Century Club: Washington Ave Presbyterian


Architect sketch of the proposed church
Architect sketch of the proposed church

The idea of Washington Ave Presbyterian was conceived in late 2012 when the Presbyterian church wish to expand eastward.  The new church was planned to serve the growing suburbs buoyed by the streetcar.  The cornerstone was laid June 29, 1913, and construction progressed rapidly on what was dubbed “one of the finest churches in the city.”

Construction of Washington Ave Presbyterian June 1913

The church was dedicated May 17, 1914 making it the 7th Presbyterian church in Evansville.  The interior boasted a green color scheme with ivory colored ceiling set off with pink and brown decorations.  Its seating capacity was around 400.

Washington Avenue Presbyterian shortly after it was completed
Washington Avenue Presbyterian shortly after it was completed

An addition was built in 1954 to the right (west).  Some of the adjoining houses including the old parish house were cleared for parking.

1950s addition
1950s addition

Washington Ave Presbyterian merged with Eastminster Presbyterian on August 19, 1999. The old church was converted into the Washington Avenue Center, an outreach mission where more than a dozen ministries took place.

Not long after, the church became God’s Way Church which still operates here today.  It should be noted that during renovations the church was required to replace some of the beautiful stain glass windows on the front with clear glass per fire code.

Grand entrance
Grand entrance to the church
God's Way Church today
God’s Way Church today (note the center front window with the stain glass removed)

Aster Nut Products Co

Aster Nut Products Co on the alley behind Main St

The building was originally built for the Evansville Tea & Coffee company in 1924.  A storefront was built at 1004 Main St at the corner of William St (now Sycamore St) and a factory was built behind it across the alley (the building in the picture above).

Storefront at 1004 Main St

Around 1946 the Aster Nut Products Co moved in. It was the only manufacturer of peanut butter within 150 miles.  They also boasted that no stock was kept on hand and that all orders were made fresh.

Girls working in the factory 1946
cashew butter
Aster’s unique cashew butter — I wish I could still get this
Store front
Store front prepped for the holidays December 1946

During a natural gas shortage in 1977, Aster Nut Co had the unfortunate honor of being the first company to have its gas service cut off.  The company had used their allotment for the winter and had to operate in the cold.

Aster Nut Products closed sometime around 1978 not long after the FDA seized contaminated food from the company.  The building later became the Jewett Davidson Co in the 1980s

Main St, 1004 - side (2012)
“Jewett Davidson Company” on the side with the paint fading
Side of building 1004 Main
Side of building 1004 Main