Just Yesterday, The Crescent Brewery
Crescent Brewing Company Depot

 

“Our distilleries are the best and our breweries cannot be beaten. So great is the demand of the Crescent Brewing Company of Aurora, that the Big Four R.R. has built a track from Lawrenceburg a distance of four miles, for its trade.”

 



The Gaff brothers arrived in Aurora in the mid 1800’s: James arrived in 1841, Thomas in 1843, and John followed in 1845.  Upon their arrival, they were already promising young businessmen. When Thomas was young, he learned the distilling business from a Brooklyn uncle named Charles Wilson, and he and his brothers, James and John, opened a distillery in Philadelphia.  After moving to Aurora,  Thomas and James established the Aurora Distilling Company, later renaming it the T. & J.W. Gaff & Company. This distillery was located in the building that is now known as Aurora Recycling, 306 Importing Street, and manufactured rye, bourbon and Thistle Dew scotch whiskey

Crescent Brewing Company

The brothers then turned their interests to brewing. In 1873 the Crescent Brewery was constructed by Charles Bauer. The brewery was a six-story stone and brick building and encompassed a significant section of early Aurora. It contained 1,700,000 bricks and was located at what is now known as the intersection of Decatur, Market and Fifth streets. At this time, the gentlemen reorganized themselves as the Crescent Brewing Company. The brewery was well known for its Aurora Lager Beer which they exported nationally and internationally. It was known to be shipped as far away as Germany.

Thomas Gaff Pumper

In 1876, Thomas Gaff purchased Aurora’s first fire engine. It was named the Thomas Gaff in his honor. In 1891, the brewery experienced a terrible explosion and fire which killed two employees. The Thomas Gaff established a world steam engine record of pumping water continuously for 72 straight hours to extinguish this fire.  

During the 1890’s, the Cincinnati Breweries Company took over the Crescent Brewery and in 1885 it reorganized as The Jung Brewing Company.  This company was very short lived and the business and buildings were vacated by 1911. Left vacant and abandoned the buildings fell into disrepair and were demolished by 1930.  Today, 148 years later, only remnants of the brewery remain – the wall and sidewalk located on the right side of Market Street and the two large caverns tucked into the hillside between Market and Decatur. The caverns still can be viewed across the street from Aurora’s Lesko Park and someday soon. may be revitalized as home to the Crescent Brewery Park.

Cavern Remains

Today, Aurora again has The Crescent Brewery and Aurora Lager Beer.  In 2008, Dan and Lani Valas opened Great Crescent Brewery in a small store on Second Street.  Today they have expanded to a historic building which in 1843 was the warehouse for the Thomas and J.W. Gaff Distillery.  Ironically the brewery is located across from what remains of the Gaff’s Aurora Distilling Company, recognized today as Aurora Recycling.

These are but a few of the fascinating facts about the Great Crescent Brewery and the Gaffs, both very important in early Aurora history.  Visit our Local History Library @ The Depot to learn more about this and other contributions the Gaffs made to Aurora. The Local History Library is located at 510 Second Street near the railroad tracks. The hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and the third Saturday of the month 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM. Come with your questions and plan on visiting for awhile!

 

 

 

 

Long-Running Series

New friends to meet, or old friends to greet, here are some characters worth taking the time to get to know!

There’s nothing quite like delving into a novel when you know you can count on several more volumes to hold your attention. The idea of getting to know a character – or characters – over the course of not only multiple novels but multiple years makes for a unique reading experience. Picking up a new novel in a beloved series is like meeting up with some old friends – there’s a kind of well-worn familiarity that can’t be found in any stand-alone novel. Luckily, if you too have the urge to dive into a long-running series, we have a few favorites to get you started.

Prey

by John Sandford

Check-out the extraordinary Lucas Davenport thrillers from bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize winner John Sandford. These haunting murder investigations have hooked readers over his 31 book collection. Start with Rules of Prey (Prey # 1), you’ll be swimming up to Ocean Prey (Prey # 31) before you know it!

“They were shot with a shotgun and put in garbage bags and thrown under a bridge,” Shrake said. “If it wasn’t murder, it was a really weird accident.”

