Thursday, July 10, 2008

Home Sweet Home

Home. I've been contemplating just what that means ever since fM announced the topic of "Celebrate Home" for the upcoming edition of Smile For The Camera. I lived in three different houses while growing up in the rural communities of North Webster and the Barbee Lakes. And while I consider that area to be my "hometown" because that is where I grew up, none of those houses hold any special meaning for me. However I do have fond memories of those locations and some of the events (birthday parties, holidays, family gatherings, etc) held there. And of the people who lived there, family and neighbors.

After graduation from high school, I bounced back and forth between living at "home" and living in apartments in Fort Wayne. I lost track of how many times I moved during that time. Then, after three years, it was off to join the Navy, with numerous duty stations during my 9+ years of service. And, in the nearly 30 years since my discharge from the Navy, I've only lived in six different places. Several hold a place in my heart, again, not so much for the buildings themselves but rather for the memories they recall. Two of the places I've especially enjoyed living in are shown below.

Eastbrique Tower on Fruitridge Avenue, Terre Haute, Indiana. I lived here 1979-1982. I don't know when the house was built but it was quite old. The owner was remodeling it and turning it into apartments. I lived in a little efficiency apartment located in the left corner, first floor. I was devastated when I returned to Terre Haute in 1985 to discover the house had been torn down and the lot turned into a paved parking area for a neighboring restaurant. Inclusion of my shadow was on purpose; I wanted to be in the picture, but the house was really the subject. Copyright © 1982/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman.

Knapp Lake. Noble County, Indiana. The little house in the upper right is where my mother lived for fifteen years. I lived there with her for about two years. The front yard would flood in the spring or during heavy rains, but luckily the house itself didn't. Neighbors were in close proximity but it didn't matter, living on the waterfront was wonderful. It was a small lake, so no big powerboats were allowed, just fishing boats and pontoons. Infrared Photograph. Copyright © 1985/2008 by Rebeckah R. Wiseman.


  1. Your lake photo tells a story all its own; it looks like those boats were just pulled ashore...

  2. This is the only picture I have ever seen of the "Casa Roma". I loved this building. My parents had bought the building and my father had brought it back to life. We put countless hours into the restoration of the immense wood throughout the home. In one room the opening of the fireplace exceeded 5' and I could walk into the opening. That room also hosted 20' ceilings and touted solid walnut ceiling beams and the room lead out by way of grand french doors that were arched. Behind this manor house was a carriage house that we were converting to a Art Studio/Antique shop. My father feel ill to lung cancer before it was completed. On the day of my fathers funeral in August in 1994 my mother gave me a box that contained a single brick. It was one of two cornerstone bricks from the building. That is how I found out "The Castle" had been demolished. My mother had the building bulldozed the night before the funeral. She destroyed the building at night because she feared the city would stop her from tearing down the oldest remaining grand home on Fruitridge Ave. The land was then sold on the day of the funeral to the restaurant next door for extra parking.

    1. Donna, thank you for sharing the story of 'The Castle.' I have fond memories of that place. Your father showed me every room before I moved in. Since I was a poor college student, I could only afford the efficiency apartment. I really would have loved to live in one of the larger apartments. The woodwork was amazing and your father (and whomever helped him) did a wonderful job in restoring it.

      Was the house demolished in 1994 or 1984? In my post I said I visited Terre Haute in 1985 and the house was gone. I could easily have gotten the year mixed up. I'm sure that had it been publicly known, there would have been an outcry to prevent it being destroyed. I'm amazed that your mother was able to pull that off without it being public knowledge! It's sad that it was torn down. It was a grand old place.

    2. Donna, I have another photo of the house, taken from the other side that actually shows the tower. If you are interested I could post it on the blog or email it to you.

  3. No my mistake 1984. I would love to have a copy of the picture. To this day I still refinish wood for a living.(I was a fine arts major) The name Casa Roma was what it was called in the 1940's when it was a restaurant. The building itself took years to complete. (1860's to 1870's) The couple that built the house went on an extended stay in Europe. Each room was built one at a time. The wife would sent back ideas from homes that she liked in Europe. Many people think it was added on to but that was the way it was built. They say the wife did not see the home till it was finished and loved it. Also each room was furnished in the style of that room.


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