Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Heritage Days Theme Flourishing in the 1920s

Posted: Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Heritage Days Steering Committee has named the theme for the 2014 Heritage Days festivities as Flourishing in the 1920s. Festivities celebrating Huntington’s heritage will be held at locations throughout the community Wednesday, June 18 through Sunday, June 22.

This year’s theme will allow participants in the annual Heritage Days Parade and other activities to depict the history of the 1920s, an era when Huntington County grew and flourished. This part of Huntington’s history will give Heritage Days participants the opportunity to get to know a little more about what businesses and activities were a part of the community. The theme is part of an ongoing effort to “explore” Huntington’s heritage.

The 1920s were the beginning of the modern industrial era in Huntington County. This time period came with the discovery of natural gas and oil. It was piped to factories, offices, public buildings and homes. Small gas stoves took the place of wood burners and kerosene for lighting of homes and buildings. Street lights appeared and coal and steam were used to produce electricity. It was also the era of submarines and radios.

Friends gathered around Capehart radios and automatic phonographs in the evenings or in dance clubs to listen to the popular songs of the '20s like “I Wish I Could Shimmie like my sister Kate,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Some of These Days,” “The Man I Love,” “By The Sea,” “Huggable Kissable You” and many more. The Foxtrot, Quickstop and Charleston were all popular dances.

The Huntington Herald Centennial edition for Huntington County, published in 1928, wrote about the development which occurred during the '20s. Businesses from this era included seven car dealerships including Durant Sales and Service, Chrysler Cloverleaf Garage, Hudson and Essex Cars sold by James I. Toy, Huntington Motor Sales, Frank Kelsey Chevrolet Dealer, Packard Deluxe Motors Co. and Herbert R. Zent Model T and Model A.

Downtown Huntington featured the Alis Shop for ensemble suits at $15 and smart felt hats, $1.95; Arnold’s for smart summer dresses, $8.95, frocks and millnery, $1; Barnhart’s stationery business; Bazley Cash Market; A.C. Bechstein-purity drug store; Bert Goff’s Bakery; Brooyan Hat Shop; Cut Rate Drug Co.; Deluca Bros.; A.J. Eisenhauer Jewelers; Fanning Furniture; The Frash Store; The Globe Candy Store and Kindler Bros. shoe store.

D. Marx & Sons sold fine men’s wear and was a mainstay in the community which also included Metzger Hat Shop; Model Cleaners; Montgomery Ward & Co.; Murphy’s Restaurant; Nobils Shoe Company; Parch-O-Nett Company with handpainted lamps and shades finished with fringe and A.H. Perfect & Co. with wholesale grocery products.

Others providing services to Huntington County residents included Rickert Studio; Smith Furniture Co.; Sowerwine’s which featured home furnishing such as crinkle bedspreads for $1.98 and Cretonne pillows for 98 cents; Star Shoe Shining Parlor; Whitelock Press; financial institutions such as Home Building and Loan, Huntington Trust and Savings, Bippus State, First National and Citizens State and others.

Industry included The Caswell-Runyan Co., which made cedar chests; Cloverleaf Creameries; Ditzer and Schoch Lumber Co.; Erie Stone; Huntington Laboratories; Kitchen Maid Kitchen Equipment; Kriegbaum and Sons, machinery and parts for tractors; Majestic; Packers Huntington meat packing Co.; Playtie Equipment Co and more.

Builders of that time period included Allman Coal and Builders, C.E. Bash & Co., John Kenower and Sons; Home Lumber Co., Huntington Lumber and Wasmuth-Fisher Co. General Building Contractors built the Masonic Temple, Citizens State Bank, Huntington Township School, Horace Mann School, Central Grade School and the St. Felix Capuchin Monastery.

The $100,000 Speedway Park complete with track, pool and grandstands on Monkey Island was dedicated on August 26, 1928. Women and girls donned their smart summer frocks of georgette, chiffon, flat crepe and printed silks along with ankle-strap shoes, brought along all-wool swim suits and attended the event. Delicate skin was protected by summer millinery in straws, braids and satins. The men wore attractive figured patterned shirts with neckbands and attached collars tucked into pleated pants. Flapper dresses, boater hats and Fedoras were also the fashion of that day.

The Heritage Days Parade will be held Saturday, June 21 beginning at 10 a.m. Participants in this year’s parade will be asked for a $25 fee per entry. Groups are considered as one entry. This fee along with a certificate of liability insurance must be submitted along with the parade registration form.

Activities that will be a part of this year’s Heritage Days festivities include the traditional Chief of the Flint Springs Tribe breakfast at LaFontaine Golf Club on Thursday morning and the annual Rotary Strawberry Feed on Thursday evening is being planned at Hier’s Park. A car/antique vehicle, truck and motorcycle show within a 1920s celebration will take place on Friday evening in downtown Huntington. Saturday afternoon will bring a planned cornhole tournament and enlarged Fun Zone children’s activities also downtown. A hot air balloon festival will continue through the weekend with a car show, bed race and balloon glow all on Saturday at Huntington North High School.

Tours at the Historic Forks of the Wabash and tours/exhibits at the Huntington Historical Museum will also be a part of Saturday’s festivities. JeFFFest will take place on Sunday evening, June 22, in the center block of downtown completing the Heritage Days festivities.

Poor Jack’s Amusements will once again be the carnival of choice for 2014. Rides and activities will be located on Warren Street from Wednesday, June 18 through Sunday, June 22. Streets involved with the carnival will close on Monday, June 16 at 5 p.m. to allow for set-up.

Heritage Days are coordinated by a Steering Committee of the Huntington County Chamber of Commerce. For more information contact the Chamber at 356-5300 or visit the website at www.huntingtoncountychamber.com.