Volume 11, No.
3 Farrington’s Grove Historical District, Inc.
To guide and promote the preservation
and restoration of the Farrington's Grove Historical District in order
a) ensure and protect its cultural
and architectural integrity;
b) limit incompatible uses;
c) encourage community fellowship
and neighborhood awareness; and
d) prevent increased population
Dear Neighbors and Friends,
It seems like just a few weeks ago
that we were walking around the neighborhood on a warm June afternoon,
taking in the beauty of nature on our inaugural Garden Tour. Then
the summer just got hotter and hotter! Thanks to all who made the
Garden Tour a success, especially Bill and Sedonya Osmon, Don Bonsall,
James Chesebro, George and Amy Amies, James and Tina Bopp, and Dan and
Kaylynn Sanders, all of whom graciously opened their yards and gardens
to neighbors and other visitors. Thanks also to the FGHD members
who volunteered at each of the sites, and to Vera Rose, Tillie Kulinski,
Betty Muncie, Jeanne Kauffman, and Hilda Holmes who came from Anthony Square
to assist us. Finally, thanks to Melony Sacopulos who organized the
committee that ran the event.
Another round of thanks is due to
the FGHD members and residents who volunteered to help Historic Landmarks
Foundation of Indiana at the Talley House cleanup on June 12. HLFI
is continuing work on the property and plans to conduct another cleanup
— this time for the basement — in the near future. Several parties
have expressed an interest in purchasing the home as a single family residence.
If the Garden Tour inspired you
to do some planting, consider taking advantage of the programs offered
by Trees, Inc. This year, they are continuing their customary daffodil
sale and their tree planting program. Information on these is included
inside this newsletter. If you lost a tree during the May storm,
they provide an economical way to replace it and contribute to the beauty
of the neighborhood.
Farrington’s Grove will continue
its celebration of the 15th anniversary of the placement of the neighborhood
on the National Register of Historic Places and the 25th anniversary of
the founding of FGHD with our 2nd Annual Architectural Scavenger Hunt.
This will be one of many activities taking place during Family Learning
Day at the Vigo County Public Library on September 22. Last year’s
Scavenger Hunt drew participants from as far away as Rockville and Indianapolis.
This year, let’s have a big turnout from the Grove as well!
Now that school is back in session,
make sure to watch out for young people as you are driving through the
neighborhood. Take advantage of the cooler weather to walk around
the neighborhood — or to plant those daffodil bulbs! Invite some
friends or relatives to visit and let them see why the Grove is a great
place to live. If you have any ideas to make it even better, please
let me know.
Hope to see you while walking around
Thanks for caring,
2nd Annual FGHD
Architectural Scavenger Hunt
Part of Family Learning Day
at the Vigo County Public Library
DATE: Saturday, September 22, 2001
TIME: 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
LOCATION: On the lawn of the Vigo County
Public Library, near corner of Seventh and Walnut
We welcome young people from the Grove and beyond to participate in
FGHD’s 2nd Annual Architectural Scavenger Hunt, part of Family Learning
Day at the Vigo County Public Library. See if you can identify architectural
landmarks on a short walking tour. All participants will receive
a prize — and one participant chosen at random will receive the grand prize
of a free annual membership to the Terre Haute Children’s Museum.
Kids — make sure your family’s FGHD membership is up to date and your grand
prize will come with a BONUS gift certificate to a local restaurant.
By Barbara Carney
The current exhibit at the Vigo County Historical Museum is a lot of
fun, just as you would expect when you go to a circus. Called “The
Circus is Coming,” the display touches on the history of the circus in
Terre Haute while clowns and circus figures add to the color.
Terre Haute was a major circus performance center before the Civil
War. As early as 1833, the circus came to town. It came by
steamboat on the Wabash River, on the National Road, and later by railroad.
During the next 30 years, every prominent circus in America came to Terre
The Historical Museum is excited to present a tribute to the circus
in Terre Haute. Stop by to see our presentation of the local history
of the greatest shows on earth!
While enjoying a Coke or Coke float at Bleemel Days on Friday night,
September 21st, from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., you might like to take a favorite
antique or collectable to the Historical Society’s Appraisal Faire.
Prominent local antique dealers will be on hand, and for a fee of $5.00
for one or $10.00 for three items, will tell you the value of your treasure.
