Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Moving in a Snow Storm

It snowed in Indiana forty years ago today.

It was moving day as residents of the Mexico Home were moved to their new quarters at Timbercrest (North Manchester) on this date, March 12, 1968, in the middle of a snow storm.

The Church of the Brethren in Indiana had operated a home in Mexico, Indiana since 1889, originally built to house older people and younger orphaned children. By the mid-1930s, there were 75 children and 60 older residents living there. State rules governing orphanages changed in the 1940s leading to the closing of the orphanage December 10, 1942.

Stiffening state regulations and aging facilities at the Mexico Home again forced the Indiana districts to make some hard choices in the 1960s. A long-range planning committee selected a 20-acre site near North Manchester. Initial cost estimates of $900,000 grew to $1.5 million. By the time bids were open on March 15, 1966, the combination of bids were $1.8 million. The cost was brought down to $1.4 million and the board approved selling notes to finance construction.

Construction of the original building took nearly two years. A public open house was held February 25, 1968, preceding the move in date on March 12. The central unit was finally completed in September with dedication ceremonies September 22, 1968. Two additional wings were added in 1969 and 1970. Additional expansion has been done since that time.

Source: Planting the Faith in a New Land: Church of the Brethren in Indiana