Hoosier History Live! with Nelson Price, Saturdays at 11:30 a.m. on 88.7 FM, WICR in Indianapolis.

Listen to Hoosier History Live! at 11:30 a.m. each Saturday on WICR 88.7 FM. You also can listen online at the WICR website during the broadcast or you can join our new listening group at Bookmama's in Irvington to listen to, and discuss, the Saturday show. We invite you to visit our website!


May 29 show

Your house has a history


Children pose on the front porch of an 1870s cottage at 1106 E. 9th Street in Indianapolis. At the time, it was named John Street. Later, it was Pratt Street. Image courtesy Joan Hostetler.If only your walls could talk, right? This is the ideal show for folks wondering how to track down the past "lives" of their houses. Nelson will be joined in studio by two Indianapolis-based home history hunters who live in historic houses themselves and who know firsthand the challenges involved and resources available.


With tips and advice galore, photo historian Joan Hostetler and Home History Hunter (as she calls herself!) Tiffany Benedict Berkson will offer guidance about how to get started as well as the pitfalls to avoid.


The two house history "detectives" plan to:

  • Tiffany Benedict Berkson.Identify sources in local libraries (including city directories) and online Help for unearthing your home’s history.
  • Explore the challenges and curves you may encounter. For example, some streets in Indy were re-named years ago. Did you know a portion of East 10th Street once was known as Clifford Street? In addition, many residential addresses across town were changed as the city grew.
  • Offer guidance on using Sanborn maps, the Indiana State Library, the Indiana Historical Society and U.S. Census info as resources.
  • Share some special tips. "Did you know that the family most likely to have good photographs of your home lived across the street?" Joan says. "They usually positioned their children or family by the street and took a snapshot from the porch."

Joan Hostetler’s composite of old snapshots illustrates her “house across the street” point.Joan is the owner of Heritage Photo Services, which specializes in photographic preservation, archive management, digital imaging and photographic research. She lives and works in a home built in1888 in the Cottage Home neighborhood by the legendary architectural firm of Vonnegut & Bohn. Active in neighborhood revitalization efforts, Joan collaborated with Nelson and photographer Garry Chilluffo on the Indianapolis Then and Now (Thunder Bay Press) visual history book.


Tiffany lives in a spacious, turreted house built in 1897 in Herron-Morton Place, where she is a past president of the neighborhood association. An avid local history enthusiast with a particular interest in the Victorian era, she is a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (Caroline Scott Harrison chapter) and a former volunteer at the President Benjamin Harrison Home.


Joan Hostetler, 2009.This show is your chance to call in and seek free advice from two professional house history "detectives." Joan can be reached at heritagephoto@indy.rr.com. Tiffany can be reached through her website.


The following "learn more" websites are recommended by our guests:

History Mystery question


A historic home with a distinctive past - and a distinctive name-is located in the Meridian Park neighborhood on the near Northside of Indianapolis. A bungalow built in 1906, the house became the residence of a fashion designer and his wife. She developed an international reputation as a palm reader.


Famous people such as Walt Disney, Eleanor Roosevelt, George Gershwin, James Whitcomb Riley and Helen Hayes visited the house to have their palms analyzed by the owner, Nellie Meier.


Nellie and her husband, George Phillips Meier, also were noted for their glittering dinner parties at the bungalow, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It's almost is hidden from view because of towering trees.


Question: What is the name of the famous bungalow?




Logo for historic Corydon, Indiana.Chris Gahl of the ICVA suggests that we Unwind in Indiana: Southern Indiana, Uncorked! If you're looking for a Memorial Day Weekend escape, travel to Corydon this weekend to soak in its annual wine and beer tasting festival. The Uncorked! festival will have live music, food vendors and, of course, wine and beer. Entry into the festival is $10 and includes 12 free samplings, as well as a complimentary wine glass. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the American Heart Association.


Founded in 1808 and known as Indiana's first state capital, Corydon was the second capital of the Indiana Territory, from 1813-1816. After statehood, Corydon was the capital of Indiana until 1825, when the capital was moved to Indianapolis. 


Your friends in Hoosierdom,

Nelson Price, host and creative director

Molly Head, producer, (317) 927-9101

Chris Gahl, Roadtripper

Richard Sullivan, tech and web director    

Garry Chilluffo, consultant



Lucas OilIndiana Historical Society logo.

Dan Ripley's Antique HelperThe Fadely Trust. A fund of the Indianapolis Foundation.

Indiana Landmarks logo.Story Inn

Please tell our sponsors that you appreciate their support:
Indiana Landmarks, The Fadely Trust, Indiana Historical Society, Antique Helper, Lucas Oil and Story Inn.


Acknowledgments to Scott Keller Fine Art and Antiques Appraisals, Print Resources, Indianapolis Marion County Public Library, Monomedia, Indiana Humanities Council, Indianapolis Convention & Visitors Association, WICR-FM, Fraizer Designs, Drew Pastorek and many other individuals and organizations. We are an independently produced program and are self-supporting through sponsorships and through individual tax-deductible contributions through the Indiana Humanities Council. Visit our website to learn more.


What's new with Hoosier History Live!


Our own "connoisseur of all things Hoosier," Nelson Price, served as emcee historian for the 120th anniversary gala of the Contemporary Club on May 12 at the Deer Zink Pavilion at the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The Contemporary Club has stressed intellectual pursuits since its founding in 1890. Accompanied by musicians from the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Nelson performed a decade-by-decade presentation that blended Contemporary Club history with city history and American social/pop history, accompanied by music from the appropriate era. Bravo, Nelson!


June 5 show

Memoirs of farm life in the early 1900s


Journey with us to an era of rural schoolhouses heated by pot-bellied stoves, "party line" telephones with eavesdropping neighbors, chicken thieves, and kerosene lanterns used for nighttime walks to the hen house. Folks used slang and phrases that would perplex many of us today. Do you know what a "dewberry" is? And what kind of farm bird is a pullet?


Book cover of Growing Up with Bakers Corner.Believe it or not, all of these - along with a sorghum mill, whooping-cough epidemics and doctors who made house calls - were part of life 100 years ago in a corner of what today is the fastest-growing county in Indiana. For a glimpse of a bygone era in the Hamilton County village of Bakers Corner - typical in many ways of rural life across the state during the early 1900s - Nelson will be joined by a set of cousins, Ellen Swain and Carol Longenecker. They are co-editors of a new book, Growing Up with Bakers Corner (Hawthorne Publishing).


It's a collection of memoirs and vignettes told by a beloved ancestor, Mary Elizabeth Wilson, who was Carol's grandmother and Ellen’s great-aunt. She was born in 1907 in Bakers Corner (the nearest "big city" is Sheridan), grew up on a farm, married a farmer and enchanted people with her stories until her death in 2003. (She also was an artist. Her works include a painting of a historic covered bridge over which she drove to attend Cicero High School in the 1920s. The covered bridge was demolished in the 1950s to make way for Morse Reservoir.)


Ellen is an assistant professor of library administration and an archivist at the University of Illinois. Carol, an ordained Wesleyan minister, is pastor of Bakers Corner Wesleyan Church. The cousins will be the speakers June 14 at the Sheridan Public Library. They also will be signing books at most events at the Sheridan Sesquicentennial from June 25 through July 4.


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Hoosier History Live! • 2615 N. Delaware St. • Indianapolis, IN 46205
(317) 927-9101