Times, They Have Changed
By Jackie Carrell
“In the good old summer time.” The lyrics of a song and a remembered
phrase. I remember long hot summer nights; much like the ones we
have been experiencing this summer of 2001. We spent hot summer evenings
sitting on the porch in old rockers or with our bottoms attached upon the
cooler cement of the stairs. Mom would make homemade lemonade or
a pitcher of iced tea. Tall, cold glasses of the refreshing beverage
over ice was always welcomed, sipped slowly along with conversation of
the day. On Sundays homemade ice cream would be a special treat.
Occasionally a friend or neighbor would stop as they passed by on an evening
walk. A drink or bowl of ice cream would be offered and was usually
accepted. Neighborhood news and gossip would be shared. Hand
fans given out free by local businesses were hung on a peg on the porch,
taken down and used if the humidity started to get the best of you.
You had to step off the porch onto the sidewalk to see the stars in the
sky. As kids it was always a race to see who could spot the big and
little dippers first. Then we would again retire back to the porch,
playing a game of jacks or teasing one another until bedtime was announced.
Taking a cool bath, putting on cotton tee shirts and underwear we would
plop down on cool comfortable white sheets. We didn’t even have electric
fans, but we slept through the night comfortably.
Today it’s too hot out on the porch. The temperatures today are
no different than yesteryear, so why does it feel hotter? One
word… Air-conditioning! We are all super spoiled. The kids
complain that it’s so hot they can’t breathe and that it’s too hot to play
outside! The porch is no longer necessary, and what a shame that
is. Here in Farrington’s Grove most of us are blessed with wonderful
big porches and they go unused. Even I find myself getting cranky
if I am out in the heat of the evening, too long. We have been reconditioned
to the newer climate of air-conditioning. The heat index, dehydration,
sun exposure, and stroke are warranted fears. How did we combat all
these things and survive pre-air-conditioned days?? I remember days
in the 100-degree plus range without the heat index and we survived. We
drank a lot of liquids (lemonade, ice tea, etc), we wore hats (straw hats,
usually), we knew when it was too hot to mow the lawn and neighbors didn’t
criticize if the grass was a little long and the yard wasn’t perfect.
I think we took the time to be smarter about the heat. Is this transfer
shock from air-conditioning to the heat of the outdoors, and back and forth
through our day good for us? I doubt it.
Times, they have changed! The kids now spend their long hot evenings
in the air-conditioned family room watching MTV, playing games on Play
Station, or e-mailing friends on the computer. Ice-cold soda is the
companion beverage, not that they need it! My husband and I read
or watch cable television in another room, drinking sodas, not that we
need it. Today, we do not spend leisurely evenings having those long
family talks. Neighbors do not stroll by and stop to visit.
I know no news of the neighborhood and hear no gossip. Oh, for those
good old summer days! And, boy do I miss those tall glasses of homemade
Old Time Recipe for
1 ½ c. strawberry jam 2 c. buttermilk
Strawberry Ice Cream
Stir together jam and buttermilk; freeze until firm. Break
up mixture and whip until fluffy. Refreeze, scoop into bowls, and
enjoy while sitting on your porch in the good old summer time!
TALLEY HOUSE NEWS
Historic Landmarks Foundation’s Western Regional Office has been heading
the rehabilitation effort of the Talley House since purchasing the house
last fall. On Saturday, June 9, HLFI hosted a cleanup day which attracted
about 25 volunteers including a number of FGHD members and residents.
The cleanup crews were so successful that the original work plan was extended
to include removing all wall partitions from the attic area. So much
debris was removed that an additional dumpster, donated by Jamax Corporation,
was needed to haul it away.
The cleanout effort was featured in an article “Talley House receives
some loving care,” in the Tuesday, June 12 Tribune-Star. The article
received prime placement at the top of the Local & Bistate section,
and included lengthy quotations from FGHD president Mike Misovich and vice-president
Although the house has not been formally placed on the market, HLFI
has received a number of inquiries on purchasing the property for a single-family
residence. One of the inquiries came from a current California resident
interested in relocating to Terre Haute who found information on the Talley
House in back issues of newsletters on the FGHD website! For further
information on the Talley House, please contact Tommy Kleckner at the Western
Regional Office of HLFI at 232-4534.
