Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Mixed Bag from Home

During a visit to my old hometown, my mom, Nancy, took me on a trip down memory lane – literally. We traveled every single road and alley, reminiscing over who lived where when she was young while I added my recollections from my youth.

I've always loved this house. It still looks exactly the same as it did 10, 20, even 30 or more years ago. I know the owner, too. Morristown, Indiana

I’ve always loved this house. It still looks exactly the same as it did 10, 20, even 30 or more years ago. And so does the owner. Love ya, Joe! 😉 Morristown, Indiana.

Neither one of us was sure of who the current occupiers were for some of the homes, but others still had the same owners. Knowing at least some things hadn’t changed made my heart glad. Seeing the neglected state of some of these made me sad.

Several of the images aren’t of abandoned places, but maybe of derelict buildings, overgrown yards, or outbuildings in desperate need of attention. A few are thrown in just because they mean something special to me.

I’ll start out this series with a few sent to me by a good hometown friend, Jeffrey Long, who now lives in Ohio. I would love to have seen this mill in all its former glory.

Bieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio.Bieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio. Photo copyright Jeffrey Long | lisanneharris.comBieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio.Bieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio. Photo copyright Jeffrey Long | lisanneharris.comBieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio.Bieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio. Photo copyright Jeffrey Long | lisanneharris.comBieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio.Bieber Mill, north of Delaware, Ohio. Photo copyright Jeffrey Long | lisanneharris.com

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I know it’s hard to find, but there is a garage in there. Somewhere in Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

This house is right next to Joe’s. I always thought it was pretty cool with the white columns and balcony. I never knew who lived there, but mom did. I wish I could remember what she told me. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

We didn’t notice the front of this house looking empty and neglected. All it needs is a handyman and his family to move in and bring it back to life. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

It looks like someone forgot to saw off a few boards before nailing them on. Still a cool-looking old barn. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

Mom recalled this being a dry cleaning business when she was young. It’s now a 2-bed/1-bath for sale according to Realtor.com. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

In need of a little tlc. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I know whose steps these are and I bet the house they belong to is every bit of 100 years old. The house is fairing very well for its age. The steps lead to a sidewalk that I don’t think is used but maybe one day out of the year. 🙂 Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I recall this being Boring’s Auto Shop. I don’t know what it was before or after. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I’ve always wanted to explore behind these cellar doors. This is another that has looked the same for at least 30 years. I used to know who lived here, but can’t remember now. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I don’t know who lives here now, but I once did. I was 11 years-old and visiting family in Chicago Heights, Illinois with my great-grandmother when we moved into this house. My older brother and sister picked out their rooms and left for me the creepy one with the door to the attic in it. :-\ I was afraid to go to sleep every single night. I always thought the basement was an eerie place, too – it had a large room with several shower heads, kind of like a locker room. I wondered if it was for servants. I would love to know its history, but never thought to research it until now. Morristown, Indiana

Morristown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

This is the former home of my great-great grandparents, Lindley Hoag Pitts and Cora Swain Pitts. It had been the Hauk-Spencer Mortuary for at least the last 40 years. It’s up for sale now and I wish I could buy it. Morristown, Indiana

Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I’m not positive, but I believe I remember this old gas/service station being open when I was very little. Fountaintown, Indiana.

The old Fountaintown elevator. Closed many years ago. Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

The old Fountaintown, Indiana elevator. Closed many years ago.

The old Toon's Restaurant. Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

The old Toon’s Restaurant. Fountaintown, Indiana. I can’t remember what was written on the side and can’t make out more than NO— probably CORNER RESTAURANT.  Update: Norris Corner Restaurant Open 6a.m. 🙂

Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

This strange little one-room abode had three entrances. I guess the owner needed a quick escape route. Fountaintown, Indiana.

Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

I love the pop of green. It’s a shame to see this little dwelling go to waste. Fountaintown, Indiana

Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

It had electricity. I think the owner should revamp the place, add a nice bathroom on the back and rent it to out-of-town visitors for $15 a night. 🙂 Fountaintown, Indiana.

Old Fountaintown Car Wash. Fountaintown, Indiana. Copyright Lis’Anne Harris | lisanneharris.com

Old Fountaintown Car Wash. I used to go there with my older sister and future brother-in-law way back in the day and watch him pamper his 1965 Firebird. I’m sure I thought I was the coolest chick hanging out with them! Fountaintown, Indiana.

The following series of images from the 1970-1971 Fountaintown School Yearbook is compliments of Jeffrey DeFord. Thanks for sharing!

Ftown 70-71 0001 Ftown 70-71 0002 Ftown 70-71 0003 Ftown 70-71 0004 Ftown 70-71 0005 Ftown 70-71 0006 Ftown 70-71 0007 Ftown 70-71 0008 Ftown 70-71 0009 Ftown 70-71 0010 Ftown 70-71 0011 Ftown 70-71 0012 Ftown 70-71 0013 Ftown 70-71 0014 Ftown 70-71 0015 Ftown 70-71 0016 Ftown 70-71 0017

If you have a series of interesting, sad, old, derelict anything from this town or any other and would like to share them, shoot me a message at lisanneharris (@) cox.net.

