Mac’s Cafe on Main Street in Winslow

My grandma, Barbara Bolin Evans,  had fond memories of working at Mac’s Café.  She used to walk from Muren to Winslow into work. My Grandpa Evans always told the story about how when he first met her she was walking to work in the winter without a coat.  He said the first thing he did when they started dating was buy her a winter coat.

She was close to the Dedman and McCord families back then, who ran the cafe.  She remembered John David and Mary Jane Dedman Smith as children growing up there.  I asked John David to share a little history of the store with me.  John David Dedman runs the Winslow Eskimo website at www.jddedman.com.  He worked for years as a postal clerk in Winslow and has some good stories to share.

Mac's Cafe, Main Street Winslow, about 1956

Mac’s Cafe, Main Street Winslow, about 1956.  Where the bank parking lot is now.

“At one time back in the 50’s, there was a Marathon gas station on the corner just south of the restaurant and there was a big sign out front that said “Mac’s Café”.  Actually it was a tavern but they did have a fairly good food business, especially sandwiches.

The tavern burned in either 57 or 58 and was a total loss.   The building was owned by Harcourt Scales and was not re-built after the fire.   Someone had broken in to the tavern to steal things and torched it to cover up the break in.

Attached is a picture I had of the inside of the restaurant and I think it is dated 1952.   The lady to the far left is Sarah McCord, my grandmother and I am sure the waitress is Barbara, your grandmother.   I think the man drinking the beer could have been Pap Dorsey and the man sitting behind him reminds me of John Hunley.   I cannot think of the names of the lady and man sitting at the bar but they were frequent guests in there.

I have this picture up on my web site at http://www.jddedman.com.   The juke box is one of those old rare Seeberg record players, and then they had a bumper pool table.  Later they put in a shuffle board and a TV.   The kitchen was on the back left side and the door on the right was to men’s restroom, the ladies room was closer to the kitchen.   One time in the mid 40’s they had slot machines that sat around the restroom door and along the wall.   I remember on VE-D in 1945 after the end of the Japan war, I hit the jackpot on the 10 cent slot machine.  It was not long after that the slots were taken out, and buried as it was becoming illegal to have them.”

Mac's Cafe, 1952.

Mac’s Cafe, 1952.

I had shared this picture with my grandma and she agreed she was the waitress.  She remembered that old plaid dress.

“ After the tavern burnt, the John Russ Insurance Agency re-built it and had their insurance office there for several years.   John Russ, Herbert Russ and Basil Thompson worked there.   At one time, John let us use the back part of his office for amateur radio meetings which we held every month on a Monday night for a long time.   I was a licensed ham, as well as Basil, and Herb wanted to get a license but never did.   Ernie Hume and his wife and son did get a ham license. “

My grandma told me that she had a picture of Pearl and the store somewhere too.  We found it one day in a box in the old cupboard in her bedroom.  I shared it with John who told me about the picture.

The McCord at Mac's Cafe.

The McCord’s at Mac’s Cafe.

“The photo you sent me was of Pearl B. McCord and his wife, Sarah E. McCord.  They were the owners of Mac’s Café which was located at the location where the Citizens State Bank (German American) now sits.   Pearl was my mother’s father and at one time in the early 30’s was Postmaster at Winslow Post Office.   My actual grandmother – Audie, died when my mother was only 12 years old and Pearl married Sarah a few years later and they lived in the house down from you on Center Street where Jerry and Mary Jane lived for years..

I had lived in the same house from about 1958 until 1963 when I moved to Evansville, then Mary & Jerry moved in there.

My grandfather had a large roll top desk sitting where you see them in the picture and he did his book work there and it was where he could see the bar and kitchen.  After the fire, the only thing that was saved was the desk and I ended up with it myself.  I had to take off the roll-top as it was damaged too much, but the rest was okay and I used it for years while I was living in Winslow. “

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Muren Church of God

    The Muren Church of God has always been a part of my childhood.  They celebrated their one hundred year anniversary in 2010. 

