Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Postcards of Terre Haute

Bonus Side Post - (Not your regularly scheduled post)

A few weeks back there was a discussion of the seeming lack of postcards of Terre Haute, and I promised to investigate.  Then I didn't really quite get around to it.

Well today I did.  I went to many places around Terre Haute looking for postcards of Terre Haute, and I met more success than anticipated.  The Swope Art Gallery has quite a few postcards of art in their gallery.  Clabber Girl, had a few postcards in their giftshop, several of historical images of old Terre Haute, but one with contemporary pictures of Clabber Girl's office, and the Swope Art Gallery.  The Deb's Museum had 4 or 5 different postcards, mostly of images from within the museum, but one of the front of the Museum itself and the curator claimed they have boxes of copies of the postcards in back.  But there were no postcards of ISU at the ISU bookstore, or other places on campus.  When I asked the Children't Museum about postcards, the worker said, "no, we don't have any, but we should, I'll pass that suggestion up the chain of command."

But I still hadn't found anything like a "Terre Haute" postcard, something about the city, rather than simply about a destination within it.  So I decided to check out the "Terre Haute Convention & Visitor's Bureau" which I had never seen before.  Turns out it is a fairly new facility (just over a year old) on Margaret just a little off of highway 46.  It's a weird hybrid, not really part of the city, county, or state government, funded by the hotel room tax, and operated as a semi-autonomous governmental agency.  It had a wall full of free brochures, hundreds of different one's from all over.  There were Terre Haute attractions, like Clabber Girl, or Terre Haute Living magazine, but there were also brochures from other parts of Indiana, in some cases, quite far away in Indiana too, there were several for Fort Wayne attractions, for example.  Finding, no postcards, I decided to ask the two workers there just to be sure.  Yup they had many copies of one postcard, but it isn't free, it's 50cents.  And it is clearly a "Terre Haute" Postcard.  It is long (requires a regular stamp, not a postcard stamp), with 13 images on front:  a cross-country tack meet, the new ISU rec center pool, the Crossroads of America plaque, the downtown Hilton, the Corner Grind, Clabber Girl, the Swope gallery (when it had the Horse scuplture in front), the lobby of the Indiana Theatre, the ISU fountain, the Church at St. Mary's, St. Mother Theodore Guerin, the Indy car in the Clabber Girl museum, a Rose-Hulman football game (??!, was that the best Rose-Hulman image they could find?), and a high school basketball game.  The workers there said they got the postcards only about a month ago, so it is possible they had none when the previous poster claimed they had none.  Likewise, the postcard has clearly been designed pretty recently, having several images that can't be more than 2 or 3 years old.

There is still room, I suspect, for a few more good Terre Haute postcards, something of the City Hall, or cranes in the Wabashiki, or the Erhmann statue, or of ISU images, say.  But after digging a bit, I'm just not as worried about Terre Haute having a critical and embarrassing lack of postcards as I had been a few weeks ago.  Although, as with many issues, you have to dig more here than in many places to find the stuff.  Likewise, I'll bet many other local attractions could have brochures to give away at the massive brochure wall at the Visitor's center, so they wouldn't have to fill it with stuff from as far away in Indiana.  For example, Lookout Farms had a brochure, but no other farm at the Terre Haute Farmer's Market had a brochure there. 

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