The president of the Franklin Township Historical Society, Diana Stevenson, passed away on September 26, 2011. In the following Remembrances column, president emerita Sylvia Henricks looks back at Diana's contributions.
It was a beautiful day, this past July 6, when the Franklin Township Historical Society visited the Propylaeum at 1410 N. Delaware Street. Preceding the event, Diana met some of us at the Meeting House and gave us a leisurely drive “into the city,” with a short detour through the Old Northside neighborhood to see the recently restored Central Avenue Methodist Church, built in 1891 with additions in 1900 and 1922, now the home of Indiana Landmarks.
Arriving at the Propylaeum, we still had time for a bit of visiting on the big porch, and a photograph or two of all 14 of us, before we entered the impressive front door for our tour. The 19th Century house, built as a private home, with a wide stairway leading to a ball room on the third floor, has been the home of a Women’s Club for many years. The Club’s original building stood on North Street, and was razed in 1923 when the Indiana World War Memorial Plaza was built. Organized in 1888, by a group of Indianapolis women, the club’s name means "gateway to higher culture."
Our group reassembled for lunch in the sunny first floor dining room where we enjoyed good food, cloth napkins, stemmed glassware, and gracious service. It was a day to remember.
I sat near Diana, and took her picture. Not one of us would have believed that Diana would soon leave us. Our President since 2009, we considered ourselves fortunate to have so energetic and personable a leader. Even before she became president, she made a valuable contribution to the organization in 2005, using her skill to promote our application to the National Register of Historic Places to have our Meeting House (the former Big Run Baptist Church and Cemetery) added to their list.
We shall miss her, but shall be forever grateful for the time she spent with us.