Southern Indiana Living

JUL-AUG 2017

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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July/August 2017 • 17 times defeat their town. Reese Stevens is one of those resil- ient residents. Stevens was the second- generation owner of Derr's Sanitary Mar- ket in the heart of downtown Marengo. The family-owned grocery (his mother and stepfather, the late Marguerite and Russell "Pop" Derr, started the store in the early 1940s) was on the cuĴing edge — it was one of the first in the area to offer self-service. The store provided personal service as well. "I spent many Saturday mornings making deliveries," Stevens re- called. "We delivered to elderly, disabled people without transportation — most anyone who needed it." "And he didn't charge a penny, not even gas money," added Stevens' wife, Janice. They operated the store until they sold it in 1987. On Christmas Eve 1947, a fire de- stroyed the grocery, along with Beals' Variety and Miller's Apparel. None of the stores were insured. "We bought more land and expanded," Stevens said. "We were back in business by the end of March with the help of volunteers. In those days, my mother could go to the bank and bor- row what money she needed for the store with just a handshake." That is the kind of spirit that has en- ergized Marengo through several disas- ters, including other major fires in 1910 and in 1948. In the 1910 fire, all but two of the major buildings in the main business section burned to the ground. In 1948, Aunt Pet's Restaurant on the corner of Bradley and Washington Streets burned and several other structures were dam- aged. Marengo's fire department was formed around 1948 and today it's a top- notch organization with state-of-the-art equipment and well-trained volunteer firefighters. Homes Many of Marengo's stately two-sto- ry homes of the 1900s have given way to natural disasters or the ravages of time but two have been beautifully restored: the Proctor House, restored by the Crawford County Historical Society, and the for- mer Ed Ross property, restored by Bobby Gene and Mary Ann Wiseman. The Dill- man-Green Funeral Home in downtown Marengo is also a majestic structure that has been well-maintained. Churches Churches have always been a big part of the town. Marengo Christian Church is the oldest, having been char- tered in 1888. Other churches include Cedar Street Baptist, Marengo Wesleyan and Marengo United Methodist. Places to worship just outside of the incorpo- rated town include St. Joseph Catholic, Jesus Christ of LaĴer-day Saints, Hillview Christian, United Brethren in Christ and Pilgrim Holiness. Clifton remembered It is not only the old-timers who remember Marengo Cave's Bill Clifton. Pictured: Kendra Goldman and Amy Forbes give SIL team a lesson in cotton candy making. Sweet Fortune Candy is made at the Marengo Candy Barn.

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