Lucius L. Ball House
building in which the club held its meeting in September originally was a
wooden farm house that faced Wheeling Pike, now Wheeling Avenue.† Purchased by the one brother of the family
who was not a Ball Brothers Company officer, the house was rotated on its
foundation in 1910 so that it would face Minnetrista
Boulevard like the homes of the other brothers to
the East.† Many changes were made,
including the addition of wings and being faced with yellow brick.
was occupied by Lucius, his wife Sarah Rogers and their only child, Helen.† Lucius, the oldest, had gone to medical
school after his younger brothers were established in a productive business.† Lucius practiced medicine in Muncie
and was the medical officer for Ball Brothers.†
While never a Ball employee, he still was a stockholder in the company,
and was involved in the decision-making process.
course, the hot summers were not spent in the house in Muncie
that