Currently, HLFI is completing work on the back fence and removing the
fraternity sign from the front of the house. In the near future,
they intend to replace windows and doors on the back side of the house,
to refurbish the heating system, to make minor repairs to stonework, and
to improve landscaping. They also plan to follow up the success of
the June cleanup day with a basement cleanup at some time in the future.
Stay tuned for details!
News in Brief
GRASSROOTS PRESERVATION ROUNDUP:Downtown Terre Haute, Inc. will
be hosting a Grassroots Preservation Roundup on Saturday, September 15,
from 10:00-4:00. This event is sponsored annually by the Indiana
DNR — Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology. It is an
“IDEA EXCHANGE” for individuals and organizations from around the state.
During the afternoon, participants will have the opportunity to take
a tour of cultural, historical, and preservation highlights of Terre Haute,
including the Farrington’s Grove neighborhood.
Contact Lindsey Mintz or Malia Savarino at the Division of Historic
Preservation and Archaeology by September 10 to make a reservation, 317-232-1646.
STAINED GLASS SUNDAY AFTERNOON: Friends of Historic Allen
Chapel are sponsoring Stained Glass Sunday Afternoon on Sunday, October
7, from 1:30-4:00. The event begins with a presentation on The Art
of Stained Glass at Allen Chapel AME Church, 218 Crawford Street, and continues
at seven additional downtown houses of worship. For more information,
call Char Minnette at 460-0835.
GRAFFITI CLEANUP: An outbreak of vandalism in the Terre
Haute area has affected some parts of Farrington’s Grove. If you
would like assistance in removing graffiti from private property, such
as a garage, wall, or foundation, please contact Mike Misovich at 478-2314
or any board member. If enough residents are interested, FGHD will
organize a graffiti cleanup. Please note that you will have to give
us permission to clean up private property. LET’S FIX THE PROBLEM!
Two Special Programs
From TREES Inc.
|Once again, TREES Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated
to Terre Haute beautification, is encouraging the planting of daffodil
bulbs throughout the city as part of its award-winning Daffodil Project.
They are offering daffodil bulbs, at-cost, by special invitation only,
to certain organizations, individuals, and businesses.
Residents of Farrington’s Grove Historical District are eligible for
this program. To purchase bulbs, please fill out the form above and
send it, along with your payment made out to TREES, Inc., to Patty Snider,
65 E. Brookside Dr., Terre Haute, IN 47802. Note that the deadline
for ordering is August 31, with late orders filled on a first-come, first-served
basis, so don’t delay, send your order before it is too late for them to
accept it. Bulbs are being ordered through The Tulip Co., and will
be available for planting in October and November. A TREES representative
will call you when your order is in and tell you where it can be picked
Each year since 1994, the TREES organization has planted 100 trees
in an effort to rebuild the tree canopies in the neighborhoods of Terre
Haute. The replacement of missing street trees in the Farrington’s
Grove area would be of tremendous benefit to the neighborhood. TREES
plants large superior quality hardwood trees which are balled and burlapped
and nursery grown. Planting day for 2002 is March 23rd and the deadline
for applications is March 1, 2002. However, since only a limited
number of trees are available, people are encouraged to apply as soon as
possible. Qualified applicants will be chosen on a first-come, first-served
basis. If you qualify, TREES will plant a hardwood tree worth $275
in your tree row. You pay only a $25 “adoption fee.” Qualifications
include city residency, home ownership, and a planting area free of underground
and overhead utilities.
Additional information is available from the Purdue Cooperative Extension
Service. Please call 462-3371 to place your name on the mailing list
to receive an application.
in American Legion Building
Vigo County representatives meet with FGHD
On August 13, representatives from Vigo County Superior Court and Vigo
County Adult Probation were invited to attend the monthly FGHD Board meeting.
They discussed plans for purchasing the former American Legion Building,
417 South Fifth Street, to be used as the site of a work release detention
facility. Following this discussion, FGHD directors approved a resolution
opposing purchase of the building for this use.
The board believed this proposal would directly conflict with our mission
of limiting incompatible uses and preventing increased population density.
