Researching Comes Hard Some Times

Over the four months of the existence of this blog, I have covered quite a plethora of topics. I really love doing this, no matter how much time it takes or how much brain freeze I go through to create something that I think might be interesting to you, my audience. Sometimes I hit, sometimes not. I like to believe that there are more hits than bombs.

There are subjects that I would really like to cover. But, even with my numerous sources, there are things that I can’t find anything about. It can be discouraging at times. Admittedly, some of the topics that I have covered have come from my looking up other things that I can’t find. While researching some of those topics, I do something that I very rarely do: give up.

One of the topics that I have chomping on for the past few weeks stems from a map of Allen County of 1876. On that map, there is a road called “Illinois State Road.” It is now called Illinois Road, also known as State Road 14. One would think that there would be some information somewhere as to where this road got its name. I haven’t found anything about it.

There are other things on that map that interest me. Indianapolis Road (which I will research at some point as it may be the same as the Fort Wayne Road on the Indianapolis end), two Huntington Roads, Yellow River Road, among others. There is also the Pennsylvania Railroad center of Fort Wayne (called the Altoona of the West).

Some of the biggest obstacles to researching is, honestly, the lack of specific resources in an ocean of resources. My biggest resource, newspapers.com, has a TON of Indiana newspapers. But there are gaps. Not complaining, mind you. I love what I find there. But there are some things that I would kill to have access to here at my house. One can go to the state library and get almost every newspaper in Indiana history on microfilm. Microfilm, though, leaves a little to be desired in the search department. It also gets to be a problem with working nights. (I guess the old line “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” is a little less true when you pass half a century old. I have found that, when I can, I really like sleep.)

Map information can be spotty, as well. Again, the state library web site is very good. But there are things that would be really nice to be able to see, if they exist anywhere. I personally own a reproduction of the 1876 Atlas of Indiana, as well as something like 60 or so Indiana Official Maps. But, to be honest, I would kill for early 19th century maps of Indiana. I just haven’t been able to find them.

As I continue to find things to share, I still open the doors to you, my audience, to recommend what you would like to see. I will admit it. I can’t think of everything. You can always drop me a line at the ITH Facebook Group. I am working on acquiring a contact e-mail for the blog. You can also comment to any of the blog entries with suggestions.

Let me end by saying, once again, that I appreciate the fact that you have spent your time here. Thank you very, very, much.

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