Friday June 17th, 2011
On the schedule today…
Pack up Race Supplies
Walking Tour of Noblesville, Indiana 1pm
Race Check In 4pm
Boat Tour of the Course
Race Meeting 6pm
Eat 12 oz Tenderlion Steak
LET’S GET STARTED
I begin the day with Breakfast followed by Yoga, there is a strip of grass between the hotel and the highway, just enough for me to work through 28 minutes of Yoga, it feels great, my breath calms me and the earth feels great under my feet. Then it is ” pack up the gear time ” for the race.
I lay out 10 containers ready to fill with feed tonight along with all the supplies:
Lanolin to rub on the prevent chaffing from my suit, 2 pair of goggles, factor 70 sun lotion, 2 caps, lip balm, feed bag to hold all my bottles, bungee cord to tie it all on the kayak, ductape to mark the kayak with our race number, plastic bag for Jeff’s phone in case it rains, food for Jeff, then an array of clothes to put on after the swim.
Check, race gear all laid out, now it is sundress on and off to lunch in Noblesville, we eat at a lovely cafe, fill our tummies with food and roll out to door to seek out the visitors center, we find it but arrive at 1:15pm,the tour started at 1:00pm, ” oh well, let’s go in and ask, if it has already left perhaps we can catch up”, I say to Jeff.
As we walk in the door a young man jumps up, we head to the reception desk and ask the girl manning the desk about the tour, ” I know we are terribly late, we read of the walking tour and would love to take it, if it is possible, if not we understand”, she smiled and looked to the young man, he bounded over to us ” I am so glad you are here, I will take you, I will take you”, he had a beaming smile plastered on his face and spoke very quickly, he was excited and I was excited by his enthusiasm!
THE WALKING TOUR
Zachary is our guide, he is a local teenager, we begin the tour, he pulls out a wad of papers and begins to read in a monotone fashion from the first page…
” Noblesville has a rich history dating back to 1818 when the land that is now Hamilton County was purchased from the Indians. William Connor, the only white man living in the area at the time and his wife a Delaware Indian, established the first trading post in central Indiana in 1802 and lived in the area’s first log cabin.
William Connor and Josiah Polk submitted a plat of Noblesville in 1823, at the same time the town as a country seat. Noblesville was named either for James Noble, a state senator, or according to legend, for Lavinia Noble of Indianapolis, to whom Josiah was engaged. The Peru and Indianapolis railroad was completed through the town in 1851, the same year Noblesville was incorporated.”
Source: Historic Noblesville, Walking Tour Guide, produced by the Noblesville Preservation Alliance in cooperation with the Hamilton County Convention & Visitors Bureau
Zach, was still reading word for word, I was very interested in the historical fact however was beginning to wonder if we were going to leave the comfort of the cool air conditioned visitors center? Zach read on…..
” The cities largest growth boom came in 1888 with the discovery of Noblesville’s first gas well, many Victorian homes as well as the vast majority of the Downtown Commercial District were built during this time of prosperity”
With that we stepped outside the visitors center and into the stunning Indiana day, it is a warm 84 degrees with a easy breeze, delightful. I look across the road to the familiar sheriffs residence and jail that we toured last year and next to it a magnificent courthouse which stands tall and proud, the centre of the town, surrounded by brilliant green grass and wonderful trees.
Zach gives us the facts of the jail and some of the notorious prisoners that it held, we don’t spent long outside the jail, he is itching to moves us towards the Courthouse building, I can tell he is enamoured by the courthouse, he no longer reads from his guide instructions, he knows about the Courthouse, and begins chatting away about it’s history….
THE COUTHOUSE- Second Empire ( 1877-79)
The Courthouse is the focal point of downtown Noblesville, the clock tower contains the original clock and is still functional. The Courthouse took 2 years to build, it was completed in 1879, the final cost of the courthouse was approximately $150,000, the contract bid was awarded to the lowest bidder, Aaron G Campfield, $99,950, in line with the stating that the building should cost less than $100,000……opps!