We also believed that our neighborhood currently contains more than its
share of special use facilities, that the proximity of the facility to
Crawford Elementary School could pose risks to school children, and that
the facility would detrimentally affect nearby property values.
We have been informed that Vigo County will NOT purchase the building
for this use. FGHD appreciates their sensitivity to neighborhood
concerns. We support their goal of community based rehabilitation
in an appropriate environment; however, we have and will continue to oppose
any efforts to introduce incompatible property uses in the Farrington’s
FGHD Website is Moving
The FGHD website, ranked #1 by AltaVista and Google search engines,
is moving to a new location at
FGHD has contracted with High Ground Digital to manage the site.
Look for major enhancements in the coming weeks and months, beginning with
a virtual walking tour of Farrington’s Grove! Don’t forget to update
your bookmarks or favorites list with the new address. And remember,
the website is a great way to find updated information on the latest neighborhood
events between newsletters. If you have comments or ideas for the
website, please contact Mike Misovich at 478-2314 or George Amies at 232-6697.
Editor’s note: Richard and Chris Antonak are the current residents of 824
South Fifth Street. In this third installment of the history of their
home, Richard describes passage of ownership from the Steele family through
a series of owners to the Bensons.]
History of the
By Richard Antonak
Next Two Owners
James R. Duncan and his wife Julia R. purchased the home at 824 South 5th
Street from the Steele daughters for $8,500 on July 23, 1889. Mary
and Jennie held a $7,000 mortgage on the property in 10 notes of various
lengths and various interest rates, half to Mary and half to Jennie.
The Duncans satisfied all these notes and the mortgage on May 6, 1891,
and then mortgaged the property for $5,000 to The Rose Polytechnic Institute.
The latter mortgage was satisfied by the Duncans on October 20, 1899.
The growth of Farrington’s Grove and the city of Terre Haute during this
period are apparent from several entries in the abstract for the property.
For example, on July 3, 1894, the Duncans were assessed $720.13 to pave
5th Street in front of the property, part of a project to pave 5th Street
from Ohio to Park Streets.
Richard S. Tennant and his wife Mary L. purchased the home from the
Duncans on October 14, 1899, assuming responsibility for the assessment
for paving the street as well as the Rose Polytechnic mortgage. The
Tennant’s mortgage was satisfied on September 21, 1905. Richard Tennant
was a land and real estate speculator who incurred debts to various banks
in Terre Haute for various projects in Indiana and in Louisville, Kentucky.
Unable to meet his obligations on a debt of $62,533, he and his wife mortgaged
their home at 824 S. 5th St. in Terre Haute on October 30, 1908, to the
United States Trust Company of Terre Haute, John T. Beasley trustee.
The Tennant’s real estate speculations continued unprofitable and their
debts continued to increase, reaching $97,100, as banks advanced them money
to pay taxes, insurance, maintenance, and city assessments. The banks
finally foreclosed on November 20, 1919 and John T. Beasley gave the Tennants
90 days to raise the money to satisfy the mortgages. Unable to meet
their obligations, the Tennants were forced to leave when the bank sold
Gertrude A. and Frederick R. Benson
Gertrude A. Benson bought the house at 824 South 5th St. at the bank’s
foreclosure sale on April 20, 1920 for $7,500. Her husband. Frederick
R. Benson, a native of Wisconsin, was a director of the Terre Haute First
National Bank and a prominent industrialist. He served as president
of Terre Haute Malleable and Manufacturing Co. from 1914 until his retirement
in 1926. It was largely through his efforts that the Country Club
of Terre Haute was established at Allendale.
Gertrude and Frederick Benson lived in the house for the next 28 years
and were responsible for a series of significant renovations, additions,
and modernizations. For example, a loan was issued on May 21, 1920,
for $3,104.04 to pay George H. Schaefer to construct the two-car attached
garage—thought to be the first attached garage in Terre Haute—with a basement
coal cellar, second floor maid’s quarters with bathroom, and “brick room”
tradesman entrance to the kitchen on the northwest corner of the first
floor. The Bensons modified the front entrance to the house, lowered
the ceilings nearly 3 feet on the first floor to accommodate new plumbing,
heating, and electrical wiring, added the solarium off the parlor, the
display window in the dining room, and the downstairs powder room and closet
at the east end of the main entrance hall. The Bensons also replaced
the carriage house in the location of the original structure (either lost
to fire or rotted and torn down) with a single story structure. Leaving
the house for long periods to winter in Florida, the Bensons had custom
wrought iron security grilles fabricated for each doorway, the French doors,
and most of the windows on the first floor. Several of these grilles
remain to this day.
