Over the next 16 months I hope to document as many of the extant buildings in West Terre Haute as possible. I am calling this the West Terre Haute 2016 Project. I hope to leave behind a time capsule of the time for the future (though future historians will probably just look back at Google Maps, etc, than this project). My hope is that others who live or once lived in West T. will contribute to the project by sending me their stories and photos.
As I was taking these photos today, even my historian’s memory was failing me a bit. So if anyone reading these can fill in my gaps of memory of some of these buildings or what are now empty spaces, I would appreciate it.
I start today with some “panoramic” views of the south side of Paris Avenue, with a few comments. In future blogs I will look at some of the individual structures.
Looking West from Sumner Avenue
The old gas station building is one of my favorites. I cannot quite remember if it was still serving as a gas station, or just a tire place whne I was very young.
Not sure what once stood here. I am a little vague on buildings that were east of McIlroy Avenue
The building in foreground is the famous Snack’s cafe (see the McIlroy Avenue post for details). To the east was a Ray’s Barber Shop, which had the huge painting of Custer’s Last Stand that fascinated me.
The small building was Tavern’s Variety store. I spent a lot of time there. They were nice people. Once went in there, and after much debate, spent $1.98 of the $2.00 I had to by a miniature metal safe with combination lock. Of course, that left me only .2 to put in it.
The building on the corner was Berry’s Drugstore, where 8 comic books could be had for .96. It was also here that I began my romance with the satire of Mad Magazine (explains a lot my friends, doesn’t it?)
The empty lot held several buildings, including Lucien’s Liquor Store, an occasional stop on walks with Gramps.
This was one of most vital blocks on Paris Avenue. On either side where this church stands once stood a bank, theater, grocery, telephone exchange (where my Grandma worked before marriage) and a miner’s company store.
On this now grassy corner stood a wonderful hardware store filled with damn near anything you might need. Originally Splaty’s, it was bought by the Gropp family, ardent Catholics and friends of the Chrismans.