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40 thoughts on “Sadly, Utterly Abandoned Mixed Bag from Home

  1. The Toon’s restaurant building in Fountaintown had “Norris Corner Restaurant Open 6am” painted on the side. 🙂 Great pictures!!

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      • Fountaintown is a very interesting little town. I have only lived here for 8 years but passed through it every weekend when I was younger. A lot of changes through the years! Do you remember the “Carrolton or Finley” signs on US 52? Used to chuckle to myself when reading the sign. Carrolton has 5 different names! The grey block service station in Fountaintown used to be a tractor dealership. I would love to someday buy that building, restore it and run my sign business out of that shop.

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        • Doesn’t the sign still have both names on it? My mom lives just across the tracks in Finley/Finly/Carrolton/Carrollton/Tailholt/Reedville/Kinder/Turkey Run. 😉 The last name is what my dad (who grew up in Fountaintown) used to call it.

          I don’t remember that grey building being a tractor dealership, but as a kid I’m sure I wasn’t paying much attention. If you have the opportunity to buy it, do! I can’t stand to see useful buildings go to waste. Somehow hide/disguise the guardrail around that dangerous-looking hole in the ground, though. 😀

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          • Sadly, the sign now just says Carrolton. Small world, I used to work at the AgOne Co-Op (now Harvestland) plant in Finly. I am also on the Fountaintown Volunteer Fire Department. I have probably come in contact with your Mother at some time. There used to be a bunch of neat old pictures in the office at the Co-Op of the old elevator that stood there. Sadly, those old elevators are becoming a thing of the past. I grew up just North of US 40 on 200 West in Hancock County. From 1976 on, almost every weekend, Mom, Dad, my Sister and I piled in Dad’s Jeep and drove 200W to US 52, then South on 9 to visit my Grandparent’s farm, which was South of Columbus. A little silly, perhaps, but I always felt like Fountaintown was home. I now live 2 miles South of Fountaintown on 9 where I have a sign shop in the old farrowing house on my property.

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    • There used to be a skating rink next door & my mother used to work there, we lived in the two story house right across the street, I can remember the evening it burnt down, the volunteer fire department was able to save the restaurant and our house next to the post office. The Stringers owned the restaurant back then they later opened a small pool hall right behind it. I walked past it every day attending the grade school behind it.
      Roy Slaughter owned the Regal grocery store across the street.
      The old gas station was owned by Jeff Jeffries, he had a Moline Tractor sign out front as he was a dealer also. He never sold gas as I remember but was always busy working on peoples automobiles.

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      • Thank you so much for filling in so many missing details! My dad grew up not far down Division Rd. and received his early education at the school in Fountaintown. My aunt used to live several houses west of the grocery store and I remember walking to it with my cousins to get candy and such. The only other things not mentioned that I remember are the old drive-in theater at 9 & 52 that’s now gone and the gas station right across from it on the corner that’s now turned into a home. 🙂

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  2. Wow! Jimmy Johns…”The Southerner”, I called him!! He was a great man. You are truly lucky to have had him in your life. I miss him and his laid back southern accent!

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    • I miss him an awful lot. No matter how sick he was or how bad he felt, he always had a smile on his face. And if I needed something, anything, he was always right there for me. I’m so glad you knew him, too!

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  3. I am the President of the Hancock County Historical Society – – we have a couple pictures of the old gas station that was once located in Carrollton/Finley on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.637129503002198.1073741833.168605699854583&type=3

    I ran across your blog – – because I was searching for sites using the names of the town. I am interested in any older pictures anyone might have of the town. Also, would be interested in seeing if there is anyone who knows about some really OLD history of the town. There is another Riley connection to the town – – in that Mary Alice Smith (James Whitcomb Riley’s Little Orphant Annie) lived there with her grandmother, Alice Smith – a seamstress from the ages of 4 to about 11. This would be 1854 – 1861. Would love to determine – – WHICH house this was. I also know she attended a one room schoolhouse in the area too.

    Any help??

    Thanks

    Brigette

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    • I wish I could help, but I don’t know anyone who grew up there or had ancestors who were from Finley/Carrolton. I love the interesting history though, and if I should come across anyone who knows anything, I’ll direct them to you!

