Class of ’57 graduate helps with Corydon’s ‘goings on’
‘I was the last baby born in the Branham Tavern.’
How catchy is that for an opening sentence? Sue Wiseman Adams had a lot more to say after that, and I enjoyed every word. That was an auspicious beginning for Sue in an historic downtown building which is now Ozzie’s LTD, a local gift shop.
She and her sister, Pat, were the daughters of Willie Wiseman and Annis Reas Wiseman who lived in the tavern of logs when you couldn’t see any of the logs. It was all covered up and was ‘the big white house’ to Sue until she was 10 years old or so. There was even an earthen cellar beneath the house with excavated dirt shelves that was reputed to be the ‘jail’ early in the town’s history.
The family moved to 106 S. Capitol Ave. which was another big white house with really beautiful scroll work on a double-layered front porch. This house is gone now but sat just near where the old E.U.B. church is located south of NAPA. Sue has a picture of herself standing on the front porch of this house in costume for the 1959 Sesquicentennial parade which you can see in the background coming down the street.
Sue and Pat were six years apart so their combined school background covers a multitude of Corydon’s downtown faithful. Sue was a Girl Scout, a majorette, a cheerleader and a good scholar. The sisters went ‘sledding’ down the middle of town in the winter with the local sheriffs stopping traffic for the sleds to go through the intersection of Walnut and North Capitol. In the summer, they got ‘lemon phosphates’ at Butt’s where Myna Didelot ‘always made the best ones and told me I had million-dollar legs.’
The family photos of Sue and Pat on the old south bridge, posed as a majorette, dressed for cheerleading, and lined up with her beloved Class of ’57 (which sounds like a bunch to be reckoned with), are charming and hilarious. Pat’s Audrey Hepburn-like pose leaning on the bridge is a real winner!
Sue married and lived in New Albany for several years, but when asked why she moved back she said, ‘I just had to get back here.’ Now living on the eastern end of Chestnut Street, Sue is still involved with the goings-on in Corydon. She has been a chaplain in the DAR and will soon be vice regent. Her CCHS high school class is having its 50th reunion this year with lots of activities planned.
That last baby in the ‘Branham Tavern’ grew up to be a valued member of the community, the type that gets involved, does a good job, laughs and has fun, and, in so doing, keeps the small town atmosphere moving forward into the future by remembering and loving its past. I hope that Class of ’57 has a rollicking good time.
Leah Porter is at the Harrison County Public Library on the first and third Saturdays of the month, 1 to 3 p.m. Come tell your story.