Indiana, Spencer County, Grandview
river mile 742
According to the 1885. History of Warrick, Spencer and Perry Counties, Indiana published in Chicago by Goodspeed, Bros & Co, in that year Grandview had the following businesses: three dry goods stores, three groceries, a hardware, two furniture, two drugs, two confectionaries, saddlery, millinery, jewelry, photographer, two shoe shops, two blacksmiths, two wagon-makers, grist mill, spoke factory, tobacco merchant, two hotels, newspaper, butcher, two grain buyers, brick kiln, barber, cooper, one dentist, three doctors, three lawyers, Odd Fellows and G.A.R lodges, and six churches: Methodist, Episcopal, Baptist, English Lutheran, United Brethren and Colored Baptist. The history of the town on the plaque also mentions gathering mussels in the river.
The liveliness of the town in that era is hard to compare with the present. After a hundred and fifty years many of those industries have vanished from changes in technology— saddlery, blacksmith, wagon maker, spoke factory, cooper, grist mill. Others have vanished from changes in taste — the milliner, the tobacco buyer. Far more often is that cheaper and more effective transportation systems have moved local production — the brick kiln — and local consumption to more distant retail locations: dry goods, groceries, hardware, furniture, drugs, candies, jewelry, photography, shoe stores, hotel, butcher, barber. Even the dentists, doctors, and lawyers probably practice in more distant places. Four churches still exist: a different mix: Methodist, Nazarene, Revival Church Center, and Independent Baptist. The 2010 census shows it still is 1.5% African American, among the 96.1% white, about 11 people of the total population of 749.
How are we to think about this? Grandview has a beautiful and informative website for a town of its size. There is a library, several parks, and a Garden Club and a Conservation Club. There is a thriving industry for this age: Grandview Aluminum Products’ cast bronze and aluminum plaques. That factory has a national and international reach. Probably many of the plaques those of you who have visited other river towns have seen were made here in Grandview. And it has people who care about it: the park itself — with its beautiful bronze plaque is named after a man, Harold Schroeder, who, for more than forty years, was the town’s Clerk Treasurer and Town Manager. It still seems beautiful and lively.
Next park: Rockport, Rocky Side Park
Field research: September 2015