Monday, September 17, 2012

Small Town, Midwestern Charm!

On my first night in North Manchester, we finished dinner early enough to get me back to my room at the B&B in time for me to grab my camera and my ipod ((The iphone was in the red-zone and charging in my room)) and headed out the door to explore my surroundings.

The days in Indiana are still sunny, warm and beautiful with the remnants of summer gardens and all their colorful flowers still present in well tended gardens as I walked.

I love small towns….and different areas of the country do have such a different flavor. Here the stately turn of the 20th century homes catch my imagination and beg me to let my mind wander to an earlier time ---some may say a simpler time, but I am a girl of modern conveniences. I love my washing machine, my vacuum cleaner, my dish washer and the water heater that gives me endless hot showers. I love the icemaker in the door of my fridge and my central air and heat ---but something about these homes calls to me.

I love looking at HOUSES! All kinds of houses.

This post is about what I passed on my walk.

I love large trees dwarfing houses and spreading their shady limbs across streets, decades old. Doesn’t this front porch with its gingerbread beckon you to come sit a while?

The turn of the 20th century was a time for huge brick structures with tall windows and interesting roof lines. I love the porch railings on this behemoth. I’m guessing “someone” important to this town lived here at some time. Imagine the fashions of the day. What would the “lady of the house” be wearing if she descended those steps on a mid-September evening?

Another large brick structure – thinking of the days before A/C – when walls were tall and ceilings high in an effort to get the heat to rise as far up as possible! I loved the smattering of late summer flowers still blooming happily in the front garden. Note to self --- if this were my house, it would need some shutters to soften the look just a bit!

This one is barely visible with the trees growing tall and close. Red brick with white trim is so appealing! Yes – the previous house definitely could benefit from some shutters! Who used to come out on that top veranda to catch a bit of cool summer evening breeze?

Holy. Mother. of. BRICK!

I think I just found the quilt retreat house of my dreams! This place is just BEAUTIFUL! What is the story ---I’ll have to ask! I want to know who lived here, what they did, what life was like….this is like…..oh, I have no words!

Another Angle --- yeah – this house is so cool it deserves two pictures! The chimneys alone are majestic!

This little house was a complete gem, and it is a historical landmark.

Thomas R Marshall was born here.

Not that I know who Thomas R Marshall is. Or was. Or --- well I do NOW --- but how many of us can name the vice presidents going way back? I have a hard enough time with the presidents themselves.

More than you wanted to know! ((But interesting!))

I love how it said they amended the constitution only to find it unconstitutional…LOL!

Some things ((POLITICS!)) Never change!

He refused to assume the presidency after Woodrow Wilson’s stroke….believing THAT would also be “UNCONSTITUTIONAL!”

((Boy, am I learning LOTS this trip!))

This little pretty place boasts a bakery and a coffee shop!

The sign says that one day a week you can get fresh baked pizza from 5pm-8pm. I’d so go here!

I also visited the war memorial ----

It’s a beautiful place with names of those who have served and given their lives for our freedoms. Names of officers and solidiers from this town who served and died during WWI, WWII---

Another WWII, and Korea


Next to WWI is a column for Lebanon, Grenada, Desert Storm, Afghanistan & Iraq.

The heavy burden I feel for the lives these men (and women) have given bring a quiet feeling of reverence to this place. My happy giddiness stops. I didn’t notice it until I was editing this photo that you can see my reflection taking a picture. I am here taking this picture of the names of these fallen soldiers -----reading names I am unfamiliar with, yet I feel like I know them. They were from here. They knew this place. They’d seen these houses, they’d likely walked these historic streets. They probably knew who Thomas Riley Marshall was. Bless them, every one. I am grateful. Freedom isn’t free. They paid my debt.

This is the heart of small town America. It’s heroes come from ordinary every day places, like North Manchester, Indiana.


  1. Anonymous3:31 PM EDT

    Midwestern charm indeed! Solidly built houses in small towns with 'real people' --- don't you just love our country.
    AND they honor our War Dead too. THANKS Bonnie for shring these photos.

  2. Thank you for sharing, just love all of what is Americana.

  3. What a neat, neat town! I love the Midwest....it will always be "home" although I also love my current home in NC. Thanks for sharing your walk with us! Nancy

  4. Anonymous3:38 PM EDT

    Bonnie, your pictures and words are beautiful. I wish every small town had a memorial with the names of men and women who served this country and paid the ultimate price for our freedom. We should all be reminded on a more regular basis of their sacrifices.

    Sue in Aloha, Oregon

  5. Bonnie - this post gave me goosebumps. Thank you for sharing. Thank you to our military for the huge sacrifices that they have made. As the former owner of an old house (built in 1856) thank you also to the care takers of those fabulous houses. It is a labor of love to maintain them - not to mention a huge expense. Enjoy the rest of your trip. Faith

  6. Your pictures and words are very touching. Thank you for sharing with all of us.

  7. The VP's refusal to take office is also why Edith WIlson is called the 'first female president' of the US. It is long supposed that she was the one in control while Woodrow was ailing.

    There's a museum to her honor in Wytheville, VA -- home of Sew What Fabrics & Batiks, etc. [a favorite stop of mine on my 10-hour trip from Central PA to Knoxville, TN to see my nieces and nephew. The museum is next to a GREAT hot dog shop (Skeeter's World Famous Hot Dogs) -- still 1940's/50's in decor. :) [ They have a facebook page if you're so inclined to check it out]



  8. Anonymous4:15 PM EDT

    Thank you fir sharing your trip with us and this mini history class, today!

  9. Thank You! I really enjoyed this.

  10. Anonymous4:48 PM EDT

    Bonnie your posts are so interesting. Take a walk and open a whole world to me. Thank you for collecting your thoughts and putting them in writing. I enjoy them.

  11. I grew up in one of those small Midwestern towns ~ it was an idyllic childhood and full of great memories. Our library was in a mansion donated by the former occupants ... VERY cool. We've lived all over the world but in our retirement have chosen to move BACK to a small Midwestern town ... and are VERY happy to be back! Good post, Bonnie!

  12. Thank you for the lovely pictures of those fabulous houses. Sadly, so many of these older structures are lost every year.

  13. I am glad you were able to enjoy some down time here in Indiana. I too love these old houses and could see a B&B with a quilt studio in it in my future. :) Thank you also to our military. They shall never be forgotten.

  14. What a beautiful article Bonnie. Thank you for sharing your walk of historic homes, as well as history and gratitude for our freedoms.

    Thanks again!

  15. Thanks for taking us along on your stroll through North Manchester, Bonnie. I enjoyed seeing the houses. What a nice tribute for the men and women who protect our freedoms.

  16. Thank you so much for sharing your walk tonight! I also love architecture in buildings like these. Although I love to stay in B & Bs like these, I'm always kind of secretly glad when a family still lives there with regular old lives. I'm sure it makes the house very happy!

  17. Beautiful homes but they are missing a quilt on the porch or rocking chair. Wouldn't that add pizzaz!!!!

  18. Thank you for this post. Loved seeing the old houses and the big old trees. I appreciate your thoughts at the War Memorials. So true. I agree that freedom is not free, we are indebted. Nor is it
    free license, we are responsible for its proper use.Thank you, Bonnie.

  19. you said: ". I didn’t notice it until I was editing this photo that you can see my reflection taking a picture."If you made applique quilts this photo would be so "a good subject"

    The people who made the scarifice and the person they made the sacrifice for.
    The person[representing the people of the nation] who honors their memory and the sacrifice they made


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