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Saturday, February 4, 2023

May / June 2019

Evansville Living

Most Beautiful Homes 2019

We searched, drove, walked, and scouted the nearly 48 square miles of Evansville streets and neighborhoods to find homes that caught our attention and struck us as the most beautiful in the area. Since August of last year, we have been out and about, camera and notepads in hand, talking to residents and snapping photos.

Full Strength

Swimming is a hard sport for even the most dedicated athletes. And you won’t find a high school athlete more dedicated to the sport than Reitz High School sophomore Mikaela Jenkins. Jenkins was born with Proximal Femoral Focal Deficiency, which means her left femur is slightly shorter than her right. The condition affects one in every 75,000 to 100,000 births and is not detectable until birth. For Jenkins, it meant there was a clear height difference in her legs when she was born.

Historical Record

The collection of historic and vintage Evansville items owned by duo Mark Smith and Eric Schneider has been built by perusing yard sales, auctions, and antique stores from all over. Though Smith calls the collection “modest,” he and Schneider recognize the significance of the items and their connection to Evansville history.

Next Level

Since opening in 2011, Bokeh Lounge has been known for its dedication to the arts in its space at 1007 Parrett St. in Haynie’s Corner. Now, Bokeh is attracting customers with its range of shareable bar grub and priced-right late night snacks. Celebrating the one-year anniversary of Bokeh’s ownership change from Mike Millard to Moriah Hobgood, who also owns Mo’s House in Haynie’s Corner, the bar rolled out a revamped menu in April. The goal is to offer bar classics but with more finesse.

Curbside Dining

There’s nothing that transports you back in time quite like an iconic 1950s drive-in. And Mason’s Root Beer Drive In in Washington, Indiana, does just that for locals and tourists alike. Opened in 1951, the classic drive-in continues to be family owned and operated. Bobby Arnold, the current owner, says the long-standing restaurant has been in his family for the last 40 years.

Prime Factor

Happy team, happy guests. It’s a motto David Parker believes not only helps form a great staff for his restaurant, Prime Time Pub and Grill, but also keeps his customers coming back for more. “We have a real simple recipe —take care of your people, be involved in your community, and make sure your place is clean,” says Parker. “You do those three things and you’ll always have a successful business.”

Seafood with Soul

Evansville always has walked a fine line between its Midwestern roots and southern flair, so it’s no surprise Sam’s Southern Eatery has received a warm welcome on South Green River Road since it opened last November. The restaurant features a wide range of southern Cajun comfort food from po’ boys and gumbo to fried fish, okra, and green tomatoes.

Eating Green

Acropolis Restaurant — Spinach Salad 812-475-9320, acropolisevv.com Since Acropolis opened in 1999, the spinach salad has been a mainstay on the menu. Parmesan, sunflower seeds, bacon, and egg top the spinach, but it’s the thick raspberry vinaigrette that makes the salad.

Ocean View

Seashells are the easiest (and most fun) mementos you can collect from your summer adventures on the beach. The possibilities of how to display your new collections can be endless, but a creative, fun way is crafting your own resin paperweights.  What you need: silicone molds, disposable cups, popsicle sticks, gloves, resin gel and hardener, torch lighter, seashells, and sand (optional)

In Tune

Daniel Craig’s career hasn’t turned out quite the way he envisioned when he joined the faculty of the University of Southern Indiana as an associate professor of music. Craig expected to have the job for a year or so and then move on. That was in 1990. Today, he’s happy to be approaching his 30th year on the West Side campus. “Whenever I think it is time for me to pull up stakes and move, USI inspires me to stay a little longer,” he says. “New projects arise, new opportunities present, a family of supporters lifts me back to my senses.”

Century Club

In the early 1900s, Evansville was growing. The city had celebrated the openings of Garvin Park (1916), Bosse Field (1915), and the Veterans Memorial Coliseum (1917). It also welcomed the opening of its second high school during the 1918-1919 school year — F.J. Reitz on the West Side.

Back in Town

Newburgh, Indiana, is a deep part of Ashley Nanninga’s history. A native of the Warrick County town, her family has lived in Newburgh for the last six generations. “Newburgh is just home. It’s definitely home, and I have a lot of roots here,” she says.

Wily Coyotes

Southern Indiana is home to many species of off-putting animals, like rattlesnakes and brown recluse spiders, but it is the recent coyote sightings in neighborhoods off Lombard Avenue and Rosebud Lane in Newburgh, Indiana, that come top of mind now. While seeing a coyote saunter through an urban backyard is disconcerting, Wesselman Woods Natural Resource and Operations Manager Shelby Hall says it is nothing to truly fear.


Mystery Solved

Since purchasing the Alexander Memorial Park property in 1987, Alexander Funeral Homes was left with questions surrounding a life-size replica of Michelangelo’s Pietà that was brought to the property by the previous owners. The statue is one of only about 20 exact full-size replicas in the country; however, no official records were kept on the statue. Evansville Living covered the Pietà in the previous issue, March/April 2019.

Encyclopedia Evansvillia

To the Beaches

D-Day — the invasion of France on the beaches of Normandy occurred on June 6, 1944, and was the largest amphibious warfare operation in the history of mankind. Putting an army ashore is hard; keeping it there is even harder. Without weapons, ammunition, vehicles, and supplies (as well as men), the Allies would have been crushed and thrown back into the sea. In a 30-day period more than 1,018,000 troops; 200,000 vehicles; and 730,000 tons of various types of cargo were delivered to the D-Day beaches.

Digging In

Good Natured

After 40 years, Dallas Foster still credits one of his first customers as a driving force behind his decision to start his landscaping business, Landscapes by Dallas Foster, Inc. “Working with her helped me decide, as a designer, I could express myself through nature, through my landscaping projects,” says the Vincennes, Indiana-based landscape designer who has worked in Evansville and the Tri-State for the last four decades.

Art Talk

On the Edge

For most of his life Jonathan Hittner has lived with duality. A native of Evansville, Hittner completed a bachelor’s degree in fine art at the University of Southern Indiana in 2001 before pursuing a master of fine arts in painting from the San Francisco Art Institute in San Francisco, California. After graduating, he stayed in the Bay Area building houses and also owned a home back in Indiana.

Business Front


Eighty-two. That is the number of homes we vetted for the first annual 10 Most Beautiful Homes feature in this issue. We liberally borrowed the concept from city magazine peer St. Louis Magazine, and we discussed the theme internally for a couple of years before we began the process last fall.