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That’s Hot Stuff!


Director Posted by: Director 2 years ago

What do you think about when you think of summer? I think about the sweltering hot weather, hot dogs, picnics in the shade, ice cream, going to the beach, and of course, fireworks! July is a hot month! In the same way our history here in Kosciusko County is full of hot stuff.

From the 1880’s to the present day there were many famous people that came through the county and fascinating events that happened here in July. The following facts and trivia were gathered from the Northern Indianian and the Warsaw Daily Times newspapers. They were then printed in previous Thaddeus issues and noted again for this blog. They are organized by the month and day rather than by year.

So, what happened in Kosciusko County on this day in history?

July 1, 1927 – A toboggan slide has been built in front of the Winona Hotel at Winona Lake. The water slide, 40 feet high and 100 feet long, was erected for $1,000 by James Fisher, a Winona contractor. The first person to go down the slide was Billy Williams, the son of evangelist M.D. Williams of St. Petersburg, Fla.

July 2, 1904 – The The summer Chautauqua series opens at Winona Lake with an address by Reno B. Welbourn, an influential scientist.  There is also a golf tournament at the golf links on what is now Argonne Road.

July 3, 1916 – William Jennings Bryan, a famous orator, U.S. Secretary of State and the new president of the Winona Assembly, speaks at Winona Lake.  His speech opens the resort’s celebration of Indiana’s centennial.  It features a Homecoming Day, Old Settler’s Day, Patriotic Day and Women’s Day.

July 4, 1893 – A gigantic fireworks show take place after dark at Lakeside Park on the western shore of Pike Lake.  The newspapers say the explosions caused a “storm of colors” in the sky.  During the day, there is a band concert in a pavilion in the park, a vaudeville act by a group from Chicago, a reunion of the county’s earliest settlers, and picnics at tables in the park.  Similar events are held at other towns.

July 5, 1877 – People around the country are wearing badges of red or blue to signify their support of the temperance movement.  Sales of intoxicating beverages are reported to have dropped 50 percent in recent weeks.

July 6, 1916 – A contract for construction of a new library building in Warsaw is awarded to a North Manchester firm. The building, which will be put up on Center Street at Detroit Street, will cost $15, 857. The building will be a light brick with limestone trim. It will be one story tall and include a basement and a room for meetings of women’s clubs and other groups.

July 7, 1870 – Isaiah Morris shows off some of the raspberries he has grown.  They are “large and delicious,” the newspaper’s editor happily declares.

July 8, 1909 – The Roller Rink at Winona opens.  Roller skates are available to rent for 25 cents.  Afternoon hours at the facility are 2:30 to 5; evening hours are 7:30 to 10.

July 9, 1920 – Men on a work car on the Winona Interurban line stop to see whether a skunk their railcar has rolled over is dead.  When a worker named Carl Chapman prods the skunk with his foot, it scampers on the leg of his trousers and stays there.  Chapman does not want to move with a skunk on his pants; in a few minutes, though, the “polecat” crawls away without spraying anyone.  All the men are relieved at the outcome, especially Chapman.

July 10, 1935 – A street fair opens in Claypool.  For entertainment, there is a Ferris wheel, merry-go-round, trapeze artists and dancing for the public in the streets.

July 11, 1889 – James Whitcomb Riley the famous Hoosier Poet, is one of the speakers at a convention in Warsaw of the Western Writers association.  Some of the meetings are held at Lakeside Park at Pike Lake; other at the Presbyterian Church.  One of the stories he tells is done in what the Daily Times calls an “inimitable manner that never fails to bring down the house.”

July 12, 1860 – Campaign buttons and “horse flags” promoting the election of Abraham Lincoln are available at the newspaper’s office.  They are red, white and blue.

July 13, 1895 – The ice cream manufacturers Shorb & Nelson start a delivery service in Warsaw.  “Have [ice cream] delivered for your Sunday dinner,” an advertisement for the business says.

July 14, 1938 – The county’s first Soap Box Derby is held on a hill on Buffalo Street at the south edge of Warsaw. The race runs north; the finish line is near Eagle Creek bridge. The overall winner is Dickie Dean, 11, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Dean of rural Warsaw. He and his orange and blue racer… soup box car is sponsored by the local Gamble’s store. The race attracts several thousand spectators.