― Lucas DavenportJohn Sandford book coversWalt Longmire

by Craig Johnson

Walt Longmire is a laconic and tortured cowboy with a stiff moral code and a weathered view of the world around him. Craig Johnson has carved out an interesting niche that combines classic Old West and cowboy tropes with hard-boiled noir. It’s an interesting combination that sets the Longmire Mystery series apart from the multitude of other crime fiction crowding the shelves. Grab The Cold Dish (Walt Longmire #1) and you won’t even notice time riding by before you reach for Daughter of the Morning Star (Walt Longmire # 17), We also have Longmire on DVD.

“I punched him in the fist with my nose, but I think he’ll live.” – Walt Longmire

Harry Dresden

by Jim Butcher

With Harry Dresden, Jim Butcher puts a fantastical spin on the classic hard-boiled detective mystery. Dresden finds himself caught up in all facets of murder and mayhem in his beloved Chicago — supernatural and otherwise — and his wisecracking, fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants style is entertaining across seventeen novels as well as various short stories. This series is one of my personal favorites, Harry has a huge heart, a “spirit of intellect” helper who lives inside a human skull, and a Dog named Mouse. Mouse is a “temple dog,” a celestial scion of the Foo Dog (divine spirit guardian), and a mortal canine. Start with Storm Front (Harry Dresden #1) You will magically find yourself reading Battle Ground (Harry Dresden #17)  and hoping for more to come in this exciting series.

Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”― Harry Dresden

 

In Death

by J.D. Robb

In Death is another particular favorite. I wish I had a friend like Eve. In a gritty, futuristic New York City, homicide detective Eve Dallas seeks justice for the victims of crime—and fights to overcome her own dark past. The main character in the In Death series is Eve Dallas, a no-nonsense homicide cop in mid-21st century (2058) New York, where beggars and prostitutes are legal as long as they have the proper licenses. Eve lives and breathes her job. In the very first book, Naked in Death (In Death # 1).  We are introduced to a slew of what become recurring characters: Eve’s former partner and trainer, who becomes a father figure; the esteemed police commander; the maternal staff psychiatrist; Eve’s criminal-turned-singer bestie; and most importantly, Roarke. Roarke is a suspect in a gruesome murder. He’s a reformed criminal (mostly reformed) and she’s a hard nosed cop, the chemistry between them should be illegal.  Murder, friendship, love, more murder, and an office chocolate thief will capture your imagination from book 1 until book 53.

“What’s your status?” she asked him.

“Healthy, wealthy, and wise. What’s yours?”

“Ha. Mean, crafty, and rude.”― Eve Dallas

Here are a few more great series…

 

The Camel Club

By David Baldacci      Series: The Camel Club, Book 1

Always on the hunt for government conspiracies, the political watch-dogs that make up Baldacci’s Camel Club will entertain, surprise, and thrill you.

1st to Die  By James Patterson        Series: Women’s Murder Club, Book 1

When the normal way of doing things isn’t stopping a serial killer, four friends who all work in the justice system decide to band together in Patterson’s best-selling female vigilante series.

Dark of the Moon  By John Sandford     Series: Virgil Flowers, Book 1

Full of surprising twists and plenty of mystery, Dark of the Moon kicks off Sandford’s powerful Flowers series set in rural Minnesota.

Along Came a Spider  By James Patterson        Series: Alex Cross, Book 1

Probably Patterson’s most notable character, Alex Cross is a DC detective who will stop at nothing to get the case solved and justice served.

 The Chase  By Clive Cussler         Series: Isaac Bell, Book 1

Cussler introduces an electrifying and no-nonsense hero in his Isaac Bell thrillers. Driven by his sense of justice, Bell travels early 20th-century America pursuing thieves and killers—and sometimes criminals much worse.

 The Black Echo:   By Michael Connelly             Series: Harry Bosch, Book 1

Detective Hieronymus ‘Harry’ Bosch, former tunnel rat in Vietnam and star of Michael Connelly’s best-loved series, is as tough as they come.

 

July Dollar-a-Bag Book Sale

Our Dillsboro branch will be holding its Dollar-A-Bag Book Sale on July 16th & 17th. You’ll find something for everyone on your list – mysteries, thrillers, romance, classics, westerns, travel, crafts, DIY, DVDs, audio books, CDs, children’s books, large print, magazines, cookbooks and much, much more.

The sale takes place in the Dillsboro basement on Friday the 16th from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and Saturday the 17th from 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.  New books are added to the collection every week, so shop early and often! Bags will be provided.

