This column ran Sunday in the New Castle Courier-Times.
By DONNA CRONK
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Earlier this fall, Brian and I visited Washington, D.C. One of my just-for-fun objectives was to look for Hoosier symbols wherever we went. They are, in fact, everywhere.
Consider the federal monuments and buildings alone. Indiana limestone and other stone went into these, along with many others not mentioned: The Lincoln Memorial, the interior dome of the Jefferson Memorial, the National Cathedral, The Pentagon and marble in the Indiana Memorial stone in the Washington Monument.
Also, Indiana limestone or stone grace the National Archives, National Theater, Departments of Commerce and Interior, Federal Triangle Building, Botanic Gardens, Federal Trade Commission and more.
In the U.S. Capitol Rotunda, Italian-American artist Constantino Brumidi painted the frieze that appears as almost three-dimensional around the rotunda. It illustrates major events in U.S. history. We were told by our guide that two spaces in the frieze remained when the painter fell from a
ladder and never finished the frieze. However, the artwork was completed by other artists.
One spot went to Henry Ford for his contributions with the automobile, and the last blank area to complete the ring went to Henry County native Wilbur Wright and his brother Orville in an homage to flight.
When the House of Representatives was moved for more space in 1857, the Old Hall of the House became National Statuary Hall. Each state was invited by Congress to provide two statues of its most notable citizens, according to a capitol brochure. These statues in the collection are displayed in the Hall, the Rotunda, the Capitol Visitor Center and corridors.
Can you guess the identities of the two Hoosiers who are depicted in
The first is Wayne County’s own Oliver P. Morton, Indiana’s Civil War governor.
He was a Centerville attorney whose home survives on the western edge of U.S. 40 (originally called The National Road) in Centerville and is on the National Register of Historic Places. He was elected to two terms as governor, beginning in 1861, and left office to serve as a U.S. senator. He died at age 54 during his second term.
Morton lived from 1823 to 1877. His statue graces the Statuary Hall collection.
The second statue is Gen. Lew Wallace.
Wallace was born in Brookville in 1827 and died in Crawfordsville in 1905. An attorney, Civil War Union general, governor of the New Mexico Territory, and Hoosier author. He wrote the classic Christian historical-adventure novel, “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ,” in 1880.
The state of Indiana commissioned his tribute statue in marble. In it, he wears a military uniform. The statue was unveiled in 1910.
During all of my childhood, Lisa Charles was a pleasant, curly-headed girl, two years my junior, who lived back a long lane in a big, pretty farmhouse. Lisa’s mom, Mary, was my mother’s hairdresser and I’m pretty sure she gave me my first professional perm – something other than the Toni ones out of a box at home.
At Lisa’s farm, just a couple of properties away from ours at Route 1, Brownsville (before they did away with rural route numbers), we had 4-H meetings.
But of course Lisa and I grew up and lost touch. I saw her for the first time in nearly 40 years two years ago at The Liberty Festival and learned that she and her husband bought her folks’ place and of all things – they have turned it into a Maple syrup farm!
On well over 100 acres of woodlands, they tap the maple trees (not with buckets, we’re talking modern technology these days, folks, and lots of cool equipment and tubes that drain the sap back at their central production area).
They sell their pure Indiana Maple Syrup and related products at some of the best farmers’ markets in the state. Pretty sweet.
So this weekend, today and tomorrow, Maplewood Farms are on tour and along with watching production and Lisa explaining how it’s done, you can purchase the delicious products too.
Right there at Route 1 Brownsville, on the Charles farm.
Only now it’s 3737 N. Philomath Rd. Brownsville, Indiana 47325. And it’s the Hart place. You can email Lisa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I loved going down Lisa’s lane. I thought of it as Memory Lane.