This coming Friday, Oct. 16, has been 175 years in the making. We're throwing a party for the paper, one of Indiana's oldest continuously operating newspapers.
For months, we've written stories heavy on New Castle Courier-Times history, personalities and inside stories. For weeks, we've invited special guests, gathered some cool door prizes, and worked to spruce up the place at 201 S. 14th St., New Castle. Today's blog that follows is a reprint of my wrap-up article in today's Sunday paper. I can hardly wait for Friday! And I can't wait to see you, either! So come over, 10-3; free meal, sign up for door prizes and prepare to party like it's 1840!
In The Courier-Times photo are staffers Hope Stevens and Stacie Wrightsman who are pulling out the old landscaping on our front patio area. Tomorrow -- a landscaping crew is arriving and will be giving us a new garden.
Here's the story:
The Courier-Times is having a 175th birthday party and you are invited.
There will be food, a variety of door prizes, visits with community columnists and personalities, a reunion of former employees and visits with all current staff. The open house is 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday on the patio and inside the newspaper, 201 S. 14th St., New Castle. It’s all free.
Courier-Times Publisher Bob Hansen said that the newspaper has a long, proud history in Henry County and that the staff works diligently to chronicle the county’s progress.
“Our open house will be a time to share with the community,” Hansen said. “We are happy that several of our business friends have decided to share the occasion with us by providing door prizes and some of the food for those who attend. We hope readers will come to meet with some of those whose work is featured in our pages.”
At press time, the door prizes include: a recliner and two glider rockers donated by Myers Furniture; a gift basket from Michelle Frazier / Edward Jones; a gift basket from Balinda VanHook / Mary Kay; oil changes from Goodwin Brothers; a 12x12 carpet remnant from Henry County Flooring; a gift basket from Glen Oaks Health Campus; a gift basket from Heather Drake / Rodan & Friends; gift cards from Montgomery’s Steakhouse; a gift basket from MainSource; a free pizza from Noble Romans; a basket of goodies from Temptations; a gift basket from Twisted Scissors; pillows from Mattress USA and a gift from the YMCA.
While guests need not be present to win, the only way they can sign up for the drawing is during the 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. event. Prize winners’ names will be drawn at 3 p.m. and notified shortly thereafter.
Lunch is on us
New Castle-Henry County Kiwanis will staff the grills on the newspaper patio for the duration of the open house and the sandwiches will be served free of charge, along with mac and cheese donated by KFC, cole slaw donated by Lee’s Famous Recipe and homemade birthday cake baked by C-T Missed Delivery Manager Tena Palmer. Iced tea, lemonade and ice water will be served with the meal. The Courier-Times is providing the hot dogs and Knightstown Locker donated the burgers.
The newspaper office is freshly painted in part of the building, thanks to Ace Hardware. The front garden is getting a landscaping makeover by Pro Green.
A variety of local guests and one Indianapolis media personality will be present to visit with readers.
Humor columnist and author Dick Wolsie, Indianapolis, will be at the paper starting at noon to meet and greet readers and offer some of his books for sale and signing. Wolfie, a syndicated columnist, is often featured in The Courier-Times.
Long-time columnist Chuck Avery of Hagerstown will be at the paper from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. to visit with those attending. He will have copies of some of his books available as well.
New Castle historians and authors, including former Courier-Times Managing Editor Darrel Radford and historian Doug Magers, will be at the paper to visit and to sell copies of their book about New Castle history. They will be at the paper from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Courier-Times Neighbors columnist and artist Stacey Torres will display her art and have copies of her cookbook for sale from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Hagerstown artist Tom Butters will display art during a portion of the open house and frequent Courier-Times contributor and author Rex Bell will be at the paper with copies of his book from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Also attending is Lisa Perry, former Managing Editor of The Courier-Times and author of the book, “Looking for Catherine: Memoirs of a House That Spoke.” She will visit, sell and sign her book from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Perry will also host the evening Spirit Stroll, an event she created last year. The stroll is at 5:30 p.m. and those attending should call to sign up for planning purposes by noon, Wednesday, Oct. 14. Call: 765-575-4619.
Joining her at both the open house and the Spirit Stroll is Steve Miller, owner of New Castle’s Thornhaven Manor, featured on the SyFy series Ghost Adventures. Miller will accompany the Spirit Stroll tour and sell T-shirts at the Courier from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.. For more information on Thornhaven Manor and Halloween trick or treating activities there, like the webpage at Facebook.com/Thornhavenmanor.
“So what downtown building is haunted by an apparition affectionately known as ‘Margaret?’” asks Perry. “Do the courthouse elevators have unseen fingers pushing the buttons? Which location, a former morgue and funeral parlor, now hosts glowing balls of light that have been spotted floating from room to room?”
She says for the answer to these and many more questions, RSVP for the event.
Staff, past and present
While everyone is invited to the free meal during the entire open house, a special invite is issued to all former employees to make connections with each other at 11:30 a.m. when they can visit and share memories together.
Current staff members will all be present to chat with the public, readers and advertisers specifically from noon to 2 p.m. and at other times during the day when available.