All About Dinosaurs

Dinosaurs are a lot of fun to learn about! There are so many different species, and new ones are still being discovered. What makes them really interesting is that no one for sure knows what they looked like or how they behaved, and we never will know unless someone invents a time machine. Everything we do know and believe about them is based on the research and the estimated guesses of paleontologists, scientists that dig up and examine fossils.

Birds and Dinosaurs

The assembled fossils of a theropod.

Even though we don’t know everything about them, we do know some things for sure. We do know that birds are the most closely related to them and that they evolved from theropods, two legged dinosaurs that mostly ate meat. These include the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptor. This means that, although they are related to dinosaurs, they aren’t as closely related to quadrupedal dinosaurs like the Triceratops or Stegosaurus.

 

You may hear some people say that birds actually are dinosaurs, not just related. They say this because birds not only evolved from dinosaurs, but share many characteristics with them. They haven’t evolved many features that would solidly classify them as completely different. Nesting, brooding, feathers, hollow bones, and wish bones are features and behaviors that characterize theropods, not just birds. This puts birds in the dinosaur category because theropods existed before them and were the first to exhibit these characteristics.

A bird on a branch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Dinosaurs

While birds did evolve from theropods, there are other types of dinosaurs that we can learn about. Dinosaurs that had four strong legs with long necks and tails were called sauropods. Sauropods include Apatosaurus, Brachiosaurus, and Diplodocus, and they are among the largest living land animals to have ever existed.

The assembled fossils of a sauropod.

Creatures that had webbed wings that allowed them flight were called pterosaurs. Even though they are commonly thought of as dinosaurs, they actually weren’t. Pterosaurs include Pteranodon, Pterodactyl, and Quetzalcoatlus. These creatures were some of the largest animals to ever take flight.

Assembled fossils of a pterosaur

 

 

 

Books About Dinosaurs

To find out even more about dinosaurs, join our summer reading program, Tails and Tales. The theme of it is animals, but any book you read this summer counts! To find books specifically about dinosaurs or to place a hold, you can check out some of the books below at either the Aurora Public Library or the Dillsboro Public Library.

Fiction

 

   Dinosaur Parade by Kelly Halls    Dinosaur Parade by Kelly Halls

Dinosaur Rap by John Foster    Dinosaur Rap by John Foster

Dinosaur Train by John Gurney    Dinosaur Train by John Gurney

How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read? by Jane Yolen    How Do Dinosaurs Learn to Read by Jane Yolen

 

Nonfiction

 

Dinosaurs by Annabel Savery    Dinosaurs by Annabel Savery

Dinosaurs : the most complete, up-to-date encyclopedia for dinosaur lovers of all ages by Thomas Holtz    Dinosaurs: The Most Complete Up-to-Date Encyclopedia for Dinosaur Lovers of All Ages

The rise and fall of the dinosaurs : a new history of a lost world by Stephen Brusatte    The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs: A New History of a Lost World

Barnum Brown: Dinosaur Hunter by David Sheldon    Barnum Brown: Dinosaur Hunter by David Sheldon

Nature Magazines for Kids

I hope that you and your family are having lots of fun exploring the world of animals during our Summer Reading Program “Tails and Tales.” We have so many great animal books, but don’t forget to check out the nature magazines we also have for kids. These magazines all feature lots of amazing photographs, fun facts, and short articles. They’re perfect for sharing together or for your children to read on their own. The format makes a magazine an especially appealing choice for reluctant readers of all ages.

 

Reading about nature with your children will encourage their curiosity and increase their vocabulary. That can be reinforced with a nature walk around your community. Another option would be completing the Library’s Animal Scavenger Hunt (for Aurora or Dillsboro).

In addition to our printed magazines, you can also read digital magazines through the Indiana Digital Download Center. Just select the Aurora Public Library District and login with your library card number (no spaces) and PIN. Then look for the Collections tab and select Magazines. All of our digital magazines are simultaneous use, so no waiting ever! You’ll find National Geographic Kids, National Geographic Little Kids, and Animal Tales.

If you ever need help using our digital resources just call 812-926-0646, and we can talk you through the process.

