Boo! Did I scare you?

“One of the most enjoyable affairs of the term was a Halloween party at the house of Miss Gertrude McComb, 1410 South Third street, on Oct. 13. The early part of the evening was spent in music and story telling. At 10:00 o’clock the guests were seated in the dining room. The place cards were hand painted and the names of the guests were written backward. On the opposite side of the card was a verse, which told where the fortune of each person was hidden in the house. Lighted green candles were placed on each plate and over the flame marshmallows were toasted.”

This was the description of Halloween 1914 style. The entry was recorded in the October 1914 issue of “The Normal Advance,” a magazine “devoted to the interests of the Indiana State Normal School” in Terre Haute, Ind. This monthly journal was written and published by students and faculty. Today, these journals are housed in the Indiana State University Archives, 650 Eagle Street.

To read more about this particular Halloween party, click here. To find other Halloween stories on WV3, click here.


Are you sure this is the right location?

“What was our astonishment to find ourselves still in the midst of the forest, no village, not even a house in sight. Our guide having given orders to the driver, led us down into a ravine, whence we beheld through the trees on the other side a frame house with a stable and some sheds. ‘There,’ he said, ‘is the house where the postulants have a room, and where you will lodge until your house is ready.’”

Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, foundress of the Sisters of Providence, wrote these words in her journal about the evening she and her five sister-companions first stepped foot on Saint Mary-of-the-Woods soil on Oct. 22, 1840. Today, the Sisters of Providence celebrate Oct. 22 as Foundation Day.

To view sketches of some of the early buildings erected on the motherhouse grounds, click here. To learn more about Indiana’s first saint, visit here.


Take me out to the ball game

The late Margaret Gisolo was way ahead of her time. As a child growing up in Blanford, Ind., in the 1920s and 1930s, all she wanted to do was play baseball. And if that meant playing on a boys’ team, so be it.

She earned a spot on the Blanford Cubs American Legion team. In 1928, the Cubs won the Indiana American Legion championship. In the 1930s, Margaret played on girls’ traveling baseball teams.

In 1935, Margaret graduated from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Ind., and became the Terre Haute Girl Scouts first full-time executive director.

Margaret’s unique life and career eventually took her to Arizona State University where she became chair of the dance department. Her dance program was one of the best in the country.

To view images from Margaret’s life, click here. To view her obituary on the Terre Haute Tribune-Star website, click here.


Going to the dogs

This 1910 dog tag is rusted because it was buried in the ground for several years. Issued by the town of Seelyville, Ind., this tag is from the private collection of Wayne A. Langman, Terre Haute, Ind. Just imagine — someone’s faithful companion wore this lucky number 13 tag! Even “back in the day,” our domesticated animals needed to be licensed.

The town of Seelyville has several other items in its collection. View them here.

Seelyville is located on U.S. Route 40.


A tribute to Max Ehrmann

“You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.” These are a few of the words of Terre Haute poet and lawyer Max Ehrmann in his poem, Desiderata. A poem known throughout the world, Ehrmann was never given the proper recognition for his work. Indeed, through the years, many in Terre Haute forgot that a man from this city penned this work.

All of that has now changed as the City of Terre Haute celebrated in August the unveiling of a Max Ehrmann statue created by sculptor Bill Wolfe. The words of Ehrmann’s celebrated poem appear on a nearby bronze plaque.

In 1997, Mike McCormick, Vigo County historian, wrote about Ehrmann and Desiderata in an ad sponsored by Terre Haute First National (Financial) Bank, Wabash Valley Profiles: A series of tributes to hometown people and events that have shaped our history. The Vigo County Historical Society, 1411 S. 6th Street, Terre Haute, is the repository for this ad as well as numerous other ads sharing the history and people of Vigo County.

To view Ehrmann’s article click here. To read an article from the Terre Haute Tribune-Star about the unveiling of the statue, click here. To visit the Vigo County Historical Society’s collection on WV3, click here.


Celebrating a saint!

October is a very special month for the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Ind. The celebrating starts on Oct. 2, the birthday of this saint. She entered this world in 1798 in the village of Etables-sur-Mer in Brittany, France. Her parents gave her the name Anne-Thérèse.

On Oct. 15, 2006, during a ceremony in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican in Rome, Pope Benedict XVI canonized her as a saint of the Catholic Church. Her Feast Day is celebrated Oct. 3.

Another special day is Oct. 22, Foundation Day. On this date in 1840, Mother Theodore and her five sister-companions came to the Woods. Every Sister of Providence knows the famous words spoken by Father Buteux on this historic evening: “Come down, Sisters, we have arrived.”

In the sisters’ collection on WV3, you can view some of the artifacts that belonged to Mother Theodore. You can also view her journals that were penned by her own hand. The earliest journals are written in French.

To visit the collection of the Sisters of Providence, click here. To learn more about Saint Mother Theodore Guerin, visit here.