Plaque on the new bell tower built in honor of 100 years

    Patoka Grove United Methodist was our church, but most of my family and friends attended Muren Church of God.  My great grandparents, Aaron and Maggie Dixon Bolin were part of the original congregation.  My parents were married there in 1960 and most likely my grandparents were married there.  I did spend many Rally Days there by my cousin’s invitations, along with some random Sundays and holidays.  I attended long enough at one time when we lived in Muren to be a part of the youth group.  I remember those Halloween parties with the cold spaghetti used as brains and the frozen grapes for eyeballs.  Then I had to walk home down Muren Hill in the dark.  It was probably more like run home with every imaginable monster chasing me!  I sent my children to Bible School there and still have a sixteen year old Bible School project magnet on my fridge as a keepsake.    

Building of the church: My great grandparents Maggie Dixon Bolin on far left, Aaron Bolin on right in black hat.

    I am now fifty years old and Jocko McCandless was the minister of Muren Church of God most of those years.  He just passed away this month to join in heaven his wife, Maxine Bolin McCandless who passed in December of 2010.  They were among the nicest people on God’s green earth and will be missed by many.  Jocko was the minister at the church from 1958 to 1991.  Jocko was my Aunt’s (on my Momma’s side) Brother in law and Maxine was my Dad’s Cousin.   Most of us from the Muren area are either blood cousins or married in cousins to each other some where down the line. If your family is from the area you know this and if not you will never figure it out.   

Jocko and Maxine at the Muren Reunion (thanks for photo Judy McCandless Loveless)

    Kitty Keeton (1897- 1982 ) grew up in the Muren, Turkey Hill, Aberdeen and Massey areas..  Again that whole married in thing, my first husband was one of his great nephews, making him my children’s great great uncle.  He made mention of Muren Church of God in his memoirs:

    “Arlo Hurt was another and like brothers we would fight one and another.  If anybody would bother the other, they had both of us to whip.  He really was a trusted buddy.  He married a Russ girl of Muren – Rev. Russ’s daughter.  He was the original Church of God pastor of Muren.  Muren, Winslow, Oakland City still have some of his following as of now.  McCandless, the great grandson is the pastor at Muren.  Jodie Davis, another neighbor daughter, Mrs. Claussen, is now the pastor at Winslow and Jewell Morton and I think some more Mortons are still here attending Oakland City Church of God.  Jodie Davis, his son in law Rev. Claussen, and Mrs. Claussen, Joda’s daughter, also are pastors of Oakland City Church.  All originated by the Russ Family.  Another younger daughter of Joda’s married a young man that is a Church of God minister now.  Charlie Hume’s, the Muren storekeeper, son Richard was a pastor and miner until he died at maybe in his early 40s.  He married a girl named May Whitman.  I worked later with Hume at the Muren Mine.  Also his father in law Whitman.  Then later in the late 1900s, Whitman and I was room buddys at Ingle #7 mine.  The McCandless, Davis, Hume, Whitmans, Thurmans, Bolins, Mortons are intermarried so when talking to anyone from Pike Co.—all pretty nice people in all branches of the family.” 

Original church bell

   

Sledding with Wesley's kids & grandkids

 

I asked Bill Berlin, what he might remember about the old days of Muren Church of God from his grandparents.  Bill is in his 80s and probably more computer savvy than I am. His family was also a part of the area.  This is part of a story he emailed me:

   “My maternal grandfather, Oliver P.M. Agee, (1861-1947) was a farmer and a preacher.  I don’t know exactly when he began to preach, but it was before 1900.  He and Grandmother Lou Ella (Pancake) Agee became engaged with the Church of God “movement” early in its appearance in southern Indiana and Pike/Gibson/Daviess/Knox counties, in particular.  It was called a “movement” because its grassroots-type of approach to church organization, participation and growth, rather than the more centralized, clergy-dominated, bureaucratic forms of other groups, such as the Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran, etc.   Their major doctrinal difference that set them apart, however, is their belief in a second work of grace for those who became Christian, the sanctification of true believers.

    At some time in the 1880’s, people of the community (including many relatives and their families), built a church house on grandfather’s farm just south of their garden plot.  This location is no more than ¼ mile south on State Road 64 where the Scottsburg road crosses it east of Arthur.  Because of their belief, just cited, it became known as Saint’s Church.  The held outdoor camp meetings in the summer and people came from as far away as Monroe City, Burr Oak, Princeton and Boonville.

