Just the right side to have a wrong side - under 50K. Wikipedia: "In the late 19th century, Mishawaka became known as the 'Peppermint Capital of the World', since the area's rich black loam produced great quantities of mint." I'm assuming that's wikipedia, since I would never write a line like that. Sounds too much like Wikipedia. Anyway:

Boss, I’ve got good news and bad news.

What’s the good news?

The cornice arrived.

What's the bad news?

PHENIX is usually your guarantee of a previous fire. Sure enough: in 1872, a deliberately-set fire in a hayloft devastated the town.

In September 1872, a fire destroyed three quarters of Mishawaka’s business district. However, the citizens rebuilt and attracted new industry.

This one went up three years later. This newspaper story calls it the Phoenix, but obviously that’s not the case.

As for the strange cornice . . . well, take a look at the picture.

Sometimes the hardest part of art is knowing when to quit:


That’s uniquely horrible and everyone involved should look down at the ground, chastened.

What sort of giant lived on the second floor?

You can tell the building on the left - our horrible building discussed above - was quite old. Not just the thin windows, but the thin staircase leading up to the residential portion. And you can still read the old purpose from the exterior, despite the renovation.

An old phase of American architecture, not too popular - and hence the examples are rare.

Rusticated dark stone and columns. It was a transitional style. The Masons built, by the way.

Like a handsy uncle who likes to put an arm around your shoulder and draw you close and give you advice

I wonder if this is Doc Pierce’s place

Therein hangs, as you probably guessed, a tale.

Doctor Ray Vaughn Pierce was a traveling medicine man at the turn of the century with a simple perspective on life, health, + family: The woman is the provider of life and the caretaker of the home. Therefore, when the woman is happy, the home is happy. Witnessing regularly the stressors of childbearing and the duties of serving a household, Doc Pierce made it his priority to find a cure-all for the young women he encountered. And thus the "Golden Discovery" was born, a medley of herbs with the slightest tincture of what was once used in strains of liquid opium. It's possible that this medical discovery kept the young ladies he doctored fairly buzzed... But if his goal was to keep women and the family happy, what a better solution than a strong drink, all the more enjoyed around a table with hearty food, laughter, + conversation with friends + family. 

Yeah, uh huh. Wikipedia:

Pierce engaged in the manufacture and sale of patent medicines and established the Invalids' Hotel and Surgical Institute. His manufacturing business started with "Doctor Pierce's Favorite Prescription", which he followed with other medicines, including Smart Weed and Dr. Pierce's Pleasant Pellets. His venture proved a success, with nearly one million bottles of Dr. Pierce's Smart Weed and other preparations shipped annually.

He was a member of the New York State Senate (31st D.) in 1878 and 1879. Pierce was elected as a Republican to the 46th United States Congress, holding office from March 4, 1879 to September 18, 1880, when he resigned.

Smart weed, eh.


The Y is a bit much and the letters look as if they’re going to slide off and clatter to the sidewalk, but great old signage like this is rare.

None of their rehabs seem quite right, do they?

It’s like the guy wanted the entire upper floor for his office, and wanted a window where he could stand, hands clasped behind his back, and consider the world like a captain of industry. And a door he could use if there was a crash, and he wanted to step out of his office and fall to his death.

I’m not blaming Gene.


The materials are interesting, and I like it - but again, it’s just a bit odd.


Why did we go here? I was doing ads, or matchbooks, or clippings, or something, and ran across mention of Red Ball Shoes. I remembered those from my youth, and was curious to tour the town where they'd been made. Wikipedia:

The Dodge Manufacturing Company, Perkins Windmills and the Mishawaka Woolen and Rubber Company (later Ball Band, then Uniroyal) all helped the town to prosper.

The factory site today.