St. Francisville In My Search For Past Time

First posted Tue 09/28/2010 03:56 PM

Last updated Wed 09/29/2010 12:28 AM


Since my fifty year St. Francisville High School reunion is coming up this month, I have been thinking about Tom Hart and growing up in St. Francisville. Today I took a Google maps tour of St. Francisville and noted a few of my thoughts during the process.

The following text refers to the URL just following beneath the text. For example, the text Tom's house and where our house was. refers to the URL 1-Y that is just below it.

Because the URLs point to Google maps, you can spin the images, move to other places the Google street level camers went, or swithc to an arial view.

The Tour

Tom's house and where our house was.

Larger aerial view of where our house was. You see the road going north up toward the DeBuf hill, our first home. Search Google map for 38.624247, -87.66824

Looking back west from near the Methodist church. Beals restaurant was down on the corner near the red car.

The Methodist church. If you look toward the river that vacant lot is where Gib Barnett's house was. I remember like it was yesterday, sitting by Dad in the pew that let me see out the second open window from the right the tops of big tall maple trees, bright blue clear sky and the peak of the Barnett's house roof and thinking that is freedom and possibility out there if I can ever get out of here.

Heading down to the river.

We are at the river.

It is a very striking place from above. Is that Raccoon Creek empting out there?

The Big Bend or Kings Bend

Looking back up the river hill.

Little closer to down town St. Francisville. There is a piece of what was the McKelfresh John Deer dealer ship in the left of the picture. The building where George Hart, Tom's grandfather, use to cut my hair on the right. If you look left there is what is left of Nub Fortner's filling station.

Some down town action.

Bell's grocery store is missing. In fact, this whole block is missing. I worked in Mr. And Mrs. Bell's store for several years. I learned a little about being a butcher and I got a lot of practice stacking pop bottles and cleaning the slicer and the front of the meat case. 11a-Y

The apartment building that housed the post office on the ground floor is gone. Uncle Clyde owned the place with Pig Couch. I use to help tar the roof. For awhile I kept the hot watter heating stove going. Unk had a pool table down in the basement, and he let me play pool there with anyone I wanted to invite. I also scooped a lot of coal and clinkers there.

The old school house. I sure wish the pipes we all sat on were still outlining the grassy areas in front. You can swing around and see Miss Bonnie's house.

The high school end of the school, and a little of the gym that was build while Uncle Clyde was principle.

Looking down the west side of the gym where there was once a shallow ditch along the sidewalk. Miss Louis parked along there even with the ditch. One morning she opened her car door and I slammed into it on my bicycle. I always cut over and went down that sidewalk toward where the bike rack was. I jumped up quick, picked up the bike and got away as quick as possible. Bonnie Pool's house is jut down the street. The big old wooden church that was on the other corner burned, if I remember correctly. Of course if you swing around there is the Gher family house.

Different view of the Catholic church. I believe the like fire house and city hall was on the now open space. The old water tower was in there also.

The American Legion Hall, where we went to all those dances. My best memories are of slow dancing trying to imulate American Bandstand.

From here you can see the back of Tom's house. During some Halloween times, threw fallen somewhat rotten apples on the rough of the brick house in the foreground.

Here we are at the cemetery with a view of the new St. Francisville water tower. Here we can find the grave stones for Mom and Dad, Aunt Jean and Uncle Clyde, May Hall, Verla Hill, Mr. Perry, Mr. And Mrs. Bell and so many more.

Heading out of town. There is Alvah Bell's house. The Kolehose garage on the left. It seems like a lot of trees are missing.

Not just trees! Where is Glen Wolf's garage building? I believe it has been replaced by a car wash. What was a little grocery store and a couple of gas pumps has certainly seen better days.

The local bar. It took a long time to materialize.

From the air traces of the railroad are visible. Tom and I spent a lot of time on that railroad.

Almost to where the Pinkstaff house once stood. There is Mr. Williams' house on the right. That covered porch was once a real porch with a swing where I spent time talking to Mr. Williams, Frank. When we first moved there he was still driving a Model T to church.

Our house was right across the highway.

Heading out of town. There is Everett Lions house on the left and Moody's house on the right. Uncle Clyde stored the combine in Moody's big buildings.

On down the highway.

Crossing the slew ditch.

The road back to the Wiese land that Uncle Clyde bought and Anny sold to Joe Tagert.

Coming up on Hoh's farm.

Now have Mr. Healy's house and the Methodist Church in view.

Sand Barrens or Sand Barrens Corner. Mt. Carmel to the left and Lawrenceville to the right on Illinois Route 1.

Almost in the intersection.

Not much left here. Over on the other side of the old filling station, Sand Barrens Texaco Service, was a produce market that Mr Healy ran. We saw his house earlier.

There is one commercial establishment of some kind, but I can not say for sure it is really operating. At one time the Methodist Church seen in the distance stood on this corner on the left. That has been a few years back.

Back home in Livonia, Michigan

Go to the top of this document.