   Grandfather traveled to these other communities to preach and to hold “revivals,” as they came to be called later.  I’m sure he preached at Muren several times during his active years.  Even in my time, I remember they were good friends with the Hume family in that community.  And I remember when I was a good sized boy, seeing Dickie Hume and wife at their home.  Of course, Dickie was much younger than Grandpa- more at my mother’s age-so I know that the folks were close to the folks of the Muren congregation.  Incidentally, Dickie went on to become an outstanding minister in the continuing growth of the Church of God.”

Old church in background (thanks for photo Bill Berlin)

  They have a beautiful new church on the highway where Kirby’s Drive Inn used to be.  There is still a feeling of sadness when you drive through Muren and the Church of God is no longer at the top of the hill.

What’s A Kid to Do

What did we all do as kids growing up here in Winslow?    Hasn’t that been asked throughout the years?  Most likely since 1835 when the town was first formed.   

I don’t know what my great grandparents did.  I would imagine picnics and church socials were the activities of the day.  I know watermelon season was a big event in our area, as was wheat threshing.  It seems every old postcard you read from the area someone is asking if you are coming for watermelon or to the wheat threshing, as the machine traveled from farm to farm.   

Very early on, the town would hold dances.  The businesses would have “Token Night” on Fridays.  My grandparents grew up in the Muren area.   On Friday evenings they would walk to town on the railroad tracks or road, and ride the train if they could afford it.   It was the 20s and 30s, the time of the Depression.   People would come to town to mingle and visit.  To see and be seen.  You didn’t even have to have any money. The Ingle Barn in Ayrshire  hosted dances, cattle auctions and the boys could play basketball in the loft.  A movie theater came to town.  You could see a movie for a nickel.  My grandma saw her first movie here, a silent film.  She knew who all of the old silent film stars were. 

What remains of the old Ingle Barn on Ayrshire Road  2007

What remains of the old Ingle Barn on Ayrshire Road 2007

My dad grew up here too.   He and his brother walked to town along with all of the neighbor boys on the weekends.  Boys worked back then.  They helped with the family, but had a nickel or two for themselves every now and then.  My dad worked on the Hume Farm in Massey.  In the summers, they would work in the water melon patches at Decker, turning and picking melons.   My dad was two years younger than his brother.  He remembers how scary it was walking through the Kitchen Corners and bottom land between Ayrshire and Muren.  The older boys would tell spooky stories, then run off and leave the younger kids behind.  Dad said he ran as fast as he could from Ayrshire to Muren many a night. 

As for me, I have my memories of growing up in the 60s and 70s. 

A good memory is my dad loading us all up in the car to go for a drive, because there was no air conditioning.    The Line Road was his road of choice.  It had a canopy of trees across it, all shade.  I can still see myself leaning against that back seat with my window down, feel the cool air rolling right over my face, watching the leaves on the trees and the sky above me.  It looked like a kaleidoscope. 

My brothers and I lived on our bicycles.  You did not dare ride on the sidewalks.   Someone who owned a store would come out and chew your butt out.  Sidewalks were for walking.  I rode my bike for miles and miles.  My friend and I would ride to Muren.  We rode to Hosmer.  We even rode to Petersburg two times.  We would ride to Seven Lakes in Campbelltown and swim.  

 I had a paper route the summer when I was 12.  I delivered the Evansville Press and the Sunday morning paper on my pink stingray with the white basket, a birthday gift from the Oakland City Western Auto.  The pink and white streamers on the handlebars that I had bought at the dime store with my paper route money sparkling as I rode.

The old Dime Store in Winslow.  Link:  www.jddedman.com

The old Dime Store in Winslow. Link: http://www.jddedman.com

 I remember one week, a girl around my age was kidnapped in Lawrenceville, Illinois.  My mom drove me that Sunday morning on my paper route.    In the summers, a bus took Winslow kids over to the Petersburg Pool  2 days a week.  For a quarter you could ride the bus, for a quarter you could swim.  If you were lucky, you could get a quarter for refreshments.  It didn’t really matter  if mom and dad could afford that, just getting to go swim was enough.   Twice a week there would be a big pile of bicycles under the tree by the road up at the old high school.  We didn’t have to lock them up with chains, they were just always there when we got back.  I can still see my brothers with their ball uniforms on and their mitts hanging over the handlebars on their bicycles, riding to the ballfield.  We hung out at the river alot, fishing with cane poles we bought at Speed Erwin’s bait shop and playing around at the dam. 

