Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Thursday, November 20, 2014

You Will Be, I'll Venture

If you're not scared now, you will be.  Our book trailer elaborates.

MPL Book Trailer #216
Bandwidth: the Ghost of Devlin Mallard,
by N. S. Cooke

Check it out from our Evergreen Indiana catalog (if you have an E.I. library card).

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

Watch the Books Pile Up

Watch the books pile up as your preschoolers (assuming, of course, that you have some--if not, you could always borrow) enjoy reading a thousand books before kindergarten.  That's a whole lotta books, to be sure, but your kiddies can do it in our 1,000 Books Before Kindergarten program.  Crafty Gal can show you how.  Our program trailer elaborates.

1,000 Books Before Kindergarten Program Trailer

Our early literacy crowd enjoys children's picture books, and read-alouds count toward reading totals.  So this is definitely doable.  Check out tons of books at the Library, and you're good to go.  Need some ideas for fun reading?  We've got a playlist for that.

MPL Book Trailer Playlist, Children's Picture Books
(Click Play Button Above to Start Videos)
(Or CLICK HERE to See the Playlist)

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cross-Stitch Cauli is Quite Cool Indeed

Join the Library's own Miss Kathleen for her Needle Art program, which meets in study room A on Saturdays (except the first Saturday of the month) from 10 a.m. to noon.  Learn and practice counted cross-stitch and needlepoint.  Share ideas and projects with group members.  Have fun! Our program trailer (video) below elaborates.  Click here for further details.

Needle Art Program Trailer

Embroidery is fun and creative!  Stitch in time, and all that jazz.

Did you like that miniature cross-stitched Cauli Le Chat in the video? Mega-cool, if I do say so moiself.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

Thursday, October 30, 2014

A Tale of Two Kellers

Downtown Mooresville, Indiana has its G.A. Keller building (constructed between 1907-1910), and Columbus, Indiana, has its C.M. Keller building (constructed 1913).  These two buildings resemble each other, suggesting a similar construction plan, architect, or general contractor.  Were the Kellers whose names grace these structures relatives?

According to my Library’s self-guided downtown walking tour, George A. Keller (1859-1923) started his hardware and implement business in 1885, purchasing Alexander Conduitt’s property on East Main Street in downtown Mooresville.  In 1885 George constructed a one-story frame structure on the front of the property (nearest the street) and used Conduitt’s residence (built ca. 1843) on the back of the property as a storeroom until it was demolished in 1907.

In 1907, George began constructing a new, brick building that was completed in 1910, and which bears his name today.

The G.A. Keller building is the light-colored brick structure in the middle
(photo ca. 1910 by J.P. Calvert)
(Click Images to Bigify)

The G.A. Keller building as it appeared in May, 2008
(photo by Mooresville Public Library)

Until 1921 Mooresville High School basketball games were played on the second floor of the G.A. Keller building, which had a wooden floor and was the only space sufficiently large to field a basketball court.  Fans sat in wooden chairs against the walls—essentially on the court itself—so out-of-bounds was a tricky matter of straddling seated spectators to pass the ball into play.

During construction George moved his old wooden store into the middle of East Main Street and continued conducting business there while work progressed on the new brick structure.  Eventually, citizens complained to local government officials, who pressured George to remove his old quarters.  George put the old building on logs, harnessed a team of horses, and, with the help of several stout fellows, hauled the structure to the southeast corner of West Main and South Monroe Streets, where it remains today as a single-family dwelling.

Old G.A. Keller building (constructed 1885) as a single-family home
at 155 West Main Street across from Mooresville Public Library
(2009 photo by MPL)

I had my minions research George A. Keller’s genealogy, and we discovered that his father, Frederick Keller (1826-1908), moved (at age 22) with his parents and siblings from Baden, Germany, to Morgan County, Indiana.  George’s grandparents, David Keller (1790-1864) and his first wife, Salome Keller, and his second wife, Margret Keller (1810-1904), had several children, three of whom were boys.  George’s uncles (i.e., Frederick’s two brothers) were named Michael Keller (1823-1897) and Michal (possibly Michel or Michael) King Keller (b. ca. 1838-?).  So we can safely rule-out uncles as “C.M.” possibilities.  Additionally, none of George’s other relatives’ names appeared to have the initials C.M.  Most of George’s clan are buried in the Mooresville Cemetery, and nobody in the Keller family plot has initials C.M.

