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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 11/30/2006 :  07:18:28  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
My parents moved to 6432 Woodward Avenue with their six and a half year old son, yours truly, very late in 1955, and that is where I would spend the remainder of my childhood. Since I was so young when we moved there, virtually all of my childhood memories go back to Woodward Avenue. It was a wonderful place to grow up.

The picture below was taken in June of 1956, during our first summer on Woodward Avenue after moving-in the previous November. That's yours truly sitting there holding my beagle puppy, Chappy. The lady on the porch with me is my mom. The house that is partially visible on the left was the Tonkovich's house, and the house to the right belonged to Mr. Henry Eades, the owner of Hammond Electric at the time, and his wife, Edna.



The following picture is the way the house looked for most of the years that I lived there. Dad had the front porch enclosed with aluminum storm windows probably about 1959 or 1960.




My neighborhood was in the shape of a right triangle. The vertical leg was Calumet Avenue on the west, and the horizontal leg was 165th Street on the south. The hypotenuse of this right triangle, which formed the northeastern boundary, was the set of Monon RR tracks running from northwest to southeast between Calumet Avenue and 165th Street.

One of the streets included in my neighborhood was Crescent Place, which runs parallel to the Monon right-of-way (The tracks are gone now.). This is the site of the new Maywood School. The houses that were on the east side of Crescent Place when I was living in the neighborhood were torn down to make room for the school.

Woodward Avenue was my street. It is only one block long, the 6400 block, and runs from 165th Street to Cleveland Street, with Crescent Place intersecting it at an angle at the northern end, near Cleveland St. Woodward runs parallel to Calumet Avenue and two blocks east of it.

The next street to the west of Woodward was Euclid Avenue, which was only two blocks long, the 6300 and 6400 blocks.

The next street west after Euclid was Calumet Avenue, whose 6300 and 6400 blocks were the western edge of the neighborhood.

I was a frequent customer of Sweitzer's Bakery, located on the west side of the 6400 block of Calumet Avenue. The bakery was attached to Burgers Super Market on the corner of Calumet and Cleveland. I went there often to get my "fix" of chocolate brownies, which were covered with a thick layer of chocolate icing. The ladies who worked there called me the "Brownie Boy." Burger's moved to 165th and Columbia, and Sweitzer's either moved or just closed up entirely.

Also on the west side of Calumet Avenue’s 6400 block was Van’s Barber Shop, where I usually went for my haircuts.

Our next-door neighbors to the south were the Tonkovich's. You could not ask for better neighbors. Fritz and Stella were the parents, and they had six kids. Now the two oldest girls, Julia and Patsy, were out on their own and not living with their folks any more, but they were often over there for visits. Mickey, Sharon, David, and Kathy were there when I lived on Woodward. The Tonkovich's were fine people, and it was a joy to live next to them.

I saw Fritz, Patsy, Sharon, and Kathy on my recent visit to Hammond. Stella had passed away, and I believe they said that she died in 1997. How sad that I let so many years go by with no contact with any of the Tonkovich's. It HAD to have been at least since 1977 or 1978 that I had seen or talked to any of them. Why do we let people whom we care about slip into our past with no attempt to maintain communication with them?

Between the houses at the northern and eastern end of our neighborhood and the Monon tracks was a vacant field. Immediately behind the houses on Cleveland Street was an area where the neighborhood kids played sandlot football and baseball. There was an alley behind those houses, but there was also a little dirt road that ran parallel to the alley and a little further out into the field, and which tied-in with the alley at the eastern and western ends of the block. It was between the alley and that road that we played touch football, and this was also the "infield" for our baseball games.

There was a big cottonwood tree in that field just to the east of our ball playing area, and some of the older kids in the neighborhood built a tree house in it. Jimmy and Pepper Rodda were the chief architects. Those boys lived at the end of Crescent Place, where it ties in with Woodward. Their old house was one of the ones torn down when Maywood School was built. Pepper was two years older than I, and Jimmy was a couple years older than Pepper.

Another great attraction in that big field was the remnants of some kind of building. Only sections of the concrete floor and foundation remained from the building, and the soil had been dug out from under some of these sections. This was the perfect place to play army! The dug out areas served as cover from the withering fire brought to bear on us by the enemy and was a good place to care for the wounded.

I miss those days of my youth in the fifties and sixties. Life was sweet, and I cherish my memories of Woodward Avenue. My dad worked hard and provided for our family, and my mom stayed home and kept house. I am so glad that my mom was home every day when I got home after school. I was blessed with a great set of parents, a wonderful home, and a terrific neighborhood to grow up in. God gave me an ideal childhood.

