Parke County, Indiana
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Bridgeton Mill

Main St
Bridgeton, IN 47836
765-548-0106 or
BRGTNMIL1823@cs.com

The Bridgeton Mill was established in 1823. Family owned and operated for over 180 years (not the same family). Stone ground products, Amish products, snacks, souvenirs and ice cream. Food available Friday - Sunday. Open April - November, Thursday - Monday 10:00 till tired. New this year - Sweet Potato Pie Ice Cream.

Contact: Mike Roe


Juliet Strauss Memorial, Inside Turkey Run State Park


Juliet V. Strauss was born in 1863 in Rockville, Indiana, in a rural agricultural area of the state. Her parents were William and Susan (King) Humphreys, both new to the region and there to make new lives as pioneer farmers. She grew up and married the editor of the local paper, the Rockville Tribune, for which she started writing a daily column called "Squibs and Sayings." She mostly poked fun at her husband and wrote editorials about the need for common sense in life. Her writing became very popular, and she soon started writing for magazines.

Under the pseudonym "The Country Contributor," Strauss wrote a column she called "The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman," in the Ladies Home Journal. Over the course of eleven years she wrote fourteen articles, later collecting some of her favorite articles in a book, The Ideas of a Plain Country Woman.

One topic that she elaborated upon in her column was the aura of depression that settled upon her when she went into the city:

Occasionally I go to the capital city.... I try to fortify myself for the trip, arming myself against the depression that invariably settles upon me at the sight of the high buildings, the dingy approaches to the big railway station where one sees men black with car grease and smoke, women in squalid houses, and listless children in the shadows of the brewery, or in the bits of ragged yard. . . . (21 Mar. 1907: 38 )

Urbanization creates stifling and dirty living conditions to its residents, according to the Country Contributor, but in contrast, people who live in the country enjoy its many luxuries. The fresh air and unpolluted environment with space for living are very different from the imagery of the city:

[F]or country people really are the only people who live in this world, if by this world is meant trees, and hills, and fields, and clear running water courses, and blue skies.... In the country poor folk revel in the luxuries which are only names to the vast majority of city people. To them come calm days away from noise and turmoil, sweet food fresh from Nature’s Storehouse, a worldful of clean air untainted by smoke and human breath.... (21 Jan. 1906: 34)

She writes about the country in another article, which discusses the relationship between the farmer and the land:

I used to get dreadfully discouraged in the spring of the year because I wasn’t a man. I longed to get out in the field and guide the plow, feel the earth responding to my touch as the furrow began to curl up over the plowshare, and the team fell into the swing of it, and every force of Nature seemed to respond to the mood of spring and the stirring of new life and hope. (21 May 1907: 28)

In this entry, Strauss focuses on the closeness between the pioneer farm workers and the land. They lived off the land, and it provided them with everything that they needed. They worked with the land on a sensual level, with their hands helping the land to produce. This is something that has almost been forgotten in today's agriculture, as most, if not all, of the work is done by heavy machinery.

It was through the use of her popularity as a writer and speaker that Strauss was able to save Turkey Run State Park from lumber harvesters. Turkey Run is a 2,382-acre nature preserve located in west central Indiana. It was purchased by the state and made into Indiana's second state park in 1916. Strauss used the influence that she gained in the Rockville Tribune to inform people of that area about the danger threatening the natural beauty of the park. She wrote to the state representatives to plead for help. Because of her efforts, the money to save the park was raised. As a tribute to her unfailing work, in 1921, three years after her death, the Woman's Press Club of Indiana dedicated a memorial statue to her in Turkey Run State Park, commemorating her great respect for the natural world.

Strauss wrote about the environment of Indiana as something beautiful and a luxury to those who are lucky enough to be able to live there. Her writings express a great respect for nature, and an admiration for what it provides for the human race. Her respect for nature shows in her commitment to protecting nature.

 


Lusk Home

765-597-2635

The Lusk Home and Mill Site was the first European-American development in present Turkey Run State Park, Indiana’s second oldest state park.

Vermonter Salmon Lusk was awarded this land for serving in the Battle of Tippecanoe under William Henry Harrison. The Lusk's were largely self-sufficient. Captain Lusk built a log cabin in 1822 and lived there with his spouse and eight children until 1841. Then he and his sons made bricks, carved walnut woodwork, and built the brick house. He dug a coal mine to heat his house. Lusk built a gristmill in 1826 with a foundation of stone-cut stone. A horizontal waterwheel was powered by water diverted by a dam down a race. A settlement grew around Lusk's house and mill, until a Sugar Creek flood on New Year's Day, 1847, washed away every building except Lusk's brick house. Salmon Lusk's wife lived there until 1880, when John Lusk inherited the property. He was inactive managing the site except for preventing woodcutting.

