Monday, April 16, 2018

A Guide to Indiana State Parks

A Guide to Indiana State Parks

Thursday, March 29, 2018

Monday, March 19, 2018

Sample Chapter - Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails - McAllister Covered Bridge

McAllister Covered Bridge

McAllister Covered Bridge - Parke County, Indiana
McAllister Covered Bridge - Parke County, Indiana
Located on County Road 400S a little over a half mile from Bridgeton Road.
Constructed by Joseph Albert Britton in 1914, this 125 foot long Burr arch-truss bridge spans Little Raccoon Creek. The National Register of Historic Places listed the bridge on December 22, 1978. The bridge was restored in 1977.
Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails
Parke County Covered Bridge Auto Trails
Joseph Albert Britton (June 9, 1838 – Jan. 18, 1929)
The son of Charlton and Julia Britton, Joseph was native to Rockville, Indiana. He spent his boyhood in a log cabin while his father taught him the carpenter trade. Known locally as J.A. Britton, Joseph constructed over 40 covered bridges in Parke, Putnam, and Vermillion counties during a 33-year period.
Civil War Prisoner of War
After the outbreak of the Civil War, Brittan enlisted in the Eighty-fifth Indiana Infantry, Company A. The Confederates surrounded his company during their first engagement on March 5, 1863 and captured them. The Confederates held them until March 31 at Libbey Prison. On that day, they took part in a prisoner exchange and returned to combat. The Company returned to action and mustered out June 12, 1865. After leaving the army, Britton read law and gained admittance to the Indiana and Kansas bars. He practiced in Kansas, but decided he did not like law practice. Thus, he returned to Rockville and took up carpentry, building houses until around 1879. He started building covered bridges in that year, and would continue building for another 33 years. His first contract for a bridge came in 1882. This was the Narrow's Bridge that is now in Turkey Run State park. He preferred the short, Burr Arch Trussone span bridges. Many of his bridges are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Britton would marry twice, the first time to Mary E. Jones on Sep 25, 1862. Mary died in 1884 and he married Bertha Hirshbruner on September 13, 1888. He would have eight sons and four daughters. Several of his sons entered the bridge building business.
Joseph Albert Britton died in 1929 and is interred in Rockville Cemetery.

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Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Sample Chapter - Gardener's Guide to Growing Onions in the Vegetable Garden - Onion Garden Culture:

Onion Garden Culture:

Onion Garden Culture:
Onion Garden Culture:
Gardener's Guide to Growing Onions in the Vegetable Garden
Gardener's Guide to Growing 
Onions in the Vegetable Garden
Plant onion sets shallow, with the tops exposed. Onion plants should be no more than one inch deep. As the onions grow, the bulb exposes itself about the soil. It is best to allow this, as it will help keep the onion from rotting as it matures. Use well rotted compost or a slow release fertilizer at planting. Onions will deplete the fertilizer as they grow. Onions that mature in the less fertile soil should be sweeter than onions that still have fertilizer available to them. Use organic mulch like shredded leaves or grass clippings to reduce weeds and conserve soil moisture. Keep the onions watered well, as they have shallow roots and cannot delve deep for water. Do not allow the soil to become soggy, as that will induce rot. Pencil size onion plants will produce the best onions. Larger ones may go to seed while smaller ones will stay small. Plant both the larger and smaller seedlings close together and harvest in a few weeks as green onions.

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Monday, March 12, 2018

Sample Chapter - Driving the Canals and Rivers Auto Trail - Duck Creek Aqueduct - Franklin County Historical Marker

Duck Creek Aqueduct - Franklin County Historical Marker

Duck Creek Aqueduct - Franklin County Historical Marker
Duck Creek Aqueduct - Franklin County Historical Marker
Erected by:
National Historical Civil Engineering Landmark 1992
Located: 
South of Canal, East End of Main Street, Metamora, Indiana (#11 on Metamora Map)
Text and History:   
Duck Creek Aqueduct is the only aqueduct that remains of over a hundred that once existed in the U.S.  The poplar trusses rest on limestone abutments, the siding is also poplar and the roof would originally have been shingled.  The aqueduct was built in 1843, destroyed by flood and rebuilt in 1847.  The floor now has a metal sheathing over the planked bed.   The two openings on each side release water into Duck Creek and help control the water level of the canal.

Driving the Canals and Rivers  Auto Trail
Driving the Canals and Rivers  Auto Trail
Brief History by the Author
The Duck Creek Aqueduct is the oldest covered bridge style aqueduct remaining in the United States. Constructed by the Whitewater Canal Company, the structure replaced the original open trough aqueduct that washed out in a flood in 1847. The builder of the bridge used a covered bridge that was under construction and adapted it to the current design. The aqueduct carries the waters of the Whitewater Canal over Duck Creek before it empties into the Whitewater River.  It measures approximately ninety feet long, twenty-five feet wide, and twenty-five feet deep. The aqueduct deteriorated through disuse and abandonment. The state of Indiana restored it to the present condition in 1949, a project begun in 1946. The National Register of Historic Places listed it in 2014.
Whitewater Canal Company
Authorized by the Internal Improvements Act of 1836, the State of Indiana authorized the company to build the Whitewater Canal. The company formed because of a meeting from representatives from Dearborn, Fayette, Franklin, Randolph, Union, and Wayne counties in 1822. They appointed seven commissioners to oversee the company. The company sold 40,000 shares of stock at $25 per share. The State of Indiana granted the Company 1.4 million dollars in the budget of the Internal Improvements Act of 1836.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

