Friday, March 29, 2013

"Libraries & Old Dewey" (Our Latest Music Video Parody)

Here's our latest music video parody, featuring Suzanne Walker, MLS, former head of MPL youth services and now Children's Services Consultant for the State of Indiana, along with MPL staff and volunteers.

Libraries and Old Dewey, by Suzanne Walker & MPL Staff & Volunteers
Music Performed by Theresa & Dave
(They'll record your custom song at
(Instrumental played during the credits by iTunes)

You can see how much fun it is to work at my Library!

Friday, March 15, 2013

The Great Flood of 1913

In the last 20 years or so, we've had several "floods of the century" in Morgan County, Indiana. There was a horrific flood back in 2008, I recall.

One hundred years ago (on March 25), we had a huge flood around these parts. Thanks to Civil War veteran and local photographer/newspaper publisher J. P. Calvert, we have a photo or two, which my Library included in this nifty handout.

Downtown Mooresville is situated high atop a hill (not a big hill, but still), so it has never flooded.  But folks living in the lower areas of town or in the surrounding country--especially near either fork of the White Lick Creek--were not so fortunate. Take the interurban railway bridge, which was situated near today's state road 67 bridge (just south of Kroger in Mooresville) across White Lick Creek:

Interurban Railway Bridge Collapse (March Flood, 1913)
(Click Images to Enlarge)

Water is a powerful, destructive force, sometimes.

The Great Flood of 1913 resulted from heavy rainfall as multiple storms crossed the midwestern states.  The ground was already saturated (or frozen) in many areas, causing rapid run-off that sent rivers bursting their banks throughout the state.  Damage across Indiana reached at least $25 million (that's in 1913 dollars, folks).

The Great Flood of 1913 forever changed many communities.  We have more recently experienced similar disasters in Indiana, but that March flood a century ago echoes from the distant past.  Few eyewitnesses remain.  We should record their memories before they are gone forever.  These are historic events on the grand stage, and we should preserve the information for future generations.

P.S.  A couple months ago, WISH-TV Channel 8 ran a news story about the Great Flood of 1913 and its effects upon Indianapolis.  Here's a video clip. The Indiana Historical Society created an exhibit, You Are There 1913: A City Under Water, to show modern visitors how relief stations were created to handle the crisis.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mooresville's Oral History DVD

Lots of folks visit my Library, and some of them are interested in the history of Mooresville, Indiana and vicinity.

The MPL Indiana Room has loads of local and state historical and genealogical resources, but there is no better source for hometown history than the memories of those who have lived here most or all of their lives.  Oral histories are rich with details that you simply won't find in most printed sources. Thankfully, there is a DVD in our collection called Memories of Mooresville (2011), produced by Andrew Marine Video Productions.  It is a superbly-crafted visual record of interviews (in 2008) with several longtime Mooresville (and Morgan County) residents, most of whom have unfortunately passed over since filming.  The speakers were:
Their passing emphasizes the pricelessness of their memories, and we are truly fortunate to have their hometown experiences documented.  If I recollect correctly, the project was the brainchild of Susan Haynes of the Mooresville Consolidated School Corporation.  (Mrs. Hine was Susan's grandmother.)  The video was recorded in Mooresville High School's library by  MHS teacher Andrew Marine and his crew.  Julie Kyle-Lee, curator of Mooresville's Academy School Museum, was an integral participant who helped bring the project to fruition.  (I'm undoubtedly forgetting other important people; sorry about that.)

The Panel had fond memories of Mooresville's
Old Settlers Annual Picnic

The panel discussed a wide range of topics, including local citizens, businesses and hang-outs, leisure activities, schools, technologies, transportation changes, and other recollections from their near-century of living experiences.  If you watch the video, you will learn much about Mooresville history during the 20th century. Some secrets were shared, and many colorful anecdotes will leave you laughing. It is an amazing array of facts presented by those who knew what happened, because they were there to experience it first-hand.

If you are interested in the history of Mooresville (and the surrounding area in northern Morgan County), then you should definitely watch this DVD.  Better yet, purchase your own copy at the Academy of Hoosier Heritage.  It's a short walk down Monroe Street from my Library to the Academy Building (built in 1861).  I think the DVD price is $10, but you'd better check that for yourselves to be sure.

Of course, my Library has the DVD (three copies available to check-out, if you have an Evergreen Indiana library card).  It is a pleasure to share these wonderful glimpses from the past of the place I call home.

P.S.  My Library still offers a self-guided walking tour (with audio tour guide on CD) of historic downtown Mooresville, Indiana.  Our promo trailer explains.

Friday, March 8, 2013