Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Looking Back . . . and Ahead

The leaves have begun to fall from the trees and the cool breeze is in the air. My favorite season has arrived, and with it has come some time for reflection on the past few months.

We held our 2016 Bicentennial State Street Walking Tour on Sunday, July 10. On behalf of the West Lafayette History and Research Center, I want to thank everyone for their support and assistance in making the walking tour such a success. I also want to thank everyone who went on the tour and spent some time with our docents. I know each of them enjoyed sharing some of West Lafayette's rich history with everyone who would listen.

We learned some new things from the tour, as well.
For instance, we all know Purdue Pete. Well, he's celebrating his 60th anniversary as one of Purdue's mascots this year, but Pete himself is actually over a decade older. He was born in 1940 when University Book Store's owners at the time created him to serve as the store's advertising logo. He didn't become a mascot for Purdue's athletics department until 1956. This is only one story we heard from visitors on the tour, and we are so grateful for all the stories shared that day.

Even though the event has passed, we're still working to capture all of the information and memories shared that day. We will soon have a video from the event, which will feature each of our highlighted stops, to share with everyone. We will also be adding photos to our growing collections in the archives. If anyone has any stories to share with us, please, don't hesitate to reach out to us. I'd love to hear about everyone's favorite parts of the tour. State Street will be completely transformed before we know it, and it's imperative that we capture its history so it's not swept away.

In other news, we have received many new donations to the West Lafayette Public Library's archives these past few months, and I am actively working to sort through them and get them organized. It's always fascinating to learn new information about the history of this great city. There will be much more to share in the coming weeks, so please check back to the blog soon. Happy fall, everyone!

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