So I sent my minions searching the federal censuses for a C.M. Keller who lived in Columbus, Bartholomew County, Indiana, around the turn of the 20th century.

Christian Martin Keller (1860-1927) was listed as a plumber in the 1900 U.S. census.  He operated his business, C.M. Keller & Company, in Columbus, and, according to the Complete Directory of BartholomewCounty, Indiana, 1903-1904 (p. 182), he owned (and presumably constructed) the C.M. Keller building in 1913, where, for decades, G.C. Murphy’s five-and-dime store operated.

G.C. Murphy Company (1950s) in the C.M. Keller building
at 415-417 Washington Street, Columbus, Indiana

According to Ancestry Library Edition, Christian’s parents moved to Columbus from Pennsylvania prior to 1860, the year Christian was born (in Columbus).  So it doesn’t appear that Christian Martin Keller and George A. Keller were related, at least as far back as the late 18th century family trees.

Since both Keller buildings were constructed within a few years of each other, one may presume that similar, popular architectural styles were incorporated.  But it wasn’t “all in the family,” so to speak.

These little local historical adventures are fun.  Visit our website to learn more about the history of Mooresville and Morgan County, Indiana.  Click here and here.  Oh, and here.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Two Superlative Supernatural Tales

Richard Matheson (1926-2013) mastered many genres in his long literary career.  Whether he was writing science fiction, fantasy, mystery/suspense, paranormal, or even romance stories, Matheson filled his plots with imaginative twists and fact-based details.  Two of his most popular novels were A Stir of Echoes (1958) and Hell House (1971).  Our book trailers briefly summarize the plots.

MPL Book Trailer #213
A Stir of Echoes, by Richard Matheson

MPL Book Trailer #212
Hell House, by Richard Matheson

Hell House grips the reader and relentlessly plies terror, once the exploration of Maine's haunted Belasco house begins in earnest.   The typical Matheson protagonist--an ordinary person faced with extraordinary circumstances--is modified here.  There's a physicist dabbling in parapsychology (along with his wife), and two mediums, all of whom have been hired by a dying rich dude to determine if there's an afterlife.  So these are hardly "everyday people." Still, the characters are realistically portrayed, and their individual weaknesses are adroitly exploited by the evil entity haunting the place.

Matheson melds a supernatural thriller with some genuine psychical research methodologies to move the horror along to its inevitable conclusion.  The author subtly warns against overly-arrogant scientists who too readily dismiss what cannot be replicated in a laboratory setting, as well as gullible believers who are easily misled by their own preconceptions and uncritical analysis.  Matheson thoroughly researched his subjects, so it's probably no coincidence that his physicist is named Dr. Barrett, and one of his mediums is called Florence.  Real-life physicist/psychical researcher Sir William F. Barrett (1844-1925) and medium Florence Cook (1856-1904), as well as novelist/spiritualist Florence Marryat (1833-1899), may have received the tip of the literary hat from Matheson.  However, Matheson's Barrett is much more conceited and closed-minded than his true-life counterpart, who was renowned for his objectivity and commitment to demonstrated facts.

A Stir of Echoes is another ghost tale, but it's a paranormal mystery rather than an exercise in supernatural terror.  It has scary bits, though.  The main character, Tom Wallace, is about as 1950s ordinary as one could get.  When he develops extra sensory perception (ESP) and begins "hearing" the thoughts of others around him, he struggles to cope with this preternatural, but unwelcome, ability.  Things become more troubling for Tom as he begins perceiving communications from an apparently deceased person.  But all this unwanted information leads Tom toward something diabolical involving living people he would never have otherwise suspected.

I'm having Scowl-Face relate the plot details here--he read both novels a quarter century ago or more, but he thinks he remembers most of what happened--so you should definitely read the books yourself to see if his memory has faded.  Considering that he can't recall what he ate for lunch today, I'd say that's a big probably.

Both A Stir of Echoes and Hell House are available to check-out from our Evergreen Indiana online catalog.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat