Monday, June 6, 2011

Billie Creek Village

It is fascinating to me how nicknames get started and soon no one knows what the real name is. That happened with Billie Creek, once known as William Creek. Billie Creek Village is a recreated, authentic turn-of-the-century village and home to three of Parke County's famous bridges. Two old churches, a school and even Indiana's tenth governor's home has been moved to this village. It is very much a living history museum. I especially like the old livery stable which is located in this village. It was built in 1870 and the signage on it noted that it was a "stable environment" where one could rent or keep horses. The Village's original architect considered the barn "one of the finest specimens of hand workmanship in the area".  The up-right studs are all hand-hewn and are held together by wooden dowels.  Below is a picture of the old livery stable.
Western Indiana has not been spared from all the recent flooding. For lunch we stopped at a park in Montezuma as John wanted to see the Wabash Erie Canal Turnaround. We soon discovered that it no longer exists, but is rather now a ditch with a trickle of water in it. We ate lunch in a city park by the Wabash, as you can see by the picture, the river has overflowed its banks.
It was a very warm day and got even hotter when the sun came out. We stopped at Mansfield, Indiana to check out the Mansfield Roller Mill State Historic Site. However,the mill was too warm for me so I walked down to the covered bridge, located near the mill, to sit by the creek and dip my feet in the cool water.
I mentioned earlier about nicknames and how they sometimes take on their own interesting history. The same can be said of certain common phrases. Ever hear of the expression "rule of thumb"? I learned at the mill that a miller could tell whether his machinery was working properly by the feel of the flour between his thumb and fingers. It was not very scientific, but it was the Rule of Thumb.

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