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home : columnists : columnists September 15, 2014

3/22/2014 2:00:00 AM
Transportation, park were boasted of
By Steve House

In 1929 the Crawfordsville Chamber of Commerce could readily boast of its transportation and communications conveniences. It was stated that Crawfordsville was fortunate to being located at the crossing of numerous railroad lines and highways, giving direct access to purchasing centers and markets in every direction. The Peoria and Eastern division of the Big Four R.R. from Indianapolis to Peoria, the Vandalia division of the Pennsylvania R.R. from St. Louis and Terre Haute to Logansport, and the Monon R.R. from Chicago to Indianapolis and Louisville crossed here. Two traction lines in Indianapolis and Lebanon gave hourly passengers and express service east and south. State highways 32, 34, and 43 gave bus lines and truck lines great access to Crawfordsville as well as a building automobile trade.

As mentioned previously, it was fitting that a city with the literary background of Crawfordsville became known as the center for printing establishments. In 1929 two daily newspapers, each with complete, modern job shops, one exclusive job shop and two large printing plants, employed a total of more than 600 people in the printing trade. An usually high quality of work was maintained in the work production as the entire gamut was ran, from newspapers, to grade books and included a new- fangled invention called, "color printing." The labor force in these plants was recruited principally from high school graduates who were taught the trade and developed into skilled artisans. Numerous monthly magazines of National circulation were printed here, as well as tracts, lesson leafs, quarterlies, and Sunday school papers for the Presbyterian Board of Christian Education.

Continuing to describe the amenities of Crawfordsville in 1929 our manuscript describes our city park saying the city, "is surrounded by a lavish 40 acres where her citizens may rest and play within a few blocks of their doorsteps." It also speaks of the beautiful meandering stream running throughout the park's boundaries. There existed a wading pool for children, playground devices of all kinds, benches and tables for picnics and a menagerie of varied animals complete with park equipment. There was no mention of shelters or certainly no mention of skateboards. In addition to Milligan Park the playgrounds of each of the "ward" schools were kept open during the summer under competent supervision for organized play activities in the different sections of the city. This was considered very important in the development of the moral and physical growth of children of this era.

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