After John Lusk died in 1915, the property was put up for sale. A logging company, Hoosier Veneer, paid US$30,000.00 for the site. Richard Lieber and the State Parks Commission raised $40,000.00 to buy the land from the lumber company after last minute support from the Indianapolis Motor Speedway on November 11, 1916. The Lusk parcel was the first land obtained for Turkey Run State Park.

The Lusk Home is open for tours during the summer. There is a fee for parking vehicles within the state park, but visitors may avoid the fee by parking on a nearby public road, and walking to the Lusk Home. The coal mine is a bat habitat today. This is farther inside the park, so visitors must negotiate Turkey Run's rugged hiking trails to gain access to avoid fees.


Mansfield Roller Mill

765-344-1412

The Mansfield Roller Mill or Mansfield Mill was a (gristmill) that was built in 1820 by James Kelsey and Francis Dickson and has always run on water power from Big Raccoon Creek. The original mill was a 30-foot (9.1 m) by 30-foot (9.1 m) log building.

According to legend, glacial stones from a nearby farm were used for grinding. In the mid 1800s a sash saw mill and a carding mill were added to the grist mill. The mill is a state historic site still in operation. The Mansfield Roller Mill in Parke county in the City of Mansfield, Indiana now runs by water turbine engines.

Between 1973 and 1978 Tex Kelly (Edward Earl Terry (actor) "The Bad Man of the movies" purchased the Mansfield roller mill and several other buildings and attempt to fulfill his dream of turning the town into Frontier City. His efforts failed and in 1979, Tex and Isabel returned to Tex's hometown of Coxville, Indiana and opened "Tex's Longhorn Tavern".

Owners Jack & Shirley Dalton and Frank & Sharon Hutcheson donated the mill to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of State Museums and Historic Sites in 1995.

The Mansfield Roller Mill is located at the corner of Mansfield Rd. (historic) and Big Raccoon Creek in Mansfield IN 47872, just southeast of Rockville, Indiana.


Marshall Arch


The Arch in the Town of Marshall, also known as Marshall Arch, was built in 1921 by Carroll Beeson.


 

Mecca One Room School House

765-569-5579

Open during Covered Bridge Festival for viewing.


 

Mordecai Brown Historical Marker


Mordecai Peter Centennial Brown (October 19, 1876 – February 14, 1948), nicknamed "Three Finger" or "Miner", was an American Major League Baseball pitcher at the turn of the 20th century. Due to a farm-machinery accident in his youth, Brown lost parts of two fingers on his right hand and eventually acquired his nickname as a result. Overcoming this handicap and turning it to his advantage, he became one of the elite pitchers of his era.

Brown was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1949.

Brown was born in Nyesville, Indiana. He was also known as "Miner", having worked in western Indiana coal mines for a while before beginning his professional baseball career. Nicknames like "Miner" and "Three Finger" (or sometimes "Three-Fingered") were headline writers' inventions. To fans and friends he was probably best known as "Brownie". To his relatives and close friends, he was also known as "Mort".

His three-part given name came from the names of his uncle, his father, and the United States Centennial year of his birth, respectively.

According to his biography, he suffered two separate injuries to his right hand. The first and most famous trauma came when he was feeding material into the farm's feed chopper. He slipped and his hand was mangled by the knives, severing much of his index finger and damaging the others. A doctor repaired the rest of his hand as best he could. While it was still healing, the injury was further aggravated by a fall he took, which broke several finger bones. They were not re-set properly, especially the middle finger (see photo), and he kept quiet about this clumsy accident until he was well into adulthood.

He learned to pitch, as many children did, by aiming rocks at knotholes on the barn wall and other wooden surfaces. Over time, with constant practice, he developed great control. As a "bonus", the manner in which he had to grip the ball (see photo) resulted in an unusual amount of spin. This allowed him to throw an effective curve ball, and a deceptive fast ball and change-up. The extra topspin made it difficult for batters to connect solidly. In short, he "threw ground balls", and was exceptionally effective.

After a spectacular minor league career commencing in Terre Haute of the Three-I League in 1901, Brown came to the majors rather late, at age 26, in 1903, and lasted until 1916 when he was close to 40.

