Fort Wayne’s Lighted Santa Display

The historic Wolf and Dessauer Santa and Reindeer display lit up on the side of the PNC Bank Building on Main Street in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.
This is the first photograph that I made of Santa and his sleigh yesterday evening.

This 150 foot long lighted Santa Claus with his sleigh and reindeer is the most famous Christmas decoration in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Originally built in the late 1930s to adorn the side of the Wolf and Dessauer Department Store in downtown Fort Wayne, it was lost after the store closed around 1970.

A decade later, it was discovered hidden away in a warehouse. In bad condition, it needed hundreds of hours or work and thousands of dollars worth of parts to restore it to functioning condition. A group of local electricians, including my grandfather, John Westerfield, volunteered their time to rebuild the historic display.

Nearly all of the wiring needed replaced to meet modern safety regulations, and it needed more than 40,000 small colored light bulbs! After the restoration was completed in the early 1980s, Santa was put back on display on the side of the Fort Wayne National Bank building.

Every year, right before Thanksgiving, Santa and his reindeer are assembled in sections on the side of the building, now known as the PNC Bank Building.

In addition to the Santa display, Wolf and Dessauer also had two large wreaths, also made of thousands of colored lights. They were found and restored alongside the Santa display, and both are displayed each year on other downtown Fort Wayne buildings.

Just eight minutes after I made the first photograph, I made the one below. The light had changed considerably, as the sunlight was dimming rapidly into night.

The historic Wolf and Dessauer lighted Santa Claus display on the side of the PNC Bank Building on Main Street in downtown Fort Wayne, Indiana.
I made this photograph about eight minutes after the first one.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Love

The word LOVE drawn in a fanciful script with leaves and flowers growing from the letters is painted on the wall of Little Shop of Lauras, a secondhand shop on Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Racks of used clothing and three old table lamps stand in front of the wall.

This is a wall in one of the rooms at Little Shop of Laura’s, a secondhand shop on Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The store’s owner, Laura Hancock, hired a local artist to paint the fanciful rendering of the word “Love.” Love is a theme found throughout the small store, which also has hearts painted on other walls. The day I made this photograph, the store’s front window had a large red heart painted on it.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Save USA From Socialism and Corruption

An old semi trailer with a political message stenciled on the side. Save USA from socialism and corruption. Elect Trump and Pence. Defeat Clinton. It is on US-33 near Wolf Lake, Indiana.
I made this photograph in October, 2016.

The political statement stenciled on the side of the trailer says:

“Save U.S.A. From Socialism and Corruption. Elect Trump – Pence. Defeat Clinton – Bayh Corrupt Dems.”

The “Corrupt Democrats” referenced on the trailer were Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and former Indiana governor and Senator Evan Bayh. Bayh left the Senate in 2011, and decided to run for the senate again in 2016. He was defeated by Republican Todd Young.

It also urged people to vote for several other Republican politicians, including Lt. Governor Eric Holcomb (misspelled S. Holcomb) who was running for governor since Governor Mike Pence was running for Vice-President.

This is one of several old semi trailers and cargo containers sitting next to Boyd Machine, a business on US-33, just north of the small town of Wolf Lake, Indiana.

I had also photographed this trailer earlier this year, before Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton were chosen by their parties to run for president. Back then, the trailer had anti-Obama slogans painted on it.

An old semi trailer with a political message stenciled on the side. Save USA from socialism, elect Romney, socialist Obama must go. It is on US-33 near Wolf Lake, Indiana.
I made this photograph in January, 2106. Before the 2016 Presidential campaigns had begun. Mitt Romney rand against President Obama in 2012.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Make America Love Again

Make America Love Again, a bumper sticker in the middle of a large red heart painted on the front window of Little Shop of Lauras, a secondhand shop on Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana. The heart is flanked by a pair of mannequin arms reaching up from the bottom of the window.

This building at the corner of Broadway and Stophlet Street in Fort Wayne is home to an antiques and used clothing store called “Little Shop of Laura’s.”

