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Lincoln Gardens

Lincoln Gardens Side OneLincoln Gardens Side Two

Location: Evansville African American Museum, 579 S. Garvin St., Evansville (Vanderburgh County), Indiana 47713

Installed 2020 Indiana Historical Bureau, Evansville African American Museum, and Indiana Landmarks

ID#: 82.2020.1

Text

Side One

African Americans settled in Evansville in the early 1800s and established a vibrant community here in Baptisttown by 1890. Segregation and discrimination led to a section of overcrowded, dilapidated buildings. With citizen support, city officials applied for New Deal funding to clear part of this area in the 1930s and develop a federal housing project, Lincoln Gardens.

Side Two

Opened in 1938, Lincoln Gardens provided low-cost housing managed by and for African Americans. During WWII, occupants started a club for African American service members barred from the local USO. Lincoln Gardens served as a community center for decades. Saved from demolition, this building opened as the Evansville African American Museum in 1999.

Annotated Text

Side One

African Americans settled in Evansville in the early 1800s and established a vibrant community here is Baptisttown by 1890.[1] Segregation and discrimination led to a section of overcrowded, dilapidated buildings.[2] With citizen support, city officials applied for New Deal funding to clear part of this area in the 1930s and develop a federal housing project, Lincoln Gardens.[3]

Side Two

Opened in 1938, Lincoln Gardens provided low-cost housing managed by and for African Americans.[4] During WWII, occupants started a club for African American service members batted from the local USO.[5] Lincoln Gardens served as a community center for decades.[6] Saved from demolition, this building opened as the Evansville African American Museum in 1992.[7]


[1] Memorandum, Horatio B. Hackett from Robert B. Mitchell, October 23, 1934, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; We Ask Only a Fair Trial, Darrel Bigham, Indiana University Press: Bloomington, 1987, 5.

[2] Memorandum, B.M. Pettit to A.R. Clas, June 3, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; Indianapolis Recorder, December 14, 1935, 9, accessed Hoosier State Chronicles.

[3] H.M. Dickman to Horace Peaslee, April 17, 1934, H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, July 4, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; “Proposed Slum Clearance and Low-Cost Negro Housing Project for Evansville, Indiana,” H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, July 4, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, June 25, 1935, H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, July 4, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, June 28, 1935, H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, July 4, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; H.M. Dickman to A.R. Clas, July 4, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file; A.R. Clas to H.M. Dickman, July 10, 1935, submitted by Bob Barrows, copy in marker file.

[4] “Hail Low-Cost Evansville Housing,” Indianapolis Recorder, April 30, 1938, 9; “Housing Project Cornerstone Laid,” Indianapolis Recorder, May 7, 1938, 9; “Base Rents Set for Housing Project at Evansville,” Indianapolis Recorder, June 4, 1938, 9; “For 191 Dwelling is Present Schedule,” Indianapolis Recorder, June 4, 1938, 9; “Four Steps to Secure Lease for Gardens,” Evansville Argus, June 9, 1938, 1; “Tenants Move in Evansville Housing Unit,” Indianapolis Recorder, July 9, 1938, 9; “Lincoln Gardens Featured in Open House,” Evansville Argus, July 16, 1938, 1; “161 Families Now Located in Lincoln,” Evansville Argus, October 29, 1938, 3.

[5] “U.S.O. Center to be Located in Guardian Building on Lincoln,” Evansville Argus, September 5, 1942, 1; “Public is Asked to Donate Games, Money, and Service to Help Operate Center,” Evansville Argus, November 14, 1942, 1; “For the U.S. Service Man!,” Evansville Argus, November 21, 1942, 1; “Volunteer Service Club Proxy Acknowledges Donations of Troc. Employees Headed by C. Jackson, Evansville Argus, December 5, 1942, 4; Appeal to USO and OCD Offices for Help in Soldier Aide Drive,” Evansville Argus, December 19, 1942, 1; “V.S.C. Host to 300 Servicemen,” Evansville Argus, January 2, 1943, page 1; “Where Service Men May Go,” Evansville Argus, February 20, 1943, 1; “To Expand Lincoln USO Center Setup,” Evansville Argus, March 19, 1943, 3; “Senior Hostesses to Sponsor Java Breakfast for Soldiers on Sunday at Lincoln USO Center,” Evansville Argus, September 3, 1943, 2; “American Legion Head Approved Local USO Center on Lincoln,” Evansville Argus, September 5, 1943, 1; “You Have to Give it...” Evansville Argus, September 17, 1943, 5.

[6] “Sports,” Evansville Argus, October 28, 1938, 4; “Here’s Bob’s Dope: Recreation News,” Evansville Argus, November 4, 1939, 5; “Dances at Community Center to be Supervised,” Evansville Argus, January 12, 1940, 5; “Sepia Population Praise WPA Orchestra at Recital,” Evansville Argus, March 1, 1940, 1; “Photography Units to Open Here,” Evansville Argus, March 22, 1940, 1;  “Recreational Activities Provided for All the Family at Three Centers,” Evansville Argus, February 28, 1941, 1; “Recreation News,” Evansville Argus, March 21, 1941, 2; “Lincoln Garden Workshop,” Evansville Argus, October 24, 1941, 5; “Lincoln Tenants Organize to Fight Human Rents,” Evansville Argus, October 17, 1942, 1; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, June 11, 1959, 9; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, March 27, 1965, 11; “Evansvillian 104 but Doesn’t Know ‘Why I Lived this Long,’” Indianapolis Recorder, April 27, 1974, 14; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, August 23, 1969, 14; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, December 17, 1975, 14; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, May 1, 1976, 14; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, July 24, 1976, 14; “Evansville News,” Indianapolis Recorder, December 18, 1976, 14.

[7] “Demolition of Housing Project Will Make History,” (Lafayette) Journal and Courier, December 7, 1997, 27, accessed Newspapers.com; “One of Nation’s First Housing Projects to be Razed,” (Jasper) Herald, December 8, 1997, 5; “Evansville African-American Museum Ribbon Cutting Ceremony,” February 19, 1999, provided by applicant, copy in marker file.