The rock and why Vincennes doesn't have it

(A fiction that could be real)

I learned from my brother Joel Updike in early 2011 that the stone marking J.M. Thompson's birthplace in Fairfield was hiding in some weeds near the old Butcher farm.

Why the stone was in that location at the end of old S.R. 101 going into Fairfield (not far from the site of the Redbud) made sense. It still does, but people in Vincennes don't know about that part of the story.

When the Thompson homestead was moved to Vincennes in the late 60s, the stone was already missing. It had been taken to the site of what was perceived to be the location of New Fairfield either by Bob Chapman, LeRoy Stevens or both. They just took the rock there, put it at the corner of S.R. 101 and the new entrance to "town." That's where it belonged and nobody cared. It was a rock. The stone itself was put into place in the late 1930s by a garden club that believed the Thompson home needed to be marked.

Vincennes came looking for the house without knowing the rock even existed. They may not have even wanted it or cared about it. Joel told me they didn't think there was such a stone. Naturally, he knew otherwise. He'd found it in the weeds. When I learned of it, I contacted Julie Schesselman at the library in Brookville. She found it. Now it has a home in Brookville, as close to where it belongs as possible.

Now we need to find the old church bell.