The Vidette-Messenger Centennial EditionThe 1936 special edition celebrating Porter County's centennial year . . . .

The following article has been transcribed from the August 18, 1936, issue of The Vidette-Messenger, published in Valparaiso, Indiana. This particular special edition focuses on Porter County's centennial celebration and contains a 94-page compendium of Porter County history up to that time.

Return to the index of articles from The Vidette-Messenger's Porter County Centennial special edition.

Source: The Vidette-Messenger, Valparaiso, Porter County, Indiana; August 18, 1936; Volume 10, Section 4, Page 18.


Erasmus Ball Home Always Commanded Public Interest


The Erasmus Ball property (now the Charles Lunceford home) on Campbell road at the head of Haas street has held public interest through the seventy years since its foundations were laid. Mr. Ball boasted as its cellar was being dug that his might not be the largest in town but it should be the best built. Time has showed that he was no vain prophet. While not the largest house in town it embraced twelve rooms, two halls, a spacious attic and front and back stairs. Back stairs were equivalent to a patent of mobility in Valparaiso of the seventies.

The house was handsomely furnished in the style of the period but had its own special features. The Balls, both husband and wife, were book lovers and built in book cases to the ceiling, crowded with carefully selected books, distinguished the library. The couple were also horticulturists and spent many house in their orchard, vegetable garden, and flower gardens. Mrs. Ball came from Orange county, New York, and after a visit home would set out new varieties of fruit and flowers, which never failed to grow under her careful tendance.

The home was ideally situated, the ground sloping away from the house to the south and west. Beyond the field to the west was a large pond, an ideal place for skating in winter.

The slope from the north made it possible for coasters to start at what is now Park avenue and sweep down and across the pond to Chestnut streets. On Saturday afternoons in winter the pals of the son and the two daughters would crowd into the big kitchen to warm, while Mrs. Ball buttered slices of warm bread for their hungry mouths; often she added a topping of apple butter. The dining table seated easily 22, and tea parties were among the favorite diversions of the two daughters.

After 1920 none of the family were left in Valparaiso. The house stood vacant until it was bought by Charles Lunceford, a decorator from Chicago. His interest in the place dated back to the days when he had courted his wife, Lu Powell, in the house just north, a house also historical, for it was built in the 60's by the second resident minister of the Presbyterian church, Rev. S. C. Logan. Mr. Lunceford left the exterior walls of the Ball mansion untouched; but tore away the porch and gave it a modern entrance. Within the partitions have been moved to make a grand living room with outlook to the east, north and west. Mr. Lunceford s a collector of unusual curios, as his home bears evidence. The wilderness of shrubs and vines prized by Mrs. Ball as much a landmark as the house itself -- the Balls were fond of having the only specimen in town -- have given place to stretches of green sward bordered by trim hedges.

Article transcribed by Steven R. Shook


CSS Template by Rambling Soul