July 15, 1880 – Large quantities of ice are being shipped out daily from the Jacques & Oldfather icehouses in Warsaw and Winona Lake.  Shipments are expected to continue until autumn.  The blocks of ice are about 14 inches thick and “clear as crystal.”

July 16, 1928 – Robert Ittenbach of Indianapolis catches a 19 ½ pound pickerel (northern pike) at Lake Wawasee.  He captured the fish, which was 42 inches long, with live bait and a steel fishing rod.

July 17, 1862 – The newspaper says Syracuse is becoming a “steamboat town.” That is because a new flouring mill is being put up there, and a steam-powered boat is being used to carry sand to the construction site from the far side of what will become known as Lake Wawasee.  The mill is being erected by J.H. DeFrees of Goshen.

July 18, 1946 – There is dancing seven night a week at the Waco Dance Hall on Lake Wawasee.  Currently, the dance music is performed by Sharon Rogers and her all-girl orchestra.  Ladies are admitted to the hall for free on Tuesday nights; there is a jam session there from 3 to 5 p.m. each Sunday.

July 19, 1911 – Rural mail carriers in the county receive a raise in pay.  Now, they will earn $1,000 a year; up from $900.  There are 33 rural routes in the county; free rural delivery started in 1899.

July 20, 1940 – A man accused of murder in the New Orleans area is captured by undercover State Police officers at a carnival in Claypool.  The man, W.C. McCuistion, had been traveling with the carnival and was working in one of its booths.

July 21, 1892 – A Day honoring veterans of the Civil War is held at Spring Fountain Park at Winona Lake.  Many old soldiers are there.  Activities include a speech about the battles around Chattanooga, fighting in which many men from the county took park.

July 22, 1880 – Henry Ettinger kills a rattlesnake in the front yard of his father’s house in the northwest part of Warsaw.  The snake had 12 rattles and was a “venomous-looking” reptile.

July 23, 1888 – Hundreds of people in the county see a “very fine” eclipse of the moon.  The newspaper says the moon was obscured for over an hour.

July 24, 1929 – The Warsaw Roadside Market at Market Street and Argonne Road is offering two pounds of home-grown tomatoes for 25 cents.  Stringless green beans are available for 5 cents a pound; sugar corn sells for 35 cents a dozen.

July 25, 1887 – Prices at the Warsaw Street market: Eggs, 11 cents per dozen; butter, 10 cents; lard 7 cents; geese, 4 cents; corn 40 cents a bushel, and hay $8 a ton.

July 26, 1877 – Reuben Williams, editor of the Warsaw newspaper, the Northern Indianian, continues to suggest that Warsaw should become a summer resort.  He notes that the town lies between three beautiful lakes whose water is “as clear as crystal” and are “abundantly” supplied with fish.  The newspaperman also says the area surrounding the lakes could be improved in a way that would make them “superior to any [resort] in the country”.

July 27, 1883 – A “tub race” is held at Center Lake, an event that seems to involve boys rowing large wash tubs across the south end of the lake.  The shore is packed with spectators; many boys climb onto the roofs of lakeside ice houses to watch from there.  Several of the tubs capsize near the finish line, causing much amusement.  The race is won by Louis Lalthrop; in second place is Isaac Shane; in third is Otto Riley.

July 28, 1927 – A heat wave has hit the county. Temperatures have been as high as 97 degrees, causing large crowds at beaches at the lakes.

July 29, 1880 – A community picnic is held at the home of Mr. and Mrs. E.S. Blackford, who live about two miles south of Warsaw.  About 150 people attend; carriages are parked on both sides of the road.  People from Warsaw also come to the picnic in horse drawn buses.  There are long tables crammed with food and hammocks strung in trees.  The crowd stays until late in the evening.

July 30, 1908 – A parade of boats is held on Winona Lake, called “Venetian Night, “the event includes a large number of boats decorated to represent the nations of Europe.  In addition, there are boats depicting the landing of the Pilgrims, an invasion of Norsemen, and an Indian maiden, Princess Winona.  The regatta is followed by a band concert and fireworks over the lake.

July 31, 1913 – Some of the first movies to be presented at Winona are shown at a building known as Science Hall on the Winona College campus.  They are silent movies, and are shown Monday through Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.