Note from me:

Carl and Ruth Huber owned a farm on the hill near town that eventually became the site of New Fairfield, which exists today. The Huber home still stands and a road is named in their honor. Gayther Plummer and I shared some thoughts on the Hubers. (Mr. Plummer, of Athens, Ga., passed away in September 2014 at the age of 89.)

 

 

* * *

The creamery was a small, one-story, 3-4-rooms structure located 3-4 buildings north of Jinks store, as I recall. The soda fountain area was the front, largest, room. Up front, I recall about four small tables each with heart-shaped, wire-back chairs. The building, I think, was opposite the northern half of the town square.

At that time, the town square had a hitching-rail along its entire west side (in front of Jinks' store) and on the south side. We had no business on the north and east sides of the town square -- so we didn't go there and I don't remember much about that. Otherwise, buggies and wagons were parked (horses tied) along the railings -- 4-6 hitches, especially on Saturday afternoons, which was the usual time for farmers to "go to town". Autos came later into the evenings and parked on the left side of the northbound road, diagonally inward -- toward the stores. Some parked anywhere around the square -- totaling perhaps 6-10 cars. The same people would show up about the same time each week; each one had a favorite spot.

The environment always meant more to me than the people -- so, I didn't know many; and those that I did learn, didn't register very distinctly. But, the 1920s and '30s were about the same everywhere. The Great Depression slowed the economy for everyone, but it really didn't change the culture in Fairfield. Not until the 1940s did life begin to prosper noticeably for a decade or so. After that, Fairfield did change and I went on to do other things.

The creamery was the place in town to get an iced-cream cherry-soda. That soda-fountain was a popular spot for refreshments on Saturday evenings -- many customers.

I mentioned previously that I recalled a saloon. More accurately, up front, it was a billiard parlor, where "booze" were available. The one time I went in there, I distinctly recall two brass spitoons on opposite sides of the room, each one sitting on a large piece of linoleum. Our family did not use tobacco, so those little brass "buckets" were the first I had ever seen -- and the last of that kind ! That pool-hall was on a corner directly across the road from Jinks' store.

Also, it was at Jink's store that I purchased my first pack of cigarettes -- being from a big city, I thought I was a big fellow. Of course, the clerk took the 10 cents, gave me the pack, then told my Uncle Carl, who not only gave me a lecture about the dangers of fires on the farm, but gave me an uncle's stern lecture on behavior that he expected. His discipline worked -- also indelibly.

Fairfield made many impressions on me in those days.

 

Note from me:

I also asked about the highway. It had been my impression that S.R. 101, built during the Depression, followed the same route as the old one to Brookville, Apparently, I was wrong. Gayther fills me in. This is wonderful information, and I doubt I could have found it anywhere else! -- John

* * *

The original rocked river-road from Fairfield entered Brookville on the west side of the river -- intersecting the Brookville Road from Indianapolis -- then both roads crossed over an iron overhead bridge and entered town. In Indianapolis, my family lived within a half-mile from the Brookville Road, that became US 52. Because getting to Fairfield from Brookville was so difficult in 1932-'33, we customarily drove by-way-of Connersville, Blooming Grove, and then to Fairfield. The flat-lands were better to navigate than the bottom-lands.

After crossing the covered bridge near Fairfield, we traveled an elevated road and met a T-shaped intersection on an upper terrace. The long end of the T went left into Fairfield. The top part of the T went straight-a-way up the Berg-Klein-Huber-hill over the top and down Rocky Hollow on the east side -- an abandoned public road and short-cut, as I mentioned before. At that time, the Klein place had been vacant for years. (I never knew the Kleins -- only by name. But it was the best place to pick the biggest blackberries on the hill; ... good place too for chiggers and blacksnakes.)

Whatever, beyond the covered bridge, at the T-intersection, were three mailboxes on the right side the road and near the left-turn to Fairfield. Mail, and the Brookville Democrat, came but once a week then, and customarily we all looked forward to Wednesdays. Then, a short time later, to my surprise, only two mailboxes were newly placed along new SR 101 at the entrance to the uphill road to the Huber-place. The mail was always carried up the hill by whomever passed the boxes first. By then, I was already set-in-my-ways and the new location for the mailboxes never did seem right.

But, I was really aghast when I saw the new SR101 divided the Smiester-farm into pieces.

So, new SR101 was laid out freshly on the east side the river; and it made some everlasting impressions on a lot of farmers and people in general. Just think, 30 mph could get one to the McCormick-Deering store in Brookville and back home with a new part -- before noon. Further, the blacksmith in Fairfield always sharpened sickle-blades for the hay-mowers, the reapers, and made hinges for heavy gates; but, the new road made earning-a-living a little more difficult for him, especially since horses, on the flatlands, were being replaced by Fordson tractors.

 

 

Carl Huberís magnificent vehicle!