Saturdays, noon to 1 p.m. ET on WICR 88.7 FM.
In case you missed our August 21 show, "Nicknames for Indy and neighborhoods: their origins"
In case you missed our August 14 show, "Outlaw gangs of the 1870s and '80s"
In case you missed our August 7 show, "Artist who crusaded to save the Dunes"
August 28, 2021
Ask Nelson - and Sampson Levingston, too
Did you know that, during the heyday of jazz clubs on Indiana Avenue in Indianapolis, a homeopathic medicine/herb store and other businesses also flourished there?
And have you ever heard about Mudlavia, the bygone resort in western Indiana where guests at a spa and hotel received regular mud baths?
These topics will be among an array explored during another show in our periodic series in which our listeners are invited to call in throughout the program with any questions about Indiana’s heritage. During these "Ask Nelson" shows, our host, author/historian Nelson Price, is joined by a co-host; the duo interview each other in between calls from listeners to the WICR-FM (88.7) studio at 317-788-3314.
For this show, Nelson will be joined by history enthusiast and storyteller Sampson Levingston of Through2Eyes, who hosts history walking tours of Indiana Avenue and various neighborhoods. Sampson also has visited historic sites across the state to create videos and write articles for his website; his engaging approach to history is receiving widespread attention, including a feature earlier this year on National Public Radio (NPR)'s All Things Considered.
A graduate of Cathedral High School and Indiana State University, where he was captain of the football team, Sampson will share insights during our show about businesses and other enterprises, including the former Senate Avenue YMCA, that once could be found in the Indiana Avenue area. Several of them, Sampson notes, were listed in the legendary Green Book, a guidebook for African American motorists that listed friendly merchants, gas stations and other establishments during an era when many businesses were discriminatory. We’re highlighting Indiana Avenue’s non-music heritage on this show because we have explored the jazz heritage on several previous Hoosier History Live programs.
Also during our show, Sampson will discuss Mudlavia, a resort built in 1890 at a natural spring in Warren County. Guests at Mudlavia’s spa and hotel indulged in full-body mud baths, which were said to provide relief from rheumatism and other ailments. Patronized by visitors who included Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, Mudlavia was destroyed by a fire in 1920. Sampson has visited its former site, which today only has the remnants of subsequent structures built there.
In between phone calls from listeners, Nelson and Sampson also will discuss visits by various famous people to the Hoosier state. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the British writer and physician, visited Indianapolis twice during speaking tours. At Union Station, where he arrived by train, a plaque commemorates his first visit in 1894. During that visit, he dined with James Whitcomb Riley; the two literary greats also climbed to the top of the Soldiers and Sailors Monument.
Helen Keller also came to Indiana for public appearances. They included a visit in 1913 to Richmond, where 1,000 people attended an event at a local church. In 1949, she came to Fort Wayne to praise civic leaders for their fund-raising efforts benefiting the blind.
Nelson will discuss other famous visits, while Sampson will talk about the Indianapolis neighborhoods of Ransom Place and Martindale. For listeners with questions or comments about these topics or any other aspect of Indiana’s heritage, this show provides a special opportunity. Typically, calls are limited to the final 20 minutes of our show. This time, we will have open phone lines during the entire program.
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Back in the day with Tom Ridley and Georgia Buchanan from our 2018 show
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