Sample Chapter - Ten Fantastic Fantasy Tales - Benny, Benny, Short as a Penny

Benny, Benny, Short as a Penny

From:
Ten Fantastic Fantasy Tales
Ten Fantastic Fantasy Tales
Ten Fantastic Fantasy Tales

Modern technology be damned. Benny first shook the machine and then pounded on the side of it with his fist. What was taking so long? Did that dratted contraption have to mint the coins first?
He bent over and peered in the coin slot of the dollar changer in the seedy little Laundromat at the edge of town. In the dim light inside the machine, he saw, no that was impossible. He straightened up, closed his eyes and rubbed them. Blinking to clear his sight, he bent to peer in the coin slot again.
He really had seen it.
There was a small table with four little men seated around it, playing cards in the confined space of the interior. A little whiskey bottle, half-empty, occupied the center of the table. The men were all dressed in green and sported long beards. Two were smoking little black cigars.
Benny stood up and glanced over his shoulder. He could see his car idling by the curb outside. He needed that change for the condom machine in the restroom. He finally had Billy Rae in the mood, and now this blamed change machine was messing with him. He bent over again, pounded on the side of the machine again and shouted, “I want my change. You bunch of little creeps are gumming up the works. Get out of the way and let it give me my change.”
At this, one of the little men stood up, put down his cards, stuck his cigar in his mouth and stomped over to the hole.  He peered out at Benny's eyeball.
“We are on break, crap wad. You have to wait until break time is over. Then you will get your stinking change.”
“I want my change now, you little toads.”
“We are leprechauns, for your information, not toads. You will get your change when we are darn good and ready to give it to you, ding head.” The leprechaun blew a puff of smoke out through the coin slot into Benny’s eye.
Benny drew back cursing, his eye watering in pain.
“That does it,” he said, kicking the machine and pounding on it harder. “I want my change. Since when do I have to wait on a bunch of little toilet paper tubes to get my change? Who left you mouse turds in charge?”
“Yeah, we are in charge of dispensing the change. Everyone thinks these machines are marvels of technology, but it is us leprechauns who make it all work. We also handle vending machines, and the hand dryers in restrooms. We control those supposedly automatic urinals, too.” At this, the little guy stopped talking and looked at Benny through the slot in the hole.
“Hey, I know you. My cousin Vince operates the urinal in your office. I know all about you.”
“What do you mean you know all about me?”
“Hey guys,” shouted the leprechaun. “This is the fellow Vince was telling us about. Remember, ‘Benny, Benny, short as a penny.’ This is the guy.”
The other leprechauns roared with laughter. One of them held up his thumb and forefinger about a half-inch apart and yelled, “Benny, Benny, short as a penny.”
The other leprechauns guffawed, slapping their knees, tears streaming from their eyes.
Angered by the sassy leprechauns, Benny started pounding on the machine and swearing at it. A policeman happened to walk by the door and watched the display for a few minutes. He opened the door and walked over to Benny.
“Are you having a problem, sir?”
Benny turned around and saw the policeman.
“The leprechauns in there won’t give me my change. They are a bunch of thieves. They took my dollar and won’t give me my change.” Benny stomped his foot in anger.
The police officer looked at Benny. Then he looked at the changer.
“Leprechauns? Thieves? No change?”
The policeman inched closer and sniffed Benny's breath. His suspicious eye fastened on Benny. “Have you been drinking?”
Benny backed away. “I have had one or two beers. But I am not drunk.”
“H’mm, I think you had better come downtown with me.”
The policeman cuffed Benny and led him from the Laundromat.
The leprechauns returned to their card game, still laughing with glee. The officer led Benny past Billy Rae. She watched with widened eyes from Benny’s car as the policeman put him in the police cruiser.
Benny’s cheeks burned in shame. Leprechauns had humiliated him. Before his girlfriend's watchful gaze the policemen handcuffed him and led him away. And those little mouse turd leprechauns had kept his dollar. He hoped that they wouldn't mention his deficiency to Billie Rae.

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Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Sample Chapter - Gardener's Guide to Growing Sweet Potatoes - Sweet Potato Propagation:Sweet Potato Propagation:

Sweet Potato Propagation:
Sweet Potato Propagation:
Sweet Potato Propagation:
Gardener's Guide to Growing Sweet Potatoes
Gardener's Guide to Growing Sweet Potatoes
The most common way to propagate sweet potatoes is by cuttings. Gardeners can purchase rooted cuttings in the spring from a nursery. They can also half submerge a sweet potato tuber in a glass of water by sticking three toothpicks in the side and suspending the root half in and half out of the water. In a few weeks sprouts will emerge which can be removed and rooted in moist potting medium or in water. Plant the rooted cuttings after all danger of frost has passed in the spring. Gardeners can also take cuttings from established plants in the garden in early fall. Root these and plant in a pot in a sunroom or sunny window. To root, cut the stem into sections with a leaf in each section. Submerge the leaf axil in moist potting soil and keep moist. In a couple of weeks, these should be rooted. Plant them in a pot, grow these all winter indoors, and pinch back in late winter. The plants should do well in a sunroom or south facing window. Do not allow them to freeze. New shoots will appear. Root these shoots in moist potting soil when they are two to three inches long and plant in the garden. Gardeners can also take whole potatoes that have sprouted in the spring and plant them directly in the garden. Cut the roots into sections, with each section containing at least one sprout. The sweet potato will sometimes flower and produce seed. Plant hybridizers use the seed to develop new varieties. Be careful if handling sweet potato seed as it is quite toxic.