Tuesday, May 10, 2011
The Angola region is home to a surprising many artists. Surprising because you find virtually no artists’ individual listing in the yellow pages - yet their work is sold in numerous galleries and specialty shops, appears in various art shows and fairs, is wholesaled throughout the country, marketed over the internet, and has even been exhibited at the Smithsonian! Some draw or paint in ink, oil, and water color; some sculpt; some work in copper, silver, clay, stone, and wood; some blow glass. Much work is representational but some is abstract. And while much is indeed sold, perhaps even more is but a labor of love – art for the sheer joy and gratification of self-expression.
Once we were nearly all, at least to some degree, artists and artisans. We had to be, so much of what we now buy was then homemade. And now we are surprised to find artists amongst us … and yet how many of us have felt the twinge, “If only I had the time, or the talent, or the confidence?” Confidence is the real issue: the fact of so much more artistic practice just a few generations ago proves it is not the talent we lack.
This column’s future installments will focus on today’s art in the Angola region: on art shows and fairs, galleries and shops, various other regional art happenings and manifestations, and on the artists themselves. Artists see the world with fresh eyes, and together we will explore the worlds they see and the worlds they create for us. And perhaps along the way, some of us may find within ourselves the inspiration, desire, and confidence to finally experiment with some mode of self expression … that is, to begin ourselves to practice art.
In the mean time, know that the Angola area lakes region is an Art Region. and its towns are Art Towns!
(Stephen Rowe, an independent arts correspondent and the Angola Regional Artists’ Guild publicity chairman, can be contacted at StephenRowe.OriGraphics@yahoo.com.)
Wednesday, September 1, 2010
The part of downtown that we're used to calling “The Mound”, or “The Circle” was actually designed to be a square, and was referred to that way for a long time. Long before the Soldier's Monument was erected, the middle of the public square has been and seen a lot of things.
In the very beginning, when the Gale and Gilmore families first moved to Angola, the square was a thicket of trees, according to Louisa Gale Hendry, in a talk she gave near the end of her life. When her father and Mr. Gilmore platted the downtown, the town square was a feature, and a place for the town pump.
It was also a place to hitch your horses to while you did your business either at the courthouse, or one of the businesses in town, and a place for town gatherings and celebrations.
Troops gathered there, to begin marching, people gathered there to exchange the latest news, kids played there,speeches were made, it really was the heart and soul of Angola.
In fact, it has been such a big deal to the Downtown, that this will be a recurring theme, the public square, as this series progresses.
And as always, thanks to Kim Maxton Bordner for use of her postcard collections. :) And also thanks to the Carnegie Public Library and their reference area. :D
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
When Americans began to spread their seeds westward, each time they'd start to settle in a new area, there were a few things that had to be done pretty much right away, to ensure that the roots would take hold to make a village.
First and foremost, housing needed to be addressed, for all the residents, human and animal. Next, in most cases, came a church or two, and of course a saloon. Then, it was time to make sure they could continue to eat, by building farms, and mills, and mercantiles. Blacksmiths and tanners, and coopers, next.
Around this point, though, people start having a minute of free time in their days, and they started wondering and talking about current events (Although, in the 1800's any event in the last six months was considered “current”. A far cry from getting your news via Twitter, yes?) and then a village would look into getting a printing press and someone to run it.
This happened in Steuben county in 1848 with a very shortlived newspaper called the Indiana Review.
Angola's first paper (With the possible exception of a very short run periodical aimed at Spiritualists and “free thinkers”, called the Truth Seeker; sources don't seem to agree about whether it was actually in Angola or not. ) was the Steuben Republican. Originally started in May 1857, when J.M. Bromagen moved his printing press from Auburn to Angola, he sold it within a year and it changed hands quite a few times between 1858 until a good few years after the Civil War.
The Republican was just what it's title declared, a Republican leaning newspaper, and in 1876, Isaac L. Wiseman brought his press from Ohio to start the Angola Herald, gearing it toward the Democratic party (It seems, maybe, that politics aren't so different now, than they were, huh?).
There had also been a third paper, called the Steuben County Journal that merged with the Steuben Republican in 1884. This is about the time that the paper moved from somewhere on the south side of the square to where it is today, right on the corner next to the Masonic Temple and the Courthouse. The building itself still says “Steuben Republican”, even though it merged with the Herald, becoming the Herald-Republican in 1980.
Next time you're running errands, or shopping the Downtown, stop for a moment at 45 S. Public Square and look up at the Steuben Republican sign built into the facade of the building, and think about how much has stayed the same, in the midst of the changes of 100+ years.