Hammond High Class of 1967

m10bob

USA
233 Posts

Posted - 12/09/2006 :  12:08:29  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you for the pictures and story Tom..Your home looks to be the same housing addition as the one Shep lived in, his home is very similar,(structurally), but I believe your yard was a tad larger..
Hammond has the houses listed in the Lake County site, and nearly all can be verified,(historically)..
I'm a fan of the Monon..........

In Hoc Agricula Conc
In Est Spittle Louk
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wvcogs

USA
564 Posts

Posted - 12/10/2006 :  17:40:40  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I'm surprised Tom hasn't replied already. His former home on Woodward Avenue is similar in appearance to the one where Shep lived at 2907 Cleveland Street in Hessville, but is located a little over two miles to the west in the main part of Hammond. There are many early 1900's bungalow style houses like this one and the one on Cleveland Street located throughout the city.

Ken...
Former Hessvillite
Morton Graduate 1960

Edited by - wvcogs on 12/10/2006 17:41:45
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2006 :  11:50:23  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
m10bob:

You're welcome. I always enjoy sharing my wonderful childhood memories, and I always love to hear others tell of theirs.

As Ken said, my neighborhood was west of Shep's, but I don't think it is as far as two miles. It could be, I guess, but I would have guessed less. I'll do a "mapquest" and find out!

Ken (wvcogs), good to hear from you. Where's that nice long email you said you would send me?

Tom

Hammond High Class of 1967
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/11/2006 :  12:21:54  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Wow, it was further than I thought. Mapquest says 2.63 miles.

Hammond High Class of 1967
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2006 :  08:22:35  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
There was an interesting thing about our house, and from my visits to our neighbors' homes, it appeared that the other houses on the street were built with the same feature. It was necessary to walk through the first bedroom in order to get to the back bedroom.

Mom and Dad used that first bedroom, and my room was the back bedroom. I had to walk through Mom and Dad's room to get to my room. It must seem like a terrible lack of privacy, I know, but in reality, it just wasn't a problem for us.

My room took up the entire width of the house, which was only about 20' outside dimension, and there were double windows in the corners. In the NW corner of my room, I had a window facing north, toward the Eades's house, and one facing west toward Calumet Ave. In the southwest corner there was a window facing south, toward the Tonkovich's house, and one facing west toward Calumet Ave. Sharon Tonkovich, who was my age, and I used to holler back and forth to one another through our windows once in a while.

Tom

Hammond High Class of 1967

Edited by - Tom J on 12/19/2006 10:34:34
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2006 :  10:34:01  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
A few months ago I found in some of Mom and Dad's papers a copy of the deed to that house and the mortgage papers for the loan Dad took out to buy the place.

Dad borrowed $5000 from First State Bank, and my sister, who is thirteen years older than I, says that she believes that Mom and Dad borrowed the same amount from Dad's parents. Sis believes that the house was purchased for $10,000. The first home Dad ever bought was the one on Homerlee Avenue in EC, but we were only there two years, so Dad wouldn't have had any real equity in that house. I guess Dad was pretty much starting from scratch when he bought the house on Woodward.

The mortgage took effect on November 16, 1955, the interest rate was 5.5%, and the monthly payment was $54.27. Nice house payment, wasn't it? I don't know how much per month Dad was paying back to my grandparents.

Dad paid off the mortgage on April 21, 1965, just a few months ahead of the scheduled final payment due date of December 1, 1965. The mortgage papers include a hand-written ledger listing all the payments Dad made and showing how much of each payment went to interest and how much was applied to the principal.

I don't remember Dad making a big deal of having the house paid off. Mom and Dad insulated me from the realities of our family finances. If we were ever on the verge of serious financial troubles, I never knew about it, because Mom and Dad were careful not to discuss things like that in front of me.

I knew we were far from being "rich," and my expectations for material things seemed to automatically conform to our financial capabilities. Oh, I had my dreams, like any kid, for expensive things, but I never really expected to have those things, and I didn't let it grieve me that I couldn't have them.

It's funny how that even though I am 57 years of age, with Dad having been gone for 12 years now, and with Mom being a 92 year old lady whose mind is completely gone, I am only now recognizing some of the wonderful things that my parents did for me, like protecting me from any worries about our family finances.

I saw how hard Dad worked to provide for us, working his regular job at Minas's and striping parking lots for extra income. I never heard Dad complain about how hard he had to work.