Falls at Patoka River in Winslow

The falls over the dam at the Patoka River in Winslow

We had root beer floats and cherry cokes at Parkers Drug store.  The Dog n Suds was there, but the hippies hung out there and our parents made us stay away.   We would try to read comic books or the latest Teen Beat at Parkers or the Dime Store, but those mean old ladies were right on top of you.  You couldn’t read it unless you were going to buy it first.  I really wanted to see if Archie picked Betty or Veronica or what David Cassidy was up too, but had to put it back on the shelf.     We would walk around town, looking for pop bottles to return for a nickel. 

I saw some comments that a few of you left on my posts mentioning sledding at Oak Hill Cemetery: 

Oak Hill cemetery brings back many memories for me. Not only are many of my ancestors buried there, but the cemetery and the road down “Goose Hill” were the main spots to sled when we had enough snow. I fondly remember one decent snow fall in the mid to late 1960’s (probably 5 or 6 inches) when several young people spent the day “preparing the hill”. We poured water down the hill in the back of the cemetery to create a very slick sled run and built ramps to jump sleds off. That evening, I’d bet there were 50 or more kids and adults there that night gathering around a bonfire and riding sleds. Someone brought a galvanized metal Coca Cola sign (round sign that rode like/better than one of today’s plastic discs). Kids rode the sign down the hill as well as sleds. It’s a great memory for me of growing up in Winslow, Indiana!   -Joe Dedman

       Yeah… I remember that coca cola “sled”. I took my sled to the cemetary one morning after the bonfire. As I came to the bottom of the hill, I couldn’t turn my sled fast enough and cut off my finger on the coke sign. It scared my cousin so bad he ran back to my grandmother’s house that was at the bottom of the cemetary hill and left me behind. My parents took me to Oakland City to the “hospital” where I spent the next few days. Looking back, I was upset about my finger. I was upset about a pair of new gold colored knit gloves that had to be cut off my hand. I really loved those gloves.    -Brenda Pirkle Tullos

  Those comments made me go get my old photo box and start looking for my photos of sledding at Oak Hill.  We actually went sledding  in the cemetery.   There was an old car hood in the valley, left there for that purpose.  The valley was cleared out back then.    It took 2 or 3 kids to pull that heavy thing up the hill.  But you could pile several kids on it for the ride down.

On the car hood at Oak Hill Cemetery 1977

On the car hood at Oak Hill Cemetery 1977

Sledding on the car hood at Oak Hill Cemetery 1977

Sledding on the car hood at Oak Hill Cemetery 1977

 My kids had the Bridgeout Festival to attend in the 80s and 90s.  It was actually a very nice Midway with carnival rides.  I liked it better than the Pike County Fair.   They rode 4 wheelers and bicycles with their friends.  They had the Pantry with its Candy Lane.   They had the Igloo for ice cream.    Winslow is still hilly, that never changes.  They had sledding.  My son spent literally hours at the little creek on the bottom of the cemetery hill on East Street exploring.  One summer every empty jar he could find had crawdads in it. 

Last Saturday, the town held the Community Festival, reminiscent of the BridgeOut Festival held in the  80s and 90s when the old steel bridge was torn down and replaced on Highway 61.  For $3.00, you could play on the Midway for the entire day.   A kid could ride the wagon pulled by a tractor down to the park for free.  The Methodist Church had free popcorn.  There was a karaoke contest.  Bands played.  There were fun kid contests.  A car show, a tractor show.    A chainsaw carver carved a Winslow Eskimo, which is still their school mascot, from a tree stump in the park.  For very little money, a kid could run around town all day and have fun. 

During the Summer, the local churches sponsored a Skate Night on Friday nights.  Volunteers helped work, and kids could skate for $1.00 at the old gym.  Kids were walking around our neighborhood, after having started a dog walking business.  They would walk your dog for $1.00.  Humm, wonder what they needed the dollar for? 

Bicycles are still the preferred mode of transportation for the kids in town.  One gorgeous day which I was enjoying on my screened in porch, a group of about 12 kids rode up to my neighbor’s house.  They had a “Bicycle Club”.  They were riding around town gathering all of their friends.  They were discussing the name for their club.  I thought to myself, how simple and timeless. 

Chainsaw Carver carving a Winslow Eskimo at Riverside Park.  September 2009

Chainsaw Carver carving a Winslow Eskimo at Riverside Park. September 2009