THORNHOPE — This unincorporated town 11 miles north of Royal Center on U.S. 31, turns 160 this year. There was a time when the name Thornhope wouldn’t have necessarily been the name on the birthday card, however.
In a 1955 Pharos-Tribune and Logansport Press article, David Frearson writes the name of the town in those days all depended on who you talked to.
While the highway signs read Thornhope, Frearson writes, those who purchased real estate in the town would receive deed and tax receipts that stated their property stood in Parisville, which is actually what the town was known as when it was laid out in October 1853.
Mail addressed to Thornhope and Parisville would be returned, however, as this inconsistent identity continued at the post office, which only knew the town as Oak. Grain and feed trucks dispatched to Oak would often pass right through after seeing signs that read Thornhope, Frearson writes.
According to records at the Pulaski County Recorder’s Office, Parisville became Rosedale in 1873, but was changed to Thornhope in 1906 to avoid confusing it with another town in the state named Rosedale.
Oak was always the name of the post office, the records go on to state, until it closed in 1966.
“As far as I know, it’s always been Thornhope,” said Steve Bonnell, a lifelong Thornhope resident and co-owner of Pond View Golf Course, which sits outside of town near 300 East and 900 South.
Describing the town as a pseudo-suburb of Star City and Royal Center, Bonnell went on to say railroad tracks used to run through where the golf course’s clubhouse currently stands. The tracks were used to transport sand from a sand mining operation formerly stationed outside of town.
The town reached a population of 300 by 1910, according to Frearson’s article, which goes on to attribute it to the success of the sand excavating business started by Curly Godson.