Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

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October 18, 2012

Local historian to publish first book



“We have all these terrific photos so when I would clock out I would just stick around looking at different files and photos,” she said. “I would make copies and take them home. I even commandeered our dining room table for much of the work.”

She said her husband was very supportive and would often lend a helping hand.

“I’d say ‘hey, come look at this one!’ and he’d stop what he was doing and come take a look at whatever photo I was considering,” she said.

Her parents, Bob and Judy Lydick, also helped with the “leg work” during the project.

“My mom came to the library and went through some of the old Plainfield Messenger newspapers looking for one specific thing for me,” Poray said. “I also called my dad any time I needed to get a target date for any photo that had an old car in it. He’s terrific on dating cars. I really appreciated their help.”

The book’s chapters include Early Plainfield, Downtown Plainfield, School Time, Religious Life, Business, Above Plainfield, Transportation, Fun Times, Indiana Boys’ School, and Around Town.

“We really have a neat Boys’ School collection from the 1930s and ‘40s,” she said. “They’re from when it was really a teaching and reform school. We also have a lot of great aerial photos. I thought it would be fun for people to see those.”

One of her many favorite photos is in the business section. It’s a photo of Bill Strafford and his then 2-year-old son, Bill Strafford Jr., in front of the Strafford’s Pharmacy vehicle.

“I have so many favorites,” she said. “But I just love this one.”

The cover photo is of children from Plainfield elementary schools, all dress up for the play “March of the Tin Soldiers.” The group was ready for dress rehearsal in their matching white soldier costumes. It was taken in front of the John C. Reeder house at the corner of East Main and Wabash streets some time in the early 1920s.

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