When Gertrude Benson died on May 8, 1945, she bequeathed the house
to her husband. Frederick Benson died at home 3 years later, aged
85 years. The Benson’s will shows they were one of the wealthiest
families in Terre Haute at the time, with combined estates totaling $665,779.
Frederick Benson’s last will and testament was executed on June 11, 1948.
In addition to gifts totaling more than $87,000 to the YMCA, YWCA, two
local hospitals, and the Boys Club, he left $5,000 to Theodore Peak, 114
South 13th St., who was in his employ at the time of his death (perhaps
his butler or chauffeur) and the same amount to his housekeeper and Gertrude’s
maid Janet Moore, “residing at 824 South 5th St..” The balance of
the estate was set up as a trust fund administered by Terre Haute First
National Bank. Income from this trust is still used to support charitable
organizations in Terre Haute, such as the American Red Cross, the Community
Chest (now United Way), and the YM/WCA.
(To be continued in next issue.)
Garden Tour A Success
Over 100 Attend Inaugural Event
On a warm Father’s Day afternoon, FGHD sponsored our first-ever neighborhood
Garden Tour including five gardens on South Sixth and South Center Streets.
The free event drew over one hundred visitors from the Grove and beyond.
William and Sedonya Osmon at 1329 South Seventh Street
The Osmon garden was born just three years ago, and resides behind two
side by side century-old homes. This expansive garden contains approximately
175 varieties of plants, many of which are old varieties. The Osmons
strive to cultivate as many perennials as possible, and fill in with colorful
annuals. Vegetables thrive in containers, while a water element masks
some of the hustle and bustle of the near-downtown location.
George and Amy Amies at 1215 South Center Street
This aromatic cottage garden incorporates native plants such as Trillium
and Jack-in-the-Pulpit. A rocky garden path winds to a secluded bench,
from which one can appreciate the view across the lily pond to the sunny
deck. The stepping stones represent the creekbed from which they
were quarried (and are best appreciated barefoot). Trickling fountains
contribute to the sense of peaceful tranquility.
Don Bonsall and James Chesebro at 1307 South Center Street
The Bonsall/Chesebro garden began at this 1905 home ten years ago from
a once-lovely garden that was overgrown and unattended. The roses,
lilacs, and holly bushes in the back yard are survivors of this earlier
garden. The gardens at the curb feature columbines, irises, and poppies
for spring blooms; carpet roses, daylilies, and hostas for summer blooms;
and chrysanthemums for fall blooms. The miniature roses, peonies,
and dianthus in the back garden are parent plants of those featured in
the front. The stone debris which accents the white brick edging
was a buried treasure recovered from under the back porch.
James and Tina Bopp at 1124 South Center Street
The original Bopp garden began 14 years ago when the Bopps moved into
this lovely 1904 home. Due to construction, however, the garden was
redeveloped only two years ago. The larger, cement fish pond is original
to the house, and the smaller is its contemporary counterpart. Tall
grasses will fill in as the garden matures. Season-long color is
the long-term goal of this mainly perennial garden.
Dan and Kaylynn Sanders at 800 South Sixth Street
In front of the Sanders’ house, an old, curiously-shaped linden tree
shadows a shady rock garden of hostas edged by lily turf. A tall
wooden fence hides the magnificent gardens, including five plots which
are the oldest established planting of perennials and ground covers in
the area. Behind the fence, annuals, perennials, herbs, and even
vegetables are carefully manicured and tenderly groomed. From the
ferns and Asiatic lilies in the shade of the gingko tree, to the climbing
roses at the iron gate, there is an array of color and scent to enjoy in
Thank you to all who volunteered for the Garden Tour. Thank you
also to all residents of the Grove whose gardening efforts make our neighborhood
attractive. One of my favorites is the front yard at 1221 South Fourth
Street, where a variety of perennials and other plants provide a colorful
display for all who pass by. Make up your own garden tour some evening
by walking around the Grove!