In response to the 2016 presidential election, and all of the hatred and incivility that it has unleashed, Laura decorated her store’s front window with a big red heart. The bumper sticker inside the heart says: Make America Love Again.” The message of the sticker is a play on Donald Trump’s campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.”

Two dolls holding a bumper sticker that says, Make America Love Again. They are sitting on a table in Little Shop of Lauras, a secondhand shop on Broadway in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

The store’s owner, Laura Hancock, also has one of the stickers on display inside the store, held by two dolls.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Barn and Tree on O’Day Road

An American flag pallet leaned against a large tree in front of a red barn on a hazy morning at a farm on O'Day Road in rural northwest Allen County, Indiana.

The tree is on a farm on the west side of O’Day Road, north of Washington Center Road, in rural northwest Allen County, Indiana.

The American flag leaned against the tree is a wooden pallet with the flag painted on it. A very popular form of folk art in Indiana. The rope hanging from one of the tree’s lower branches had likely held a tire swing.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Vandermark Signs

A giant suit of armor stands in front of a huge metal cross in front of Vandermark Signs, a sign company on US-30 near Larwill, Indiana. The knight is holding a shield that says, The difference between knight and day.

This gigantic cross and suit of armor stand in front of Vandermark Signs, a sign company on US-30 just outside the small town of Larwill, Indiana. The knight’s shield says: “The difference between knight and day!”

Thieves Used To Lose Their Hands. This sign is posted in front of Vandermark Signs, a sign company on US-30 near Larwill, Indiana. On the sign, Lose is misspelled as Loose.

This sign was also posted in front of Vandermark Signs: “Thieves Used To Loose Their Hands.”

I’m certain they meant that thieves should LOSE their hands, not LOOSE them (How do you LOOSE a hand??). Shouldn’t good spelling be a given at a sign company? Interesting that a Christian business would have a sign calling for thieves to have their hands cut off. That is an Islamic punishment!

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Halloween Decorations in Etna Green

Small handmade ghosts made of white fabric hang on the boarded-up porch window of an old house in the small town of Etna Green, Indiana. The house was decorated for Halloween.

This old house is on the east side of Walnut Street (State Road 19), across the street from Etna Elevator Company, in the small town of Etna Green, Indiana.

Some of the front windows on the enclosed porch were boarded up with old weathered plywood. The residents had made small ghosts for Halloween and hung them from nails on the boards covering these windows.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Hallelujah House

The word Hallelujah, misspelled as Halleluyah, spelled out in giant red plywood letters mounted on the front of a ranch-style house on Benham Avenue in Elkhart, Indiana. A folded American flag is displayed in the front window.

This House is on the east side of Benham Avenue, between Hively Avenue and Mishawaka Road, in Elkhart, Indiana.

Large red letters cut from plywood spell out “Halleluyah.” It should be spelled “Hallelujah.” The homeowners obviously put a lot of work into cutting out, painting, and mounting the letters; too bad they didn’t check a dictionary first!

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Church For Sale

A vacant church building with a real estate agents For Sale sign. The limestone church is the former Bremen United Methodist Church on Montgomery Street in the small town of Bremen, Indiana.

It is rare to see a church for sale. This one is the former Bremen United Methodist Church on Montgomery Street in the small town of Bremen, Indiana.

The congregation merged with another church in Bremen, and they moved to a new building.

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.

Bourbon News-Mirror Building

The former Bourbon News-Mirror newspaper building, a blue brick and cinderblock building on Main Street in the small town of Bourbon, Indiana. The inscription above the door says, News-Mirror 1870-1912.

This building was the offices of the Bourbon News-Mirror, a newspaper formerly published in the small town of Bourbon, Indiana.

The small brick and cinderblock storefront is located on the east side of Main Street, between North Street and Park Avenue, in the small Marshall County town.

The inscription above the door says: “News-Mirror 1870-1912.”

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©2016 Christopher Crawford. Please do not use my photos without permission.