ludington Daily News, August 6, 1940
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=110&dat=19400806&id=A6taAAAAIBAJ&sjid=T08DAAAAIBAJ&pg=4917,1397788&hl=en

Ludington Daily News, August 16, 1949
https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=110&dat=19490816&id=z49OAAAAIBAJ&sjid=p0IDAAAAIBAJ&pg=6934,5187467&hl=en

Ludington Daily News, September 3, 1964
http://www.newspapers.com/newspage/9163497/

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!

204 West Third Street, Perryville, KY

A little visit to Perryville, KY during the 2013 reenactment of the Battle of Perryville revealed a mystery sitting abandoned on West Third Street.

Side view, from the east looking west.
Side view, from the east looking west.
View from the front lawn.
View from the front lawn.

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Right/west side of the house.
Right/west side of the house.
Directly across the street where an old barn sits.
Directly across the street where an old barn sits.
Curiosity calls.  A look-see in the right front window (west side of the house).
Curiosity calls. A look-see in the right front window (west side of the house).
Right/west side of the house, looking toward the center of the home where an old fireplace sits.
Right/west side of the house, looking toward the center of the home where an old fireplace sits.
View looking east across the front steps.
View looking east across the front steps.
Front door and documentation of the address.
Front door and documentation of the address.
A look inside the left/east side of the house from the window (broken).  Note the original mantles and trim against the fireplace.
A look inside the left/east side of the house from the window (broken). Note the original mantles and trim against the fireplace.
A peek at the side of the house and an open basement door.  Tempting for sure, but not worth the risk in a very public and bustling downtown.
A peek at the side of the house and an open basement door. Tempting for sure, but not worth the risk in a very public and bustling downtown.
The back and left sides of the house (facing south and east, respectively).  Note the fact that the back of the house is covered with thin sheets of wood and the original siding is gone.
The back and left sides of the house (facing south and east, respectively). Note the fact that the back of the house is covered with thin sheets of wood and the original siding is gone.
Upper window, chimney line confirming two separate central fireplaces--likely corresponding to two fireplaces in the upstairs based on the construction.
Upper window, chimney line confirming two separate central fireplaces–likely corresponding to two fireplaces in the upstairs based on the construction.

The history of this interesting home, you may ask?  I’ll admit, what’s available on the web is meager.

The Google Maps image of the house is a June 2013 image and taken close to the same time the photos in this blog were taken, so the condition is similar.  Furthermore, the realty websites I found didn’t give a date of construction or whether the home was originally a single-family or multiple-family dwelling, though one site in particular did provide a 2009 photo of the home, which betrayed just how much the place had fallen apart over the course of about 4 years.

http://www.realtor.com/realestateandhomes-detail/204-W-3rd-St_Perryville_KY_40468_M48603-28542?source=web
204 W Third

Another interesting tidbit from this same site: in April 2009, the house sold for $58,000.  About a month later in May 2009, the house is once again for sale–this time for a mere $8,900.  What caused the price to drop nearly $50,000 in the course of a month?  It’s anybody’s guess, and an answer to a mystery that will likely remain unknown.

West Point Independent Colored School, West Point, Kentucky

It was a dark and chilly afternoon…so it was perfect for a bit of snooping.

Off 31W near West Point, KY, there is a park with a small pavilion and a bridge on the Salt River…and a collapsed building that peeks out of the wintery tangles of shrubs and vines.  It was that location, rumored to have once been a school for African Americans in a post-Civil War Kentucky, that called me out for a walk on a cloudy day.

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Walking up to the building, this was my first introduction to this unfortunate remnant of yester-year.

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This old water pump was sitting inconspicuously nearby in the side yard.

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A close-up of the front door.  Interesting structure as it appears that it had a small inner room just inside the front door, whereas most old schoolhouses I’ve seen are one-room in the most literal sense imaginable.

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Looking to the right of the main door.  The boards appear fairly new on the exterior, which would suggest that it had been renovated–at least on the outside–somewhat recently.

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Looking to the left of the main entrance.

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Close-up of the front steps and the foundation, which appears to be relatively solid in the front of the building.

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At this point, we began to speculate that the building appeared to have fallen into itself–perhaps in one of Kentucky’s infamous windstorms–based on the appearance from the front.

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However, as we walked around the side of the house, we started to see evidence that suggested more than just a pronounced windstorm was the ultimate cause of the building’s demise.  Charred pieces of the roof in the back right corner (as you’re looking at the house from the front) visible even under the shingles suggest that as some point in the building’s history, there was a fire that was largely confined to the top of the structure.  The roof lays directly before you, having fallen somewhat to the right of the house.  Beneath the roof lies a toppled chimney and the associated bricks.

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Looking into the building from the right side and slightly toward the front, this is largely a view of the roof and the interior of the schoolhouse’s front façade.

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Remnants of the chimney under the roof as well as some charred boards and roof struts.

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 The back of the schoolhouse.  A part of the chimney that didn’t collapse and remains upright is visible underneath the ruins toward the center of the photo.

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View of the back of the schoolhouse looking toward the front.  The left exterior of the collapsed building is visible to the right in the photo.  The roof is visible to the left and the front façade that remains somewhat upright is in the background.  Note the two trees that stand like sentries at the fallen entrance, surviving long past the structure they were planted near.

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A close-up of what appears to be electrical wiring near the front door.

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The left side of the building (as it would appear from the front), nicely laid out on the lawn.

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A view of the wreckage from behind, this time a bit further back.

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Interestingly, the front door is still sitting next to the steps, very close to its original post.

P1040128

Looking around the side and into the interior of the schoolhouse from the left side.  Original interior boards visible to the right.  It certainly appears from the outside that at least the external portion of the schoolhouse has been reasonably maintained.  Inside…well, not looking quite as cared-for.

P1040129

One more shot looking inside from the left.

A quick search on Google would indicate that this post is the first report that this historic structure has finally fallen.  With the way the building’s walls and roof fell, it would be natural to suspect a windstorm as the culprit that ultimately brought about this structure’s demise.  The charred pieces of the roof near the right back side of the schoolhouse bring up questions about the integrity of the structure to begin with, but it would appear that only a very small portion of this building was affected by fire, and it is unlikely that the fire had anything to do with the building’s eventual collapse.

This is quite a unique structure, which, by its very nature, warrants further research.  Keep an eye out for the next installment as I delve into the history of this interesting building!