2001 Holiday Home Tour
The 2001 FGHD Holiday Home Tour is tentatively scheduled for Sunday,
December 9. Please mark your calendar as we restore this neighborhood
This event showcases the beauty and architecture of our neighborhood
and draws visitors from the entire Terre Haute community and beyond.
Several residents have already expressed interest in placing their homes
on the tour. If you are interested in doing so or have questions,
please contact Chris Antonak at 235-5333 or Mike Misovich at 478-2314 by
Whether your home is large or small, restored or “in progress,” painted,
unpainted, original, remodeled — does not matter. What matters is
that you are willing to contribute to the enjoyment of people who share
your interest and enjoyment of old houses, classic architecture, and the
holiday season. Information and advance tickets will be available
from several area businesses, or visit the FGHD website for information.
Current patron, corporate, and benefactor members will receive complimentary
2001 FARRINGTON’S GROVE
HISTORICAL DISTRICT BOARD
||PRESIDENT / BY-LAWS REVIEW
||630 PUTNAM STREET
||1327 SOUTH 6TH STREET
||1501 SOUTH CENTER STREET
||1501 SOUTH CENTER STREET
||1215 SOUTH CENTER STREET
||1215 SOUTH CENTER STREET
||HOLIDAY HOME TOUR
||824 SOUTH 5TH STREET
||824 SOUTH 5TH STREET
||FAMILY LEARNING DAY
||812 SOUTH 5TH STREET
||812 SOUTH 5TH STREET
||1605 SOUTH 5TH STREET
||824 SOUTH 4TH STREET
||823 SOUTH 5TH STREET
||1302 SOUTH CENTER STREET
||825 SOUTH 7TH STREET
Farrington’s Grove Historical District, Inc. Membership
Please mail this form and check to FGHD, Inc., P.O. Box 322, Terre
Haute, IN 47808
Membership year runs from January 1 to December 31. If you are
a new member joining FGHD for the first time, the remainder of 2001 is
free, and your membership will be valid through December 31, 2002.
||2001 Benefactor Membership — Includes FGHD and Historic Landmarks Foundation
of Indiana memberships and four (4) tickets for FGHD’s Holiday Home Tour
||2001 Patron Membership — Includes FGHD and Historic Landmarks Foundation
of Indiana memberships and two (2) tickets for FGHD’s Holiday Home Tour
||2001 Membership — Includes FGHD and Historic Landmarks Foundation of
||Donation for Neighborhood Rehabilitation
WE THANK OUR MEMBERS
Thank you to all our members whose financial support supports our mission
to guide and promote the preservation and restoration of the Farrington’s
Grove Historical District. If your name does not appear below, please
join by mail or at the Scavenger Hunt on September 22nd. NEW MEMBERS
FREE FOR REMAINDER OF 2001! (See inside back page.)
|Amies, George & Amy
*Antonak, Richard & Chris
Arnold, Stephen & Rebecca
Azar, George & Cathy/
Baker, Steven & Sharon
Barratt, William & Leslie
Bates, Bernard & Roberta
Behnke, Kris & James
Bommarito, Frank & Irene
Bradfield, Rod & Jacquelyn
Brown, Scotia & Charles
Burkett, Thomas & Anne
Carrell, Mike & Jacquelyn
Carroll, Mary Ann
Chelton, Cynthia & Brad
Dunlap, J. Michael
& Williams, Jayne
|Gedrick, John & Emily
Grissom, Willie Mae
Hannum, Ned & Mary
Harbour, Ed & Linda
Hawkins, Timothy & Margaret
Ingersoll, Christopher & Mary
Isgrigg, Brian & Jennifer
Lewis, Plexanne & Jordan
Lowe, Granville & Luetta
Lugar, Joe & Robyn
Manson, Joseph & Carolyn
Meyer, Ramon & Betty
Miller, George & Mary Kate
Misovich, Michael & Aimee
|Mullican, Jim & Judy
Muttersbaugh, Michael & Connie/
Farrington B & B
Osmon, William & Sedonya
Robson, John & Elizabeth
*Sacopulos, Peter & Melony
Sanders, Daniel & Kaylynn
Slaby, Jack & Carol
Gambill & Trout
Walsh, James & Vicki
Weixlmann, Joseph & Sharon