Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Following Paul Hadley's Footsteps, Part Sept

Another Paul Hadley watercolor painting on display at Mooresville Public Library is "Smokehouse."

Click images to bigify

By now, I assume everybody knows who Paul Hadley was, but if you've missed my first six installments in this series, then click here to learn more about Mooresville's favorite son.

Where was this smokehouse?  There must have been a gazillion smokehouses scattered around Mooresville and vicinity during Hadley's lifetime, and this one was no exception.  He probably painted it during the 1920's, and it likely appeared at his 1924 or 1931 exhibitions at Herron Art Institute in Indianapolis, where Hadley taught art during this period.

We've reviewed dozens of old local photographs, taken by longtime residents and professional photographers J. P. Calvert (1842-1917) and Manley Brown (1894-1968) (among other photographers), but we didn't see any smokehouses resembling Hadley's painting.

Jarvis P. Calvert (1842-1917)

Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church, Mooresville (1914)
(photo by J. P. Calvert)

Both Brown and Calvert climbed atop the Methodist Episcopal (M.E.) Church steeple (at the corner of South Indiana and East Harrison Streets in downtown Mooresville) to take panoramic photos of the town as it looked during the late 1880's-early 1890's and circa 1910 (Calvert) and in 1920 (Brown). That is WAAAAAAY up in the air--much too high for moi.  Here's what they saw.

 J. P. Calvert's photo atop the M.E. Church steeple
looking southeast (late 1880's-early 1890's)

J. P. Calvert's photo atop the M.E. Church steeple
looking northeast (late 1880's-early 1890's)

J. P. Calvert's photo atop the M.E. Church steeple
looking northwest (late 1880's-early 1890's)

J. P. Calvert's photo atop the M.E. Church steeple
looking west (along West Harrison Street) (ca. 1910);
 MPL now stands at the end of the street on the right

 Manly Brown looking west along West Harrison Street
atop the M.E. Church steeple (1920)

 Manly Brown looking southeast along East Harrison Street
atop the M.E. Church steeple (1920)

Manly Brown looking north along South Indiana Street
toward the center of downtown Mooresville
atop the M.E. Church steeple (1920)

 Manly Brown looking south along South Indiana Street
atop the M.E. Church steeple (1920);
The Village Shopping Center now stands in the
open fields beyond the trees (upper right)

There were several small structures that resembled smokehouses (and, for that matter, outhouses, or privies) in these photos, but I saw nothing that looked like Paul Hadley's painting.  Maybe we should try our sense of smell.  Good way to differentiate smokehouses from outhouses.

Some of my younger readers may not know what use was made of smokehouses.  Through the 1930's (maybe even later), there were in-town residents who, like their country cousins, raised livestock. Many had barns and outbuildings in their backyards to house these animals.  Pork was cured (preserved) by smoke in smokehouses.

So, as far as Hadley's "Smokehouse" painting hanging at the Library, we have absolutely no idea where it was located.  But wait!  Hadley painted other smokehouses, and we know where they were.  Does that count?

"Full Bloom," by Paul Hadley (1942)
(Click image to bigify)

[Excerpted from Hardin, Becky, The Indiana State Flag: Its Designer (Biography of Paul Hadley with Anthology of his Paintings), p. 28 (1976).  Click here to find links to read a digital copy of this fine biography.]

In 1942, Omri Schooley lived in the smokehouse at 154 West Harrison Street.  That's less than a block east of the Library.  Minions, hike down the street and see how things look there now.  We can wait.

154 West Harrison Street Today

The smokehouse was at the back of the property.  In Hadley's "Full Bloom" painting, you can see the fence row and an outbuilding to the left.  You can see those today in the photo below.

The smokehouse in "Full Bloom" was situated
at the closer fence corner (in front of the white
object and automobile).  The wooden outbuilding
on the left (in the painting) is where the
tan, concrete block structure now stands

It's pouring rain now, so lucky I sent my minions to take those photos. They got back to the Library just in time!  Nothing smells worse than a wet minion.  Especially Scowl-Face.

Your Roving Reporter On The Go,

Cauli Le Chat

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