Friday, November 17, 2017

Indiana Visit and Time to Smell the Roses

In case you were wondering why there was a lapse in my posts this summer, I flew back to Indiana. My sister and I spent quality time together, for which I am very thankful.

In doing so, rather than take our daily driver out into this traffic here, I located a shuttle that would drop me off at the airport right in front of the airlines on which I flew. They also picked me up at their pick-up point when I returned. Read on to learn the rest of the story.

Sister Time

We were busy every minute and accomplished many, many tasks. In between tasks, we did as many fun things as we could squeeze in, including sharing an hour of our day joining her church group twice a month to sing hymns with the residents at the nursing home.

Early in my visit, the Active Adults from church had their annual picnic with Viv hosting. It was a beautiful day. There were about twenty-five of us. Everyone took a dish and all had a very good time. We took a crockpot of Hebrew National hot dogs, cut up, with G.Hughes sugar-free hickory-flavored BBQ sauce because both were low in carbs and we are into watching carbohydrates. Both were purchased at Walmart. While at the picnic, Phyllis approached us to ask when she and Bob could take us to the Whistle Stop for lunch.

Whistle Stop

The Whistle Stop, as it turned out, had a one-stop visit to their salad bar on the menu. It was fresh, and with a helping of lettuce and spinach, had just enough items to fill the plate, and provide a very tasty lunch.

Among other things, the Whistle Stop had a museum with interesting pieces inside and out. It took eleven years to collect all of this and it came from collectors who had spent years putting it together. This was a fun place to visit.

You can click on any of the photos to see an enlargement and "x" out of it to return to my blog.

Whistle Stop is open every day except Monday.
Outside Displays included, but were not limited to the following:

Gift Shop

Caboose

Rail car, etc.
Click on the above Youtube video filmed at the Whistle Stop

Inside were G-scale model trains running overhead. The grid system that supports the track is over 3/4 of a mile of 1/4 inch steel rod. Each piece was cut and welded by their staff in the Restoration Shop located one mile north of the museum. Over 1200 feet of stainless steel rail make up the four tracks that carry the trains in and around the rooms. One of the tracks carried a circus train.

G-scale model trains inside running overhead
Click on the above Youtube video to see G-scale model trains riding the rails at the Whistle Stop near Monon, Indiana.

An exquisite collection of dining car china that was the pride of the railroad lines is also displayed.

Dining car china from various railroad lines.

Close-up of china pattern from one of the railroad lines



Focusing on Family, History...

Another highlight was having lunch at the Bravo Cafe in Osceola, Indiana. My sis got a text one day from a cousin telling us that another cousin (whom I had not seen in years) was in town from the east coast; and we were invited to join cousins on our dad's side of the family who could make it. And it had been twenty-five years for yet another. We had a good visit!

When we discovered how close we were to a location where John and I used to live, Sis and I drove by, and I snapped this photo.

House where John and I lived in Indiana from 1984 to 1991
Another highlight of our spending time together was taking a side trip to Elkhart County and our old stomping ground. The photo below is where my sister and I grew up. The Sycamore tree next to the road and other trees surrounding the house are still there. There used to be a shed and corn crib attached to this end of the barn, but they were destroyed in a tornado after we moved away. As for fruit trees, the peach, cherry, apricot, mulberry, and all but two of the apple trees are no longer there.

Home where my sis and I grew up
The old building in the photo below used to be located where the greenish garage building is in the photo above. It was relocated over fifty years ago to a neighbor's yard near the corner of the mile.

This old building was moved years ago from between our house and
barn to this location at a neighbor's home on the corner of the mile.
The old school building on this corner, prior to be remodeled into a home, was the old Good School, where I started first grade. It was one of many one-room schools in Union Township that closed when grades 1 through 8 were bussed to Union Center, the new township school. I never thought too much about the name until now, but with the Township being Union and the new school being located near the center, Union Center School was a very appropriate name.

Historical Bull Cemetery

Also in this mile is the historical Bull Cemetery, which is now listed in Indiana's Cemetery and Burial Grounds Registry of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. It was established circa 1848.

It is less than a half mile from where we grew up, and every time we went anywhere, we drove past it. I remember when the head stone markers in the photo used to mark the graves in this cemetery until the farmer who lived here at that time removed the fence and took them off of the graves so he could farm the land. At some point, he was required to put the markers back. In my memory, there were more graves with markers. Markers were not piled on top of each other as shown in the photo.

The Bull Cemetery was established in 1848.
Artley Homestead and Centennial Farm

We also drove past the farm, also in Elkhart County, where our Grandfather and Grandmother Artley lived when we were kids. We knew that the farm where our Great, Great Grandfather George Washington Artley lived is a Centennial Farm, but did not have specific directions on how to find it.

Our dad and mother used to take Sunday afternoon drives to the area when we were kids, but we were too young to be familiar with all of those county roads. So with a little recollection, we decided to drive around a little to see if we could remember enough to find it. We were ecstatic when we found it!

It is, in fact, not only a Hoosier Homestead Farm, but also an Elkhart County Centennial Farm. Now we know where it is located and how to find it!

Owned by our Great, Great Grandfather George Washington Artley, this farm is
not only a Hoosier Homestead Farm, but also an Elkhart County Centennial Farm
For the record, our Great Grandfather's Sister, Julia, married a Mauck, whose family owned Bonneyville Mill in Bristol, Indiana.

The barn still standing in the photo below is where the first Artley Reunion was held in 1902, started by our Great, Great Grandfather George Washington Artley and our Great, Great Grandmother Susan Dimm Beeber Artley. This reunion I understand holds the record in Elkhart County for being the longest consecutively held annual reunion in Elkhart County, in Indiana. The location, obviously, has changed. However, next year, 2018, when it is held in August in Elkhart County, it will be the 116th consecutive annual Artley reunion.

Barn at Artley Homestead where the first Artley Reunion was held in 1902
Lake Michigan

Driving up to the National Lakeshore and enjoying views of Lake Michigan was a great way to relax  and kick back after a hard day's work.

Lake Michigan
My visit was two days short of six weeks. I had missed the hottest and most humid days of summer that Florida had to offer.

Thanks Be to God

As I write this post, Thanksgiving Day, 2017 will soon be upon us. This is a special time to remember everything, all of the people and things in our lives, for which we have to be thankful, as we take time out to Give Thanks!

Happy Thanksgiving!

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