-- Some of Lowell’s early street lights hung on cables over the avenue? Early 1900 photos show electric street lights with large reflectors or shades. A steam powered generator on North Liberty Street furnished the electricity for the town.
-- There were five places where silent or talking movies were shown in Lowell? The Opera House, the Lyric Theater, the Grand Theater, the Ritz Theater and the Palo Theater were the topic of the ‘Pioneer History’ column in Sept. 2003.
-- Soon after Lowell founder Melvin Halsted built his home in 1849, he built two other brick buildings, a Baptist Church and a school, all three about the same size (20’x30’)? His home is the only one remaining.
--During the current downtown construction, two cast iron ornamental posts were found while digging? They stood for decades holding railings for a stairway from the sidewalk to the basement of the business building at the northeast corner of Clark Street and Commercial Avenue. Four stairways were known to be on the north sidewalk in downtown Lowell.
-- For decades there were only three members on the Lowell Town Board? In 1909 it was A.S. Hull, president, H.F. Carstens, and H.T. Welton. Edwin J. Pixley was clerk, and H.M. Johnson was treasurer. Charles Belshaw was Town Marshall and William Sheets was president of the Lowell School Board.
-- The Old Timer missed seeing a marker at the Lowell Methodist Church last month? "1998, Founded 1837" is on a stone that is part of the east façade near the entrance. It marks the date of a major reconstruction and addition.
-- The "Snow Cruiser," a huge vehicle built for Admiral Byrd’s Antarctic expedition in 1939, was constructed near Chicago and tested on the sands of the Indiana Dunes? The giant, four-wheeled rover, 55 feet in length, was successful on the sand, a failure in the snow. It was last seen floating away on an ice floe. A story with photos can be seen at the Lowell Public Library web site from the ‘Pioneer History’ column of May 2003.
-- The course of the Kankakee River was shortened by 80 miles in Lake and Porter Counties when it was dredged early in the 1900’s? Many stories about the historic river can be seen at the Library site.
-- Members of two well-known area families braved the western trail to Oregon in 1853? The families of George Belshaw, Sr., and David Dinwiddie suffered a long and adventurous trip. See the ‘Pioneer History’ story of Dec. 2002.
-- Claud Osburn, who lived in Shelby for many years, traveled by covered wagon to Oklahoma to homestead at the village of Lawton in 1901? His interesting story appears at the Library web site, ‘Pioneer History’ column of Feb. 2003.
-- Beatrice Horner, the late historian of Cedar Lake, wrote the following: "Because of Cedar Lake’s natural beauty, it behooves us to keep it looking like a treasured park worthy of everyone’s pride and attention"? Her very interesting "History of Cedar Lake" is available for reading at area libraries.
-- The historic Halsted House at the corner of Halsted and Main will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, December 6? The 1849 home of Lowell’s founder Melvin Halsted and his wife Martha Foster Halsted will be decorated for a traditional Christmas. Antique greeting cards will be on display.
-- Forty-seven hotels once lined the shores of Cedar Lake? The busy hotel era lasted from 1890 to the time of the Great Depression in the 1930’s.
-- The Town of Cedar Lake was first incorporated in 1969? Some of the earliest pioneers of Lake County settled near the "Lake of the Red Cedars."
-- The Monon Railroad right-of-way constructed in the early 1880’s along the west shore of Cedar Lake was moved to the west in 1948? The old route along the lake was one of the most scenic sights along the Monon.
-- Several other old ‘artifacts’ were found during Lowell’s downtown reconstruction? Horse bones were found on the south side, a horse shoe on the north. Was the long, rust-encrusted knife blade carried by a pioneer? Or did it hang on the side of a butcher’s block in downtown Lowell? A broken, clear glass item in the shape of an elephant might have been a child’s bank.
-- On Feb. 13, 1888, an ordinance was passed that barbed wire fencing should not be allowed along any sidewalk within the corporation? This was due to a complaint made by John Hack.
-- On June 5, 1871, another ordinance made it unlawful for anyone to ride or drive on any streets or alleys in the corporation of Lowell at a faster rate than six miles per hour?
-- On June 5, 1871, the Lowell Town Board moved that going swimming in the state of nudity in the daylight be prohibited under the penalty not to exceed three dollars?
-- In 1900 it was the duty of the Lowell Town Marshall to blow the steam whistle at the electric light plant (on North Liberty) for one minute at 8:30 p.m. every evening? This was the curfew for any person under 16 years of age to be on the streets or alleys or in public places in the Town of Lowell, unless in the company of a parent or guardian.
-- The Village of Shelby was laid out by W.R. Shelby, president of the Lake Agricultural Company at the junction of the Monon and Three I Railroads about 1885? The Lowell Tribune was founded by H.H. Ragon that same year.
-- Many area residents took part in four performances of the spectacular outdoor pageant, "Our American Heritage," during Lowell’s Centennial Celebration in 1952? A huge stage was built behind the present Lowell Middle School, and fireworks followed each show.
-- The fireplace mantle in the Halsted House Museum was cut at the Sutton Sawmill in West Creek Township?
-- A hanging oil lamp in the Halsted House was one of several lamps that hung from the ceiling in the 1870 Methodist Church which stood at the corner of Burnham and Main Streets in Lowell?
Did you know that?
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