Whenever I visit this part of Indiana where my Barker ancestors arrived after the Civil War, I’m always struck by how I don’t have to repeat my name and it’s never misheard as Baker. The Barker name, while not as ubiquitous as Smith or Jones, is much more common here than elsewhere in the country.
The picture was taken at the Thorntown Heritage Museum, where I received a personal tour by the museum coordinator, Phyllis Myers. The house in which it resides, was once owned by Mr. & Mrs. E. J. Barker and their daughter Mildred Barker Spencer donated it for its current use.
Apparently one of my family once sold fertilizer, something I’ve been accused of in less polite terms.
The museum is wonderful. It reminded me of wandering around my grandparents’ house when I was a boy. However I was quickly reminded of my age when Ms. Myers was setting up a new exhibit of historic office equipment there was an IBM Selectric typewriter, just like the one I used to type my term papers in high school.
Like driving an electric car on dirt roads, overtaking horses and buggies, the past is right there in the rear view mirror and it’s closer than it appears.