Saturday in Carthage

When the alarm rang at 7:00 am, I was thinking more "relaxation" than "research." However, I had an appointment with Michele Hansford in the archives of the Powers Museum and I was looking forward to it. At the Pancake Hut, breakfast and coffee fortified us for some work.

The Powers Museum is located at the west edge of Carthage on West Oak Street. The museum was a gift to the city from Marian Powers Winchester in honor of her parents, and the institution just celebrated its 25th anniversary in June of this year.

Director Michele really knows Carthage history and was of tremendous assistance. I listened, read, and scanned while Steve wrote on his projects for awhile before jumping in to assist with  my work so we wouldn't end up camping out in Michele's archives for another week or two. We finally packed up and left a little while before closing time, with lots of information, souvenirs, and a copy of each of Michele's Arcadia books on Carthage. There are plenty of stories to tell about Carthage, including Arthur Boots and the Boots Court and Boots Drive-In; and the intersection of two great highways - Route 66 and the Jefferson Highway.

Michele Newton Hansford and me at the Powers Museum.

After five or six hours of research and a short nap, we were ready to explore the Carthage square. The Jasper County Courthouse is Romanesque in style, complete with towers, turrets, and multiple arches. It dates from the 1890s and is on the National Register. This edifice is massive and we really enjoyed taking photos from many angles. (It's a mix on this page of Steve's photos and mine.)

Carthage went up in flames during the Civil War and was rebuilt throughout the late 1800s. Most of these buildings still stand in the blocks surrounding the courthouse and exhibit a wealth of architectural ornament. Here's a sampling, plus a couple signs.

Then we hopped in the car and drove to Kellogg Lake and Park, explored some old highway, and finally looked for some dinner. Some good food and excellent service at the Sirloin Stockade was welcome, and then it was back to the Boots Court for a little more time travel. Oh, those '40s tunes and a glass of wine...

Kellogg Lake


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