Local History

Mrs. Keiser Goes to London Town

Posted by: Jessica Jenkins on Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 10:00:00 am

On March 15, 1909, a spectacle for the eyes graced Oxford Street in London. A grand building decked in laurel and flags stood ready to receive its first visitors. At 9:00 a.m., a bugle sounded and the doors of Selfridges department store were thrown open. Thousands of shoppers, ready to inspect the new store and its merchandise poured in.

Read more

Muncie Pottery - Bringing Beauty to the Masses

Posted by: Jessica Jenkins on Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 1:30:00 pm

With popular magazines like Elle Decor stocked near the checkout line and design blogs available at the tap of a screen, recommendations for home decoration are never in short supply. This year House Beautiful predicts that pendant lights, pedestals, and traditional tableware will be all the rage. A century ago, art pottery found itself near the top of the list. More elaborate than utilitarian pottery, art potters focused on aesthetic qualities, putting beauty first and function second.

Read more

The Day That the Teachers Took a Field Trip

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, April 21, 2016 at 10:00:00 am

From now until the end of the school year, Minnetrista will bustle with school tours. Elementary students from throughout East Central Indiana will hunt habitats, discover gardens, and meet the creepy crawlies. School bus drivers will open the doors, and kids will spill out. Teachers will herd them, and a good time will be had by all.

Read more

The Green Silk Dress

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, March 24, 2016 at 10:00:00 am

When I give tours of the Heritage Collection storage area, I show examples of everything from Ball jars to artwork to furniture to clothing. More often than not, the piece of clothing that gets the most oohs and aahs, sometimes even from the men, is an evening gown and matching coat from the Jackie Kennedy era. Both pieces are made of heavy silk dyed a bright spring green. They are heavily beaded and sequined. The ensemble was tailored by George Chen & Co., Ltd. of Peninsula Court Kowloon, Hong Kong.

Read more

Phil and Esther Ball

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, February 18, 2016 at 12:00:00 pm

When Phil Ball, of the “original” Ball family, passed away on February 4, 2016, Minnetrista lost another good friend. He and his wife Esther, who died in January 2015, donated money to the Annual Campaign and Endowment Fund, and artifacts to the Minnetrista Heritage Collection. More than that, though, they gave of themselves.

Read more

Remembering Bill Mann

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, January 21, 2016 at 12:00:00 pm

Minnetrista lost a dear friend when Bill Mann passed away on New Year’s Day. Bill was a Minnetrista fixture from the time he became property manager to the most recent Farmers Market days. He greeted everyone with a wide smile, a firm handshake, and often, a big bear hug.

Read more

Christmas Windows at McKinley Junior High School

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, December 17, 2015 at 1:30:00 pm

For many in Muncie, a wonderful tradition was viewing the Christmas windows at McKinley Junior High School. The school, located next to the Muncie Fieldhouse on North Walnut Street, was built in the late 1930s. It had a large arched window in the façade that faced North Walnut. Starting in 1939, that window was decorated by the students each Christmas.

Read more

The Life and Times of Robert Patterson

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, November 19, 2015 at 2:30:00 pm

I’ve mentioned former curator of business and industry, Dick Cole, on several occasions in this blog. While at Minnetrista, he worked extensively with the Ball company and family collections, but he often ventured into other subjects. He wrote the following story about Robert Patterson, a little remembered but obviously accomplished Muncie citizen.

Read more

Hall of Famer Ralph Teetor

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 9:30:00 am

Automotive Hall of Fame, that is. Several years ago, after visiting The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Michigan, my husband and I stopped by the Automotive Hall of Fame. Imagine my surprise when I rounded a corner and saw an entire display on Ralph Teetor. Wow, a display on a man from Hagerstown, Indiana. But, of course, it made sense. Teetor was a big deal in the automotive industry.

Read more

Open Space: Art About the Land

Posted by: Karen M. Vincent on Thursday, September 17, 2015 at 3:00:00 pm

I’m going to veer off of the featured historical artifact path and talk about the upcoming Open Space: Art About the Land juried art exhibition opening September 19 at Minnetrista. Early in 2001, Muncie artist Brian Gordy asked, “Would you be interested in collaborating with Red-tail Land Conservancy on a juried art show?” Of course, the answer was a resounding “Yes!” And, thus, a lovely partnership began.

Read more