Kristina began her flower garden years ago when her now-mostly-adult kids were young. She started in the backyard — she didn’t want her kids near the street — with a friendship garden.
“Mom gave me the idea to get plants from other people, and that’s how I started it,” Kristina says. The garden began to envelop the front yard as her kids got older. It includes a colorful array of a little bit of this and a little bit of that.
“I use it for therapy,” Kristina adds. “It’s therapeutic to be working outside.”
The flowers have taken over her front yard so much, it’s difficult from the sidewalk to even see Kristina sitting on the porch. But she’s there.
“I spend more time outside than inside,” she says.
Less than a block north sits Indiana Furniture. It opened as Jasper Novelty Works in 1906, and according to a company history, “the neighborhood grew as workers soon began building their homes nearby to be within walking distance of their new jobs.”
Around quitting time on a hot August day, Amber Hartley sits on a bench outside the red brick building. She’s worked there five years, and is a lead in upholstery.
The 34-year-old scrolls on her phone as she waits for her husband, Corey, to pick her up. The couple lives in Washington with their four kids, but they both work in Jasper, Corey at Jasper Engines & Transmissions.
“It’s either me sitting waiting on him to get off or him sitting in the car waiting on me,” Amber says. Carpooling saves the couple on gas.
“It also gives us that little bit of alone time to talk about the day,” Amber says. “Because once you get home, you hit the ground running [with the kids].” The bench time is also her time.
“My little time to enjoy the sun,” she says.
Farther down Mill Street on another August evening, Chad and Kris Erwin admire their front yard. It’s sort of become famous. Well, their decorations have anyway.
Kris, who has lived on Mill Street since 1994, enjoys collecting the various decor in the yard, such as flags, an old bicycle, windchimes, statues. There’s also lots of Mickey stuff.
Just past the course, the Calumet and Camelot Inn sit nestled in the woods. The inn boasts a “picturesque country setting.”
The Calumet was built in 1941, and through the years, has been a dance hall, skating rink, a restaurant and a bar. And now, it’s a venue for weddings and other events. A lake and home also sit on the property.
Continuing north, there are a few more homes on Mill Street before industry takes over again. There’s Meyer Distributing, Kimball International Logistics Service and G&T Industries.