Ok, I got side-tracked, and now back to the house. The lot the house occupied was 37.50' along the street and 125.0' deep. According to the deed, our house was on "Lot #25" in "Block 4" of the "Park Ridge" addition to Hammond. We were the sixth house north of 165th Street on the west side of Woodward Avenue.

The house itself had outside dimensions of 20.2' in wide by 32.1' deep, not counting the front porch, which is shown as adding another 7.7' to the long dimension of the house.

Here's a picture of the best Mom and Dad anyone ever had. It was taken several years after Dad retired, probably 1989.

Tom






Hammond High Class of 1967

Edited by - Tom J on 12/19/2006 10:48:20
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 12/19/2006 :  19:19:06  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Great humanizing touch of the pix. It gives reality to just the shape of words. [Incidentally,your father resembles my maternal uncle!]lkjh
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 12/20/2006 :  20:59:18  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by svea3

Great humanizing touch of the pix. It gives reality to just the shape of words. [Incidentally,your father resembles my maternal uncle!]lkjh



Thanks, Linda.

Mom and Dad were a very nice looking retired couple, but you should have seen how handsome Dad was and how beautful Mom was in their younger days. Here's a couple pics of them that were taken when they were very young.





Hammond High Class of 1967
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 12/23/2006 :  22:32:44  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
AND you are so correct. I just saw the FOXNEWS items on the house in Cleveland. We should mount a campaign for the REAL house of Hessville to be shown. I bet it wouldn't cost as much as he spent on the one in Cleveland.

Linda - OPMHS
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DEEDEE

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 12/27/2006 :  17:38:44  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank you Tom for the story and pics. As I grew up, I ran around all areas of Hammond and Hessville. I loved to go to Woodmar Mall, Downtown Hammond, etc. My first job in High school was at Red Robin in Hammond. It was a clothing store. My best friend worked at Madvicks Vienna which is still there on Calumet. I still go back once in a while to see how everything has changed. I was just in that area a few weeks ago with my mother (81 years old). We went to Elmwood Cemetery to place a wreath on my father and little brother's grave).
One of my favorite places in Hammond was Arts Drive-In. I can't remember the previous name before it became Arts. And Oh yes, I can't forget "The Kettle" Across the street from Tech. The owner, Virgie, (I think that was her name) was so nice to all the High School kids. (Did not rat us out for smoking when a teacher would pop in).

From Hammond & Hessville
Now..."the Boonies"
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svea3

USA
223 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2006 :  10:02:30  Show Profile  Send svea3 an ICQ Message  Click to see svea3's MSN Messenger address  Reply with Quote
Welcome! It is nice to have another female on the site. My grandparents lived on Walter Ave right down from Tech- maybe half a block and my parents lived there in their first house from 1931-34. My father graduated from Tech in February of 1926 and my one cousin also graduated from there.

There was a market for meat and groceries. I can't remember the name, but my Grandmother would have me walk there to get meat for here to prepare macaroni chili. NOW there is a recipe which is begging to be put into our cookbook.

My dad came from the 'Boonies', as my Grandfather used to call Hessville. My dad was from the Lohse family who was one of the founding families from Hessville. My parents built a house on Marshall. My dad took the streetcar to Tech. I believe that is where the Dedelow's went to Tech also. They were the plumbers of the town. One of the Dedelow's was just mayor, I believe. He was the nephew of my Kindergarten classmate, Billy Dedelow, now going by Ed.

At anyrate, welcome to the site.

Linda OPMHS '60
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DEEDEE

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2006 :  14:14:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thank You Linda, I am glad I found this site. The great pictures bring back so many memories. I miss stores like the Hessville 5 & 10, and the Drug store. My passion is antiques and I love looking at pictures of towns as they were back when. I love going into old buildings and houses. I went into Goldblatts before it closed to capture the memory. After all the years, the memory starts fading. I can't remember the name of the store on the Southwest corner accross from the 5 & 10 in Hessville. The only thing that comes to my mind is "R". At some point in time, I can't remember if it was Harding or Tech, I went to school with a Michael Lohse. Remembering that name is a suprise to me. Ha Ha Ha.

From Hammond & Hessville
Now..."the Boonies"
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Bill Bucko

USA
359 Posts

Posted - 12/29/2006 :  19:54:01  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by DEEDEE
I miss stores like the Hessville 5 & 10, and the Drug store ... I can't remember the name of the store on the Southwest corner accross from the 5 & 10 in Hessville.
It was Hill's Hammond Times Agency.

See the Hammond Map thread, and follow the links to the map I compiled:

a half-sized version at http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/Hessville_Map.jpg

and a full-sized version at http://i58.photobucket.com/albums/g268/wvcogs72/HessvilleMap1950s.jpg

Hope it brings back memories!

