During the early 1900's a small tabloid called the Lowell Souvenir was published each Saturday with the price of the yearly subscription being $1.00. The front page read: "A Weekly Journal devoted to High Class Literature and the Interests of Lowell and Lake County Indiana." In 1902 Ernest E. Woodcock was the publisher.
When reading through the eight pages of the Jan. 18, 1902, issue, many interesting items of local news and timely advertisements were found.
The people of Lowell were already getting ready for the erection of the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, which was finally dedicated in 1905, and publisher Woodcock wrote on his first page that he had "the deepest sympathy for the gallant old soldiers." During the month of January 1902 he set aside 25 percent of every new subscription and 15 percent of all renewals for the benefit of the Monument Fund.
Another item about the Monument Fund: "There is some talk about a box social to be given by the high school for the benefit of the monument to be erected at Lowell for the soldiers and sailors. It is sure to be a success."
A half-page advertisement featured "well assorted and of Superior Quality stock at prices that compete with Chicago" -- rock wall plaster, telephone and cedar posts, crushed stone, sidewalk brick and ladders.
The ad was for the Wilbur Lumber Co., F.W. Buckley, Manager. This large lumber company was at the present site of the parking lot across the street from the Costas Goods on Washington St. On the other half of the page was an ad for the "Studebaker Gentleman's Driving Wagon" (a horse drawn carriage), sponsored by Emil Sirois, phone 824, Lowell, Ind." The Lowell Opera House was the scene of a great drama, "In Mizzoura," presented by the Crown Point dramatic club. The Lowell Opera House had been located on the second floor of the commercial building on the northeast corner of Commercial Ave. and Mill Street, which burned down in 1976.
L. Keilman and Co., lumber, had this to say in an ad: "We are no doctors, but we assure you that buying your window glass off us will aid digestion by making you happy. We cut circle tops, square tops, segment tops, in fact any shape wanted. We also handle crushed oyster shells -- it keeps your chickens healthy, prevents cholera and makes 'em lay." The Keilman yard was on what is now Globe Dr., at a site next to the Dubreil and Keilman steam powered mill, torn down in 1927.
A large advertisement for the State National Bank, corner of Wall St. and Commercial Ave., offered this equal opportunity message: "Your Banking? No matter how small, no matter how large, the State National Bank of Lowell, Ind. will give it careful attention. This message applies to the men and the women alike." John Lynch was president; A.A. Gerrish, vice president; F.E. Nelson, cashier; and Peter A. Berg, assistant cashier. Their building now houses Nellie Jayne's antique shop and café.
There was also a notice in the Jan. 18 issue about the annual Camp Fire of the Burnham Post, Grand Army of the Republic (GAR), to be held Jan. 25, 1902. They had an interesting program planned, which included musical recitals, speeches, music by graphophone, recitations, and a camp scene by the Picket Guard. The GAR, composed of Union Civil War veterans, was an organization that also sponsored the Decoration Day services in Lowell until 1919 when the new American Legion Post 101 took it over from those aging veterans.
Assorted advertisements on one page included:
Some of the prices in 1902 at John Trelease and Sons' Department Store: Men's overcoats - from $4 to $12, Boys' overcoats - from $1.40 to $6.50, Ladies' corsets - 25¢ and 50¢, Ladies' and children's cloaks - from $1.85 to $8.50, fur collars - from $4.25 to $7.85, and wool blankets - from $2.65 to $3.75. Gingham material was on sale "for one day only" at the low prices of a nickel per yard.
The Souvenir newspaper had an ad giving a trial subscription for 25¢.
The Lowell Grain Market for Jan. 1902 was also printed: Wheat, 78¢ Corn, 57¢ Oats, white 44¢, mixed 42¢, rye 60¢ and Hay, $11.50 a ton. A note in the local column: "huge loads of shelled and ear corn, hay and oats go rumbling by almost constantly all day long. Who says Lowell is not one of the greatest grain and hay markets on earth, with thousands of acres of marsh lands yet to be thoroughly reclaimed?"
S.C. Dwyer, well-known attorney and realtor, advertised: "A house, barn, and large lot on Liberty St. for $1,500." Attorney Dwyer also wrote articles for the Souvenir and lived in the Bacon mansion at the northwest corner of Commercial and Fremont St.
The Souvenir was known to have a short life, published for only a few years in the early part of the century.
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