Brown's most productive period was when he played for the Chicago Cubs from 1904 until 1912. During this stretch, he won 20 or more games six times and was part of two World Series championships. New York Giants manager John McGraw regarded his own Christy Mathewson and Brown as the two best pitchers in the National League. In fact, Brown often defeated Mathewson in competition, most significantly in the final regular season game of the 1908 season. Brown had a slim career 13-11 edge on Mathewson, with one no-decision in their 25 classic pitching matchups.

Brown's most important single game effort was the pennant-deciding contest between the Cubs and the New York Giants on October 8, 1908, at New York. With the great Mathewson starting for the Giants, Cubs starter Jack Pfiester got off to a weak start and was quickly relieved by Brown, who held the Giants in check the rest of the way as the Cubs prevailed 4-2, to win the pennant. The Cubs then went on to win their second consecutive World Series championship, their last to date.

Brown also played in the Federal League with the St. Louis Terriers (where he also briefly managed the Brooklyn Tip-Tops and the Chicago Whales).

Brown was a switch-hitter, which was and is unusual for a pitcher. He took some pride in his hitting, and had a fair batting average for a pitcher, consistently near .200 in the major leagues.

Brown and Mathewson wrapped their respective careers by squaring off on September 4, 1916. The game was billed as the final meeting between the two old baseball warriors. The high-scoring game was a win for Mathewson's Reds over Brown's Cubs.

Brown finished his major league career with a 239-130 record, 1375 strikeouts, and a 2.06 ERA, the third best in Major League Baseball history, after Ed Walsh and Addie Joss.

Following his retirement from the majors, he returned to his home in Terre Haute, where he continued to pitch in the minor leagues and in exhibition games for more than a decade, as well as coaching and managing. According to his biography, in an exhibition game against the famous House of David touring team in 1928, at the age of 51, he pitched three innings as a favor to the local team, and struck out all nine batters he faced.

From 1920 to 1945, Brown ran a filling station in Terre Haute, that also served as a town gathering place and an unofficial museum. He was also a frequent guest at Old-Timers' games in Chicago.

In his later years, Brown was plagued by diabetes and then by the effects of a stroke. He died in 1948, and news of his passing reminded sportswriters of his past achievements.

In 1999, 83 years after his last game and 51 years after his death, he was named as a finalist to the Major League Baseball All-Century Team.

Between Brown and Antonio Alfonseca, the Cubs have featured both a "three-fingered" pitcher and a six-fingered pitcher on their all-time roster (Brown technically had four, including the thumb).


Parke County Courthouse


Cost: $79,000.00
Constructed: 1879 - 1882

"Original plans (for the courthouse) called for 'red pressed brick with white limestone trim.' Before the foundation was finished, the contractor agreed to substitute stone for the red brick at no increase in cost. What the edifice would look like in red brick defies imagination, but whoever persuaded the commissioners the change deserves an unqualified blessing."

"In 1880, with the courthouse about half built, the contractor (from Ft. Wayne) failed. Two new commissioners "had been strongly and volubly opposed to the courthouse project and there was a flurry speculation ... they would refuse to continue with it. They did the logical and rational thing. On March 26, 1880, they appointed Isaac McFaddin superintendent of construction."

"There were several master carpenters in the county and to all those men go the credit for the walnut woodwork that makes this county building as beautiful on the inside as the outside. The massive doors at all 4 entrances are works of art and all interior woodwork is comparable. Had the contractor not failed, the courthouse would not have had such painstaking workmanship."

(Old newspaper clippings reported that "local workmen, notably the Patton brothers," were hired to do the carpentry work. "Their fine workmanship remains the admiration of all who note the beautiful black walnut door and window frames that grace the building.")

"The last cry from the opposition (to the construction of the courthouse) was an accusation of graft. This is usual in connection with any public construction and is all to often justified. In this case the public was invited to scrutinize all contracts and accounts."

"Efforts have been made twice to surface the south lawn for a parking lot. The first time a petition of remonstrance reached the commissioners before the advocates made application. The next time, the project was not publicized and the advocates thought it was assured, but they reckoned too soon. When the women of Rockville learned of the plan, they stormed into the courthouse and the commissioners were swamped in the corridors."

"Like all lawns, (the courthouse lawn) was surrounded by fence for many years. About 1920, it became unstylish and was removed. It was of black ornamental iron."

 


 

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