At the start 40 workmen a day were employed, growing to 70-80 workers per day, an example of their labor costs…stone cutters were paid $2.50 per day, bricklayers earned $3.00 per day, a large part of the stone cutting force was apparently Irish.
Zach excitedly told us about the town gatherings held on the green outside the courthouse, one historical on being an address by Theodore Roosevelt September 23rd, 1902 for which 6000 people attending, with only 4000 residents in Noblesville ” every man and his dog” attended including many from afar, Zach gave us a grand image ” EVERYONE came to hear Roosevelt, over 6000 people and there was a buggy jam in the streets, buggies everywhere”, I laughed it was fun ti imagine the cars gone from the streets, dirt replacing pavement and horses and buggies jammed everywhere.
Then we moved on, Zach returned to his notes and read, walk on, stop, turn left, we followed smiling.
Next stop a this building built in 1870, it was purchased by Masonic Lodge No.57 in 1884 and was home to the lodge until 1915, the stepped gable was added after it’s purchase by the Masons, and has said to be the influence of Noblesvilles’ sizable German population.
HISTORIC BUILDING AFTER HISTORIC BUILDING….
TOUR TIME ENDS
We saw many other wonderful historical buildings, I was grateful to have the time to look and to have Zach to guide us, ” It is so great to learn about these buildings the architecture and history” I said to Zach, ” Yes, sometimes you have to stop and smell the corn, as we say in Indiana”, he replied, Jeff and I laughed.
During our tour as we were walking to yet another building Zach said…” would you mind giving me feedback at the end of my tour?”, he leaned in slightly and spoke a little quieter….” Technically this is my first tour, I mean I have been out twice with before but not with real tourists” , ” Yes of course”, I replied.
We arrived back at the visitors center, i asked Zack if I could take his photo and thanked him for his enjoyable and enlightening tour, he beamed, out of the corner of my eye, I could see Jeff reaching in his pocket, in his hand was a $10 bill, he went to shake Zach’s hand and slid in the $10, Zach was thrilled, his eyes seemed like they were popping right out of his head, ” Thank you…..he stammered, you know I am up at the train station tomorrow, I can show you around and even get you out back”
We thanked Zach and said our farewells and then it was off across the road the visit once more the Sheriffs Residence and Jail, Oh and find out the name of the na nan na na naaa ring tone guy we talked to last year, alot to do before I race, will we fit it all in? YES
THE SHERRIFS RESIDENCE & JAIL
In we go, the same friendly wee lady meets us as last year and she is just as welcoming, she begins telling us about all the notorious prisoners, ” are there any prisoners that stand out to you?” I asked, ” well yes ” she replied, ” let me tell you about them”….
” back in the 50’s there was a car laod of teenagers, there were 2 in the front and 10 in the back! The local sherrif pulled them over and they gave him some lip, he got them out of the car, hands on their heads and marched them all down main street and straight into the jail, where they stayed until a parent came collected them…AND one of them was my husband! Not at the time of course, I didn’t know him then!”
We all giggled, ” you know we came last year, there was a fellow here who had been in the jail, said he visits every year”, ” really ” she replid, ” what does he look like”, I described him, ” aaahh, that is Johnny, comes back every year, do you want to see his cell, he wrote on the wall, there are lots still left written on the walls in the cells, it is not open to the public, it is used for storage, do you want to go see the cells?” ” Why yes, lets”, I replid and with that we were off, up stairs and through a narrow look door into a very grim looking area, ” got really cold here in the winters” she said as we followed her to the cells.
It was so confined, what would these young guys think about to pass the time, to not focus on the cold if it was winter or the heat if it was summer, when their next meal was, how long they might be in jail and thoughts of what sequence of events and/or who had landed them in this jail. Was it life changing or a further downward spiral, did they take responsibility or point fingers at others?
I thought of how this experience impacted ring tone guy, in whatever way it drew him to come and reflect and/or remember every year by visiting this jail, that takes strength of character to be able to look down the road ahead and remember the path already travelled.
So look at the time already! Time for the pre race check in, keep you posted on the race details!