Fun Eco-Fiction for Kids

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen

 

 

Carl Hiaasen was well-known as a writer of adult novels featuring a wicked sense of humor. In 2002, he shifted gears and published Hoot for middle grade students. Slapstick comedy and an ecological message have made this a favorite of students and teachers. The book was named as a Newbery Honor Book and was turned into a popular movie.

 

 

 

 

Since Hoot, Hiaasen has written 4 more books for young readers – all featuring the same humor and environmental focus. Any of these would make a great family read-together choice.

Scat by Carl Hiaasen   Squirm by Carl Hiaasen

Flush by Carl Hiaasen    Chomp by Carl Hiaasen

Just Yesterday: The 1937 Flood

The recorded history of the Ohio began in the late 17th century when French explorers reached the Ohio River, a river the Iroquois called O-y-o or “great river”. For many years the majestic Ohio has bestowed Aurora its many gifts along with its rage. Through the years Aurora has experienced numerous floods gifted us by the great Ohio; 1881, 1883, 1913, and 1993, just to name a few.  The most memorable one was in January 1937.

The 1937 Flood is one of the greatest disasters in Aurora history. The heavy rain began on January 9th and continued through January 23rd stopping for only brief intervals. This, combined with melting snow, raised the river well above flood stage. Aurora, along with communities throughout the Ohio Valley, was overwhelmed, without electricity, and short on basic needs. The scale of this flood surpassed all previous floods and left extensive damage throughout the town. Cleanup and reconstruction began immediately, but unfortunately took years to complete.

In 1937, the water level at its highest was 81 feet, reached to the front door of the Aurora Public Library, and forced our library to close. There was no loss of books but there was heavy loss of materials stored in the basement. Also, the flood affected the train depot which now houses the Local History Library. In 1937, the building was a working train depot and the railroad tracks were owned by the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad. Both libraries have the plate showing the height of the water on the building.

The Baptist Church, a large brick church on Main Street was finished in 1875.  It was one of the finest churches in southern Indiana. The Church survived the ’37 flood waters only to be destroyed by a fire June 4, 1937, due to electrical damage caused by the devastating flood.  For over a year, Sunday morning services were held in the Palace Theater (currently the Fusion Salon & Day Spa) on Second Street. 

These are just a few of the intriguing facts about Aurora during the 1937 Flood.  Visit our Local History Library @ The Depot to learn more about this and other floods that plagued our city throughout the years.  The Local History Library is located at 510 Second Street near the railroad tracks.  The hours are Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM and the third Saturday of the month 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM.  Come with your questions and plan on visiting for awhile!

 

Tails and Tales: Endangered Animals

Our library’s Tales and Tails Summer Reading Program is all about reading about the animals around us! While animals are a lot of fun to read about, some of them need some extra help. Animals that are endangered are close to becoming gone forever unless we do what we can to help them recover.

 

Vaquitas surface for air.

 

One of the most endangered animals in the world is the vaquita. These are small, marine mammals, related to dolphins, and they are classified as critically endangered. It is estimated that there are less than 10 of them left in the world, and they are still declining. This is because of fishing in the Gulf of California where they get tangled in illegal gillnets and are unable to surface for air.

 

A green kakapo.

 

Another critically endangered animal is the kakapo. These are nocturnal, green parrots found solely in New Zealand. These cute birds are flightless and live in the ground. This unfortunately put them in danger when new and invasive predators were brought to New Zealand. Unable to fly and escape these predators, they are at a severe disadvantage and have trouble surviving on their own.

 

A rhino mother and baby.

 

There are currently five existing species of rhino. However, three out of the five are classified as critically endangered and the other two are classified as near threatened and least concerned. They are constantly poached for their horns and need protection from further poaching if we want them to continue living alongside us.

To find out more about endangered animals, check out some of these books from the Aurora Public Library or Dillsboro Public Library, and join in on our summer reading program!

Endangered Animals by Pierre de Hugo

Endangered Animals by Pierre de Hugo

Endangered Animals by Lynn M. Stone

Endangered Animals by Lynn M. Stone

Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall

Hope for Animals and Their World: How Endangered Species Are Being Rescued from the Brink by Jane Goodall

Fresh Finds with Jessica: June

Check out our YouTube channel every last Friday of the month for Fresh Finds! Join Jessica on June 25th as she discusses 5 of APLD’s newest books! Subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any of our videos! Subscribe here.

Check out the five books below! Click on a cover to place a hold or learn more!