Bill

Warren G. Harding Class of '63
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DEEDEE

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 12/30/2006 :  19:34:48  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks Bill, I don't know what made me think of "R" I remember Rexall Drugs from somewhere. Is it possible that it was there after Hills? or maybe it was next door??

From Hammond & Hessville
Now..."the Boonies"
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 01/28/2007 :  21:59:56  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
I finally found a picture of my house without all the snow. This was taken in the summer of 1975. The slide was dated Dec 1975, but the picture was obviously taken in the summer. I always got vacation the first two weeks of July back then, so that must be when we visited Hammond. I had been living in KY for the previous two and a half years.

The kids are my wife's nephew on the left and her little brother on the right.

Tom




A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!

Edited by - Tom J on 01/28/2007 22:02:32
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momcat2000

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  08:06:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Tom, did you go to Wallace elementary?
Did you know the Evan's, Strauch's, Hendrick's? I think they lived in your area. HHS75
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  08:17:06  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by momcat2000

Tom, did you go to Wallace elementary?
Did you know the Evan's, Strauch's, Hendrick's? I think they lived in your area. HHS75



Yes, yes, yes, and yes! :)

Of the people you mentioned, I knew Donald Strauch the best. He and I were pretty good friends as kids. Will be seeing him, I hope, at our HHS Class of 67 40th reunion August 3rd thru August 5th.

I knew some of the Hendricks kids and the Evans kids, too.

Don Strauch and I were the same age and went to school together at Wallace Elementary, Washington Jr. High, and Hammond High.

The Evans kids, David, Evan, and Brad, were younger than I.

The Hendricks closest to my age was Sherry, who was a year older. Her brother, Mike, would be next closest to my age, I believe. A bunch of the neighborhood kids played basketball on the court behind their house.

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!

Edited by - Tom J on 02/13/2007 10:10:55
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momcat2000

USA
11 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  11:50:13  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I went to Wallace, and Washington too. My oldest brother Matt, graduated from Tech in 68, but went to HHS for the 1st 2 years. We kids were 3rd generation HHSers. He used to work partime at Enoch's on Calumet Ave.
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Tom J

1192 Posts

Posted - 02/13/2007 :  13:48:04  Show Profile  Visit Tom J's Homepage  Reply with Quote
quote:
Originally posted by momcat2000

I went to Wallace, and Washington too. My oldest brother Matt, graduated from Tech in 68, but went to HHS for the 1st 2 years. We kids were 3rd generation HHSers. He used to work partime at Enoch's on Calumet Ave.



I sent you an email. We have much in common, and some reminiscing is definitely in order!

I remember Enoch's Standard on the corner or Cleveland and Calumet. My dad did some business there.

What street and what block did you live on when you went to Wallace and Washington?

Tom

A 1967 Graduate of Hammond High who cherishes his memories of growing up in the Hammond of the 1950's and 1960's. Bring back those days!
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Pro2am

USA
169 Posts

Posted - 04/03/2007 :  20:56:21  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Diane,

IIRC there was a Rexall's on Indianapolis Blvd. in Woodmar - west side of the street between 169th and 171st.

Mike Rapchak Jr.
Hammond, IN

-------------------------------------
quote:
Originally posted by DEEDEE

Thanks Bill, I don't know what made me think of "R" I remember Rexall Drugs from somewhere. Is it possible that it was there after Hills? or maybe it was next door??

From Hammond & Hessville
Now..."the Boonies"

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Paddy

USA
141 Posts

Posted - 04/24/2015 :  23:38:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I grew up in two Hammond neighborhoods. Our first house was at 4842 Beech Street, which runs from Hoffman on the north to 150th on the south. The lot and building materials cost $3500.00, and my father and grandfather built in 1941. They added a second story two years later to increase space for our growing family.

Like many neighborhoods in the Calumet region, it was a working-class mix of residential and industrial uses. Bishop Noll High School was to the north. It's property ran from the city limit with EC to Irving Park, with swampland in between. LaSalle Steel took up most of 150th Street on the south, running from the city limit with EC west to Cherry Avenue or beyond. The Hammond bus barn at Columbia and 150th took up half a square block.

The neighborhood was also an ethnic mix. We Coughlin's were known as Irish, although my mother was half Irish and French Belgian. Our neighbors were a mix of Croatian, Polish and Scots Irish.

Recounting my memories of that neighborhood would take volumes, not to mention my second neighborhood on Harrison Street. I would like to hear your stories of where you grew up in Hammond.
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