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Historical Photomerge: Havilah Beardsley Statue

Historical Photomerge of Havilah Beardsley Statue

A city’s founder keeps watch 100 years later. Archival image portion courtesy of Elkhart Public Library.

The Havilah Beardsley statue is located in a triangular plot between W Beardsley Ave and N Riverside Drive in Elkhart, IN. The archival photo appears to be taken in late fall or early spring in 1913. It’s obvious the monument is in the midst of construction with the large crane in the background and unfinished stonework on the right. I set out to shoot the modern photo in a similar season exactly 100 years later. I used some Instagram-like effects to accentuate the season and construction site.

Elkhart residents may recognize the Christiana Court location in this photomerge just north of the statue.

The setting can be quite a nice spot in the springtime with thick foliage, fountains and built-in benches, however, it’s a bit off the beaten path. The closest tourist destination is the Havilah Beardsley House (HBH) about a block to the east. HBH is in the process of a magnificent restoration but does offer tours to the public. See the Ruthmere Website for more information.

By the way, Albert Beardsley who had the statue erected was the owner of Ruthmere. He hired E. Hill Turnock, Ruthmere’s architect, to do the design.

The plaque inscription tells most of the story…

IN HONOR OF
HAVILAH BEARDSLEY
1785-1856
FIRST PHYSICIAN OF THIS TOWNSHIP
WHO
PURCHASED SECTION FIVE OF THE INDIANS
IN 1829, AND IN 1832 LAID OUT THE ORIGINAL
PLAT OF ELKHART. BUILT THE FIRST SAW MILL IN 1831; THE FIRST FLOUR MILL IN 1832;
THE FIRST CARDING MILL IN 1835; THE SECOND
FLOUR MILL IN 1845; THE FIRST PAPER MILL
IN 1847.

ERECTED BY HIS NEPHEW
ALBERT R. BEARDSLEY
1913

E. HILL TURNOCK – ARCHITECT

There are three more plaques…

  • On the north side with a likeness of  Havilah’s wife RACHEL CALHOUN BEARDSLEY 1800-1890
  • On the south side with a depiction and inscription of the OLD BEARDSLEY MILL 1845
  • On the west side with a depiction and inscription of the FIRST SAW MILL IN ELKHART 1831
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