Friday, November 03, 2006

Friday Family Photo

The Bruce home in Elwood, Indiana

C.L. Bruce's father had disappeared when he was very young. He originally come to Elwood, IN to look for him and worked in the glass factory as a glass blower. He answered an ad for a room in the Heffner household, and met his future wife, Abbie. His future father-in-law who owned a sawmill liked him and gave him a job in the Elwood office. Soon he was in charge of the mill and coal office. He ran for Mayor of Elwood and promised street lights, but lost the election (making his wife quite happy). Abbie inherited money and property from her father, but C.L. was sort of a visionary and added an auto dealership to the sawmill and coal business.

The family first lived in a home owned by Abbie parents, then they had this big house in the photo at 902 South Anderson, opposite Abbie's parents. Abbie died of diabetes when my husband's father, the youngest of 9, was about 4 years old. After C.L. lost his business during the Depression, the family moved back to the smaller home on D Street. To earn a living he went on the road selling fruit, and the 3 younger children were left alone, the youngest my husband's father. They lived for awhile in Marion, IN, with their father and then the two youngest moved to Indianapolis to live with an older sister and finish high school. So my husband and his father attended the same high school, Arsenal Technical High School.

About 10 years ago we drove to Elwood to see if we could find this house. We had only a photograph and a street name. We found a beautifully restored early 20th century home and the owner came out when she saw us taking photographs. She invited us in, and we were just amazed by the beauty and woodwork, and how she had decorated it so authentically for the period. However, at some point she mentioned that there had never been children in this home which is why most of the appointments (elaborate carvings) were still in tact. We realized we were in the wrong house, because C.L. and Abbie had 9 children. We drove further on the street and found it--cut up into many apartments, wrapped in wide, fading aluminum siding, and the porch filled in. It was enough to make you cry.


Anonymous said...

What a beautiful house
U had me smiling and remembering when we went and looked, took photos and where invited into the house where my man grew up
and then OHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh it is sad what they actually did to the right house
We would have been upset too


That is a big house and it still looks intact. Lots of windows too.
Thanks for stopping by.