Indiana House Bill 1001

Indiana House Bill 1001 (the state budget bill) includes a proposed 24% cut in funding to the Indiana State Library, including elimination of the Genealogy Department at the State Library and a 10% reduction in Indiana State Library staff. Today VCHS President Chris Cooke, with the backing of the VCHS board of directors, responds to these cuts. Click here (pdf) for a copy of the letter being sent to area legislators. Please feel free to share this letter and contact your legislator with any comments or concerns.

Lambert Johnson mansion

We came across the Lambert Johnson home in a Find-It-Friday listing new residences around 1930. After identifying Lambert Johnson’s house as 2300 Lincoln Ave, this house has only intrigued us more.

Lambert D Johnson residence, Outer Lincoln, completed last year (1929)
Lambert D Johnson residence, Outer Lincoln, completed last year (1929)

Lambert D Johnson Sr was the son of E Mead Johnson, who founded Mead Johnson and located the company here in the 1910s. In 1928 Lambert bought the old Bernardin residence and land which was next to his father’s house. Johnson relocated the home nearby to Boeke Ave and soon built a large English Tudor mansion. The house designed by Chester Walcot (Chicago) was paneled throughout much of the interior and donned imported fixtures. It was built by J Bippus and Sons for a price tag of $200,000 and was completed in 1929.

New home for Lambert Johnson 2-17-1929
New home for Lambert Johnson 2-17-1929

The Johnsons lived here for several years, and though it was surely a social hub for Evansville’s elite the home largely remains a mystery.  The only interior picture we found was when the daughter got married in 1941.

Mr and Mrs Gaylord Browne at the Lambert Johson residence 1-5-1941
Mr and Mrs Gaylord Browne (daughter and son-in-law) at the Lambert Johnson residence Jan 5, 1941

After Lambert’s parents passed away, the Johnsons moved into his father’s home in late 1940s to downsize (that home isn’t exactly small, so you can imagine the enormity of the Lambert residence). The mansion was deemed too big to maintain and sat vacant and for sale.  With no prospective buyers, it was razed in January 1955, and the area was turned into Johnson Place subdivision 1956 not long after Lambert’s death. One can only imagine the amount of craftsmanship and history that was demolished into a pile of rubble.

To be razed - Johnson "mansion" (Jan 10, 1955)
To be razed – Johnson “mansion” (Jan 10, 1955)

New residences in Johnson Place were limited to a smaller size so that the houses built wouldn’t fall into the same trap as Lambert’s did. Here is a view now of where the mansion once stood; the fenced community hiding a strange past.

Lincoln Ave near Boeke about where 2300 Lincoln once stood (Google Maps)
Lincoln Ave near Boeke about where 2300 Lincoln once stood (Google Maps)

2014 Year In Review


Melzer Soap

Melzer Soap Works

Destroyed by fire Oct 2014 will likely be razed

Fulton Ave, 401 N - front (2010 Jul 13)

Steierer Saloon / Service Glass

Razed after a new metal warehouse replaced old brick store

Columbia St, 321 E (2011 Dec 30)

Geier Saloon / Lanhuck’s Bar

Demolished after a car hit the structure in March damaging the building

 Faultless Caster - office (2011 Dec 08) 2

Faultless Caster office

Razed June after busted water pipes flooded building

Fulton Boys

107 N Fulton and 101 N Fulton

Left structure partially demolished and right completely gone marks two historic Mesker buildings lost


Bullocks Tavern

Razed along with other buildings near Deaconess back in August likely for a parking lot


Other notable losses

Kessler house – 305 E Columbia
Old Mater Dei offices and homes along Harmony Way
Homes near St Joe and Delaware razed for CVS



Greyhound Bus Station

Restoration well underway and blue panels are showing the old station’s beauty


Willard Library addtion

Victory garden in the rear of the lot is a tasteful addition to the historically-minded library


Sterling Brewery reuse

TBD but likely reuse for offices is an encouraging sign for an area in need of revitalization


Owen Block - detail (2010 Jan 18)

Owen Block

Fate is hanging by a thread for the old townhouses at Second and Chestnut