Wednesday, April 30, 2008

RUN ACROSS AMERICA: Richmond, Indiana

91 days and 629 miles later, I am running through the border town of Richmond, Indiana. Long gone were the Pittsburgh and Columbus milestones. I had planned to write about those wonderful cities, but it's been pretty hectic in the Blogrunner world recently to do anything about it. As a footnote however, I will say that if you ever do go to Pittsburgh, that you really owe it to yourself to check out the Mattress Factory. It is one of the most bizarre, and wonderful places anywhere around. And no, it's not mattresses they show you, but some of the most uniquely qualified avant-garde art this side of the universe.

I know very little about Richmond, so rather than pretend that I do by paraphrasing Wikipedia, I'm just going to blockquote it below. Pictures are provided courtesy to the internet and all who own them. Thanks to all.

One non-sequitor....I am going to see Boston and REO Speedwagon on the 12th of August at Jones Beach. I've never seen either group, and I am stoked about it! I'll be bringing wine, cheese and crackers for a little high-class tailgating.
Okay back to Richmond....

Richmond (pronounced /ˈrɪtʃmənd/) is a
city in Wayne
, Wayne County, in
east central Indiana, which borders Ohio. It is sometimes
called the "cradle of recorded jazz" because some early jazz
records originated there at the studio of Gennett Records, a
division of the Starr
Piano Company
Richmond is the county seat of Wayne County.
The city's 2000 population was 39,124. In the 1990s, Richmond's population
declined by 1.6 percent.[4]]

Richmond was settled along the East Fork of the Whitewater
in 1806 by Quaker families from North
. John Smith and David Hoover were among the earliest settlers.
Richmond is still home to several Quaker institutions including Friends United
, Earlham College and the Earlham School of

Richmond is believed to have been the smallest community in the United
States with a professional opera company and symphony orchestra. The Whitewater
has since closed its doors but the Richmond Symphony Orchestra is a
source of community pride. Will Earhart formed the
first complete high school orchestra in Richmond in 1899. A later orchestra
director, Joseph E. Maddy went on
to found what is now known as the Interlochen
Center for the Arts
in Michigan.

A significant group of artists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries
came to be known as the Richmond Group. The list
of artists includes John Elwood Bundy, Charles Conner, George Herbert
, Maude
Kaufman Eggemeyer
and John
Albert Seaford
among others. The Richmond Art Museum
has an outstanding collection of regional and American art.[5] Many
consider the most significant painting in the collection to be a self portrait
of Indiana-born William Merritt

Richmond was once known as "the lawnmower capital" because of the lawn
mowers manufactured there from the late 19th century through the mid-20th
century. Manufacturers included Davis, Motomower, Dille-McGuire
and F&N.
The farm machinery builder Gaar-Scott was based in

In the 1920s, Indiana had the strongest Ku Klux Klan organization
in the country under Grand Dragon D. C. Stephenson, with
control over the state legislature and an ally in Governor Ed
.[7] At its
height, national membership during the second Klan movement reached 1.5 million,
with 300,000 from Indiana.[8]
Records show that Richmond (home to Whitewater Klan #60) and Wayne County were
Klan strongholds, with up to 45 percent of the county's white males having been
Klan members.[8][9] At the
same time Gennett Records was recording important black jazz artists,[10] it
also produced private-label contract recordings for the Ku Klux Klan.[11]
Official racial segregation was a feature of Richmond life until 1965, when the
city ended its policy of restricting black firefighters to one station and
limiting the promotion opportunities of firefighters and police

After starting out in nearby Union City, Wayne
Agricultural Works moved to Richmond. Wayne was a manufacturer of horse-drawn
vehicles, including "kid hacks", a precursor of the
motorized school bus. Beginning in the
early 1930s through the 1940s, several automobile designers and
manufacturers were located in Richmond. Among the automobiles manufactured there
was the "Richmond" which was built by the Wayne Works, the "Rodefeld", the
"Davis", the "Pilot", the Westcott and the Crosley.

In the 1950s, Wayne Works became Wayne Corporation, a
well-known bus and school bus
manufacturer, and relocated to a site adjacent to Interstate 70 in 1967. The
company was a leader in school bus safety innovations, but closed in 1992 during
a period of school bus manufacturing industry consolidations.

Richmond was known as the Rose City because of the many
varieties once grown there by Hill's Roses in several sprawling complexes of greenhouses. The company
once had about 34 acres under glass. The Richmond Rose Festival honored the rose
industry and was a popular summer attraction.

Richmond is located on the National Road,[12]
which became part of the system of National Auto
. The highway is now known as U.S.
Highway 40
. One of the extant Madonna of the
monuments was dedicated at Richmond on October 28, 1928[13] The
monument sits in a corner of Glen Miller Park adjacent to U.S. 40.

On April
, 1968, several
downtown blocks were destroyed or damaged by a natural gas
explosion and fire
, killing 41 people and injuring more than 150.[14]
Thereafter, the main street through downtown was closed to traffic and the
Downtown Promenade was built in 1972 (and later expanded in 1978). The
five-block pedestrian mall was later torn down and the street reopened to
traffic in 1997 as part of an urban revitalization effort.

A Powerball lottery ticket sold
in Richmond won approximately $314 million (annuity value) in the August 25, 2007 drawing. In
1998, a group of 13 machine-shop workers from Ohio won Powerball on a ticket that
had also been purchased in Richmond
. It won $295.7 million (annuity). The
two tickets were sold at two different Speedway convenience stores
about three miles apart; both sets of winners also chose the cash

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