Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Town As Old As Dirt

The town we live in an hour an a half south of Chicago over here across the border is called Lowell, Indiana.  The third grade in the town takes a walking tour of it each year because of the history it represents.  Dating back to 1850, the town was once a hub for people on their way to Chicago.  My son's group had the last tour of it's kind which included the old middle school which has since been torn down.  Let's take a walk shall we?

From the back of my son's school, we went through a field and a parking lot to see the old Lowell School built in 1914.  It was last used as the middle school but was originally the high school graduating classes as early as 1919.

Built in 1914

Imagine how majestic this building must have looked back in the days when they were still riding horses to and from school..

From the school, we made our way on to the main road through town where we discovered what some of the buildings originally were including a salon that was a circa 1900 bank and rumored to be one of the last robberies of John Dillinger.

In between a couple of the buildings pictured above, you will find this sundries sign pointing you north to Chicago.  I hope they continue to refresh this sign as long as it needs it.

Original Fire House

A couple blocks north of our current 'main' street otherwise known as Route 2 is the old Main Street where you will find the original Lowell Public School built in 1896.  This building has been vacant for years and somehow continues to avoid being demolished.

Built in 1896

Our last stop was a couple blocks west on Main Street to visit the historic Halsted House built in 1850 which I could easily do an entire post on.  Mr. Halsted is responsible for the railroad coming through from Chicago which also helped in it being the booming city that it was.

Halsted House Built in 1850

Today, Lowell is a quiet little town with old buildings and shops with odd hours.  Many are family owned with a few unsupported shops have been closed altogether just in recent years.  I would love with my extra million dollars, to be able to open a coffee shop that would thrive - I just don't know where I would be able to put a drive-thru.

I love the small town feel and all the history that comes with it.

What is your favorite part of the town you live in?


Angel Shrout said...

The towns that surround me all have old buildings and history like that. I love going on photo expeditions through them all the time and learning the history

Sarah said...

Our town is also very historic. Actually, we live in a historic house from 1914. Love the age of the area & the charm! A river runs through our backyard, which is even better.


31Amber_:) said...

I LOVE going to old towns like that and taking photos. There is just so much history and those buildings to me are beautiful.

laughing abi said...

My first job in high school was at the soda fountain in a Rexall Drug Store! Awww, makes me nostalgic for the good old days.

Frederick Brooke said...

We had a Rexall's in the town where I grew up, too, 23 miles from Chicago. Great post!

Chitownchicas said...

I love small towns. Chicago is such a cool mix of new and old. Where we moved to now, a little. More than an hour outside of Chicago and there are newer towns and then these towns that have been here forever.

Jennifer Hall said...

I love your old town! Marysville is pretty old too. We have this cool opera house where a friend of mine got married. We also have a square of old growth forest smack dab in the middle of town!

CoffeeLovinMom said...

It was really a neat experience. I love the vintage stuff with a good story or two!

CoffeeLovinMom said...

This is also why I like Iowa and lived there for a few years. This town reminds me of it too.

CoffeeLovinMom said...

That's awesome! You were a soda jerk - classic!!

CoffeeLovinMom said...

Thanks Frederick! Rexall's was big back in the day

CoffeeLovinMom said...

I agree! The history all seems to connect somehow too

CoffeeLovinMom said...

Thanks Jen - sounds like yours is quaint too!

ssarah said...

Great article, from a lowellian ;)
I love the history of our dusty old town