(For quick reference, here're my sources for this post: History of Steuben County, etc, published by the Chicago Publishing Co. in 1885, the Herald Republican website, and random genealogical sketches of the many different men who decided printing was what they wanted to do in the 1800's. Oh, and a little bit of Wikipedia. And, of course, my heartfelt thanks to Kim Maxton Bordner and her amazing collection of local postcards. :) )
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Conaway's Inflatables and the nonprofit groups will be there on Friday from 11am-3pm, and Saturday from 10am-1pm, downtown businesses will be open their normal hours.
Come enjoy the sales, and check out some of our local nonprofit groups as well!
Nonprofit groups involved:
Homes for Hounds (Flier Attached) will be showcasing their dog houses.
All proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb & Steuben Counties and Steuben Co
Habitat for Humanity of DeKalb and Steuben Counties.
The Arby's staff is doing a fundraiser for their coworkers son who is 6 years old. He has been diagnoised with stage 4 Pancreatic cancer. We would like to do a bake sale and a Pampered Chef Fundraiser at the same table. Contact Elizabeth Ellis 419-551-2183 cell email: firstname.lastname@example.org for more info
United Way - Information
Sweet Adelines - Information They will be singing at their booth on friday.
First Congregational Church of Christ is having a bake sale.
TLC Steuben - Information
Angola Tree Board - Information
I hope to see lots of folks downtown this weekend, having a great time!
(And next week, I'll be back with more downtown history!)
Thursday, July 22, 2010
I've read that Mr. Kratz was also a maker of fine remedies and tonics, so if anyone's got an old tonic or remedy bottle from Kratz's, we'd love to see pictures. *grin*
The Most Sanitary Restaurant in the State. Now that's saying something. Also, note the amazing deal transients got on their board.
Note that Mr. Cline will make a photo That Looks Like You! As opposed to today, where people want their photos to be airbrushed to look like someone completely different.
The only reason I post this one is so that we may chuckle at this being printed in a high school year book. I wonder if a tobacco store would be able to do that, today, without someone making an amazing stink. *grin*
While the jeweler/optician combo may seem really strange now, the professions went pretty much hand in hand in the beginning of optometry, and the majority of early opticians were jewelers first.
I hope you've enjoyed our stroll through commercialism, 1908 style. *grin* If you've got any weird, funny or odd adverts from early Angola, feel free to let me know. This is something I'll periodically throw into the middle of our historic strolls here, if folks are interested, so please, let us know if you like our blog posts! :)
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
This is the first part in what will hopefully be a long ongoing series about downtown Angola, throughout history, the landmark buildings, the history shaping merchants, and amazing citizens that have all, together, helped shape the Downtown into what it is today.
If you are interested in something particular, or have something to share about anything downtown related, feel free to pop me an email, or comment here on the blog itself.
I'd also like to thank, before I start, Kim Maxton Bordner, of A Wild Hare for permission to peruse, and use her amazing collection of postcards.
That said, enjoy!
When Steuben County was formed out of LaGrange county in the late 1830's, Thomas Gale and Cornelius Gilmore offered to donate land for a courthouse, and to erect the building. This is how Angola became the seat of the county.
The first courthouse in Angola was finished in 1841, in roughly the same place the courthouse is now. It was a simple two story frame building with the first floor divided into four rooms- one each for the Clerk, the Recorder, the Auditor and the Treasurer- while the second floor was reserved for Court and for general public assemblies.
This first courthouse was built with a long porch in the front, decorated with a tall row of colums that eventually had to be taken down so that the growing village could make use of the porch as a much needed extra room.
When the town decided that a new courthouse needed to be build, they got a local carpenter, Freeborn Patterson, to design the building, and they sold the old one at a public auction.
The old building was then moved, to make room for the new one, and stayed for many years on East Maumee, just off the actual square. (In the picture below, it's behind Patterson's.)
So, in 1868, the “new” courthouse was finished, and has been in constant use ever since,and in 1975, it was added the National Register of Historical Places.
While many things have changed both inside and out (The cars out front are a big difference from the buggies of old, and I don't imagine that Free Patterson designed the courthouse entrance with the metal detector in mind.), it's still essentially the same building that's been serving Steuben County, and remained one of the most lovely parts of the Downtown for 142 years.
Friday, July 9, 2010
Check out their website ~Here~ for more info, as well as times. Hope to see everyone there!
Also, check out the blog starting next week, as we'll be highlighting some of downtown Angola's history, the first installment will be all about the courthouse!
Have a great weekend, Angola!