A Post Card from Horseshoe Bend Road

By Judy Deeter

LUDLOW FALLS - This photograph of Miami County’s Horseshoe Bend Road (with the "bend" located just west of the entrance to Brukner Nature Center) was taken over 100 years ago.

Most people who have seen the post card often recognize the spot where the picture was taken, but the gentlemen in the picture have not been identified. 

Although the front of the post card says that it is “Horse-Shoe Bend near Troy, O.," the "bend" is actually located is in Union Township, northeast of Ludlow Falls.

The post card was sent by Mrs. Mary Shellhaas of Ludlow Falls to her aunt, Mrs. Barbara Welch, in Chicago, Illinois. It was written on January 14, 1912 and has a Ludlow Falls postmark with the date of January 16, 1912.  Mrs. Shellhaas wrote to her aunt that the picture on the post card was “taken on the farm on which we live.”

Mary Shellhaas is thought to have been Mary Campbell Shellhaas, wife of Union Township resident David W. Shellhaas. In the early 1900s, David Shellhaas owned a farm northeast of Ludlow Falls. The Stillwater River ran along the farm’s west side and the Union Township/Newtown Township line was the property’s northern boundary. The farm was in Union Township. The Shellhaas family seems to have owned the property for most of the 20th century.

Miami County atlases from the late 1800s and early 1900s (see below at top-left corner from 1920) show that Horseshoe Bend Road went along the edge or through the Shellhaas farm property.  The bend in the road shown in the post card photograph is clearly seen on the atlas maps.

Very little is known about how or who kept the post card for more than 100 years.  It was recently donated to The Troy Historical Society by Mr. Michael Grilliot.

For more information about the post card, contact The Troy Historical Society at (937) 339-5900 or by email at tths@frontier.com.   Atlas maps of Union Township showing Horseshoe Bend Road in the 19th and 20th century are available for viewing at the Troy-Miami County Public Library Local History Library, 100 W. Main St., Troy.

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