Local History

“Happy Little Trees” at Minnetrista

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, July 24, 2014 at 3:00:00 pm

Lucius L. Ball, his wife Sarah, and their daughter Helen used the room to the left of the entrance to their home as a parlor. It is now used by Minnetrista as a classroom and meeting space. During the 1980s, though, the room had a much different function.  It was a recording studio for WIPB, the local public broadcasting station, and starting in February 1984, Bob Ross of “happy little trees” fame produced The Joy of Painting in that room.

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The Poor Little Dog without a Face

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, June 19, 2014 at 11:00:00 am

If you’ve lived in Muncie for a while, you’ve probably followed the trail of the Native American and his dog from atop the third Delaware County courthouse to the Stradling farm to Wysor Park and finally to the fourth Delaware County courthouse. Sometime during his travels, the dog was damaged and lost his face.

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Duplex Fireless Stove

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, May 22, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

As anyone who has spent time with me in the Collections storage area knows, the Duplex Fireless Stove made by Durham Manufacturing of Muncie is one of my favorite artifacts. How could you not like this giant, early crockpot?

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Discover Heritage Collection Artist: Oscar Conley Pickett

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, April 17, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

Mostly forgotten except by a small group of devoted fans, this artist was once well known in Muncie. He worked as a janitor, a sign painter, a piano player, and composer. He was even known to handcraft violins. Local citizens knew him best, however, as a wandering painter of landscapes.

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What Color Is It?

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

Everyone is familiar with Ball blue jars and with the company’s clear jars. Many have seen green, amber, sun-colored amethyst, and swirled Ball jars. Very few people know, however, that there was once a white Ball jar and even fewer people have seen or own one.

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A Farm Boy from Fairview Succeeds

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, February 20, 2014 at 3:00:00 pm

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W. Edwin Fager was born in 1897 near Fairview, a very small town in Randolph County, Indiana, but spent most of his life working in Chicago or spending time at his farm near Michigan City.

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The Muncie-made forerunner of the “Vegematic”

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 4:00:00 pm

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Many of you will remember the Vegematic, made by Ronco and heavily advertised on TV.  The promise was that “It slices, dices, chops and peels, makes thousands of julienne fries in seconds!” Well, to show that there is nothing new under the sun, Muncie had its own version of a similar kitchen specialty back in the early 1920s.

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Santa Claus Photo

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 4:00:00 pm

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How could such a great, happy photograph come from a morgue? It can when it’s part of a collection of eighty boxes of archival material donated to Minnetrista in 2004 from Ball Memorial Hospital—now IU Health Ball Memorial Hospital.

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Meeks Furniture “Comes Home” Part Two

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, November 21, 2013 at 4:00:00 pm

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Last month I shared the story of my trip to Columbia, Missouri, to meet Louesa Danks and see her collection of Meeks furniture. Several years after this visit, Louesa’s friend, Jeanne, called to tell me that it was time to pick up the furniture.

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Meeks Furniture “Comes Home”

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, October 17, 2013 at 2:00:00 pm

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In 1998, I got a telephone call from Louesa Danks, granddaughter of James Meeks of The Meeks Mortuary family. When I heard that she was interested in donating a large collection of Meeks furniture, then registrar Heather Davis and I immediately booked our flight to Columbia, Missouri.

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