Down the Road

Roads and life and how roads are like life

Saved? The 1861 Flanagan/Kincaid House


Old house, Hamilton County

I’ve been following the efforts to save the Flanagan/Kincaid House, built in 1861 in what is now Fishers, Indiana. I had been curious about this house for years, as I drove by it frequently after dropping my sons off at their mom’s in Fishers. But then the house made news when the land developer that came to own it wanted to demolish it for new development.


Preservationists swung into action, aiming to move the house to a new location. They secured a site a half-mile away on the grounds of Navient, a student-loan management firm. They secured seed funding and kicked off a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining funds.



It’ll cost at least $115,000 to move this house. Crowdfunding hasn’t been very successful, but The Indianapolis Star reports that the move is scheduled for tomorrow, so perhaps angel donors have quietly come to the rescue.

Navient occupies a large parcel that borders I-69 between 106th and 116th Streets. The house will border and face I-69, which will give it great visibility from the highway. But it will be off any of the paved roads in the Navient complex, which will make it hard to reach. So it appears to be saved, but not in a way that is obviously useful.

I’ll keep following this move and report as the story unfolds!

Chrome teeth

Chrome teeth
Olympus XA, Arista Premium 400

Captured: Still life with fan


Still life with fan

The last stop with my friend Dawn on our annual road trip this year was to Stockdale Mill, a restored and functional water-powered flour mill just west of tiny Roann in northern Indiana. Because of Roann’s annual festival in progress, mill tours were operating under extended hours. Our tour guide said that the mill was built in 1857 and ground grain until the early 1960s. New worker-safety rules did the mill in. There’s something inherently dangerous about large quantities of flour in a building made of wood. Flour dust is highly explosive.

I had my Nikon F2AS slung over one shoulder and a Yashica Lynx 14e I’m testing slung over the other. But as I write this, neither roll of film has been processed. I’m glad that my Canon PowerShot S95 was along, too, so I could share images with you more quickly. Not that there’s much to show, as I struggled to make useful images in and around the mill. Maybe some of my film shots will turn out better, but I’m not optimistic. As we passed through what had been the mill office, I spied this old fan. I’m fascinated with old fans, so I took a bunch of shots of it. This one captured the scene well enough.

Black Chrysler

Black Chrysler
Olympus XA, Arista Premium 400

At the tractor pull


Dawn and I drove to tiny Roann in northern Indiana to see its covered bridge and nearby historic grist mill, and found to our surprise that it was the weekend of the town’s annual Covered Bridge Festival. All of the trappings were present: carnival rides, food booths, and a parade featuring fire trucks from a five-county radius. Big doings in small-town Indiana!

The best part was the antique-tractor pull. I’m absolutely not a guy you’ll find at the fairgrounds on Sunday! Sunday! Sunday! with a lite beer in hand watching multi-engined, fire-breathing, smoke-belching megatractors. But it was undeniably charming to watch this motorsport in its elemental form: everyday people from rural Indiana who brought their antique tractors to compete at a small-town pull track.

I followed one woman driving her 1950s Farmall from start to finish. Here she is, queued up and waiting her turn.

At the tractor pull

She drove onto the track and backed up to the weight. I’m sure there’s an official name for the contraption she pulled, but I’m not hip to the lingo.

At the tractor pull

Then she was poised and ready to start pulling.

At the tractor pull

As she made her way down the track, I zoomed out to take in as much as my camera could see. The fellow reclining in the back was the official scorekeeper. I guess the object was to see how far each tractor could drag this weight down the track.

At the tractor pull

More tractors were queued up behind her. Here are the next three to go. It must be comfortable to lean forward and rest a forearm on the steering wheel.

At the tractor pull

This Allis-Chalmers got its turn soon enough.

At the tractor pull

As did this beautiful Cockshutt 40. Its style reminds me of the Streamline Moderne design movement from the 1930s, but these tractors were first built in 1949.

At the tractor pull

I have no idea who won. I barely understood how this whole competition worked! But it was great to see this old iron put to the stress test.

When I was a boy, my dad worked at the Oliver tractor factory. Read about it.

Recommended reading


Here are the blog posts I liked most this week.

My Michigan Road cohort Kurt Garner wrote a great post about how if all you want to do is criticize the people who are trying to get things done, shut up. That’s my blunt interpretation of his words, anyway. Read It’s not the critic who counts

James Altucher built a popular and valuable Web business that he sold for $10 million. He gives lots of good advice about how to do that — and about how to quickly lose the money you made. What’s surprising is his conclusion about how that happened. Read Step By Step Guide to Make $10 Million And Then Totally Blow It

Renée Schuls-Jacobson’s blog used to be funny and frequently updated. But because of bad medical care, she is now on a terrible journey through recovery from benzodiazepine withdrawal. She updates her blog every few months to tell how she’s doing. It’s a horrifying read. Start here and click forward through her blog. Or jusr read her most recent entry:  Read Limping Back to Life

Writing for TechCrunch, Matthew Panzarino calls the iPhone camera as significant as the Kodak Brownie and the Pentax K1000. Then he extols the new camera features in iOS 8 that give some manual control over aperture, shutter speed, white balance, and more. Read A Manual iPhone Camera, Finally


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