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  4. My name is Jeff DeFord. I grew up in Fountaintown. I was actually born in Greencastle in 1961, but lived in Fountaintown from 1962 until 1973 and attended the old elementary school there. I remember it was a big deal for me to cross 52 and go over to Roy’s Grocery to buy baseball cards before school started. My dad, David DeFord, was a volunteer at the fire department and he also worked at the F&M Oil Company for awhile. Another memory is Jeff Jeffries driving his car sitting on the passenger side steering with his left hand while delivering the mail. I can remember our neighbors were the Muncie family and the Dobbins family that lived next door to the Hunt’s (later the Bowling’s). We lived in the house that is now owned by the Purcell’s (I think that is their name). I can remember being able to see the movies at the drive-in from our upstairs bedroom window! I also remember my mom, Becky DeFord, painting the logo on the side of the Gooding Sanitation trucks. My dad and Al Gooding worked at Western Electric together briefly and shared rides to work. We attended the Fountaintown Christian Church which apparently is gone. I live in San Diego now. The last time I visited Fountaintown I stopped at my old house and Mrs. Purcell let me come in and take a tour. She was so friendly and welcomed me with such a great warmth of hospitality. That was about 2008. I also stopped at the elementary school to take pictures and talked to the folks that were running a carpet business (?) out of it and they let me take a memento – a brick from the pile from where they had knocked out some of the wall in the back where the gymnasium was. Just peeking in and looking at the old gym made me choke up. I played basketball for the Spartans on the 4th/5th and 5th/6th grade teams. I can remember playing teams like Waldron and Shelby. My coach was Mr. Ford – he was a great teacher and a wonderful man. He bought me a pair of Converse “Chuck Taylor” tennis shoes when he found out I didn’t have any tennis shows to wear. I’ll never forget that. My teachers were Mrs. Hagen (1st), Mrs. Dunham (2nd), Mrs. Porter (3rd), Mrs. Keffaber (4th), Mr. Ford (5th) and the principal was Mr. Reed. If I remember correctly the music teacher was Miss Cass. Our family moved to Wanamaker in 1973 and I started 6th grade there. Fountaintown will always be my “home town”. I have so many more memories that I’d like to share, but I’m sure you’ve read enough of my ramblings. Thank you for posting the photos (especially the car wash – that was a fun place to go with dad and get the ’64 Falcon all spruced up).

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    • I love all your wonderful memories, Jeff! Thank you for sharing them! I only recognized a few of those surnames, but I’m sure others here know most of them. The Fountaintown Christian Church is still very much alive on the outskirts of the west side of town. A few of my really good friends go there. The Fountaintown United Methodist church is still open and active, as well. 🙂

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  5. The one room abode was actually a front porch to a house. My neighbor’s Aunt used to live there. It has since been demolished. The Farquers could tell you a lot about Fountaintown.

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  6. There was also a nursing home in Fountaintown, just east of the Fire Station. It was destroyed by fire in the early 60’s and several residents of the nursing home died.
    My grandmother, Stella Basey worked at the Drive-In at the corner of 52 and 9.

    I have never lived outside of Fountaintown – I’m glad to call it my home.

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    • I know the area you’re talking about, Marva, and it seems I faguely recall something being there. Maybe even the burned building. That’s so sad about the residents. 😦

      I remember watching movies at the drive-in theater in the late 60s or very early 70s! I happened to be in Fountaintown visiting my Aunt Beth the day the tornado came through that destroyed it. I always wondered why the owners didn’t rebuild. Back then, drive-ins were still pretty popular.

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      • Hi Marva! Do you have any pictures of the Drive-In? I remember my dad telling me his account of the nursing home fire when he was a volunteer. Also, I think I may have some photos of the tornado damage of some structures around town.

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          • Hello Lis’Anne,

            I have attached photos my dad took of the aftermath of the 4-3-74 tornado that hit Fountaintown. The only one I can identify is the old fire department where he was a volunteer. Hopefully some readers of your blog can identify the other structures. I believe I may have some more photos and will send them if I can find them. I have scans of two Fountaintown Elementary yearbooks (1968-69 and 1970-71) that are full of great pics of the school in its heyday. I will send those to you. Maybe you could use some of the content.

            Thank you!

            Jeff DeFord 

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          • Here are a few pics I took around town back in September 2007. The cornerstone is the year the gymnasium was added to the actual school itself.

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          • Hi Lis’Anne,

            If you’d like, I can send you scans of 2 Fountaintown yearbooks (1968-69 and 1970-71) via my Dropbox account. I need a regular email address, though.

            Jeff DeFord 

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  7. Anne Currie owns the blue house with all of the flowers. Sam northern lived in the white house with the columns last, but I do not know his parents names.

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  8. I use to live in the White House at the west end of town that use to be the neighborhood barbershop. My daughters great grandfather told me he use to get his hair cut there. We had several people over the years tell us the got their hair cut there.

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  9. I used live a few houses down from where you lived, when I was a kid…probably mid 80s…I was friends with a kid named Lonnie that lived there…I remember being in the attic and getting stuck up there…pretty neat house….memories. -Ryan

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    • As an adult, I can now appreciate how cool that attic was. Sorry you got stuck in it though. As a kid, I would’ve freaked! LOL I had nightmares about the dead bat I saw up there. Super creepy! Thanks for sharing, Ryan!

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    • There was a gas station/garage at the southwest corner of 9 & 52. It was turned into a home many years ago, but I think it’s now gone. The grey garage in the pictures above is right across from the Methodist church in the middle of town on U.S. 52. The restaurant is still standing at the northwest intersection of 52 & Division Rd. Directly across the highway from it was the local grocery store. I remember going there as a kid with my cousins to buy candy. 🙂

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  10. The Toon’s restaurant was owned by my Aunt and Uncle, Riley and Donald Toon. Donald was my dad, Bob Toon’s brother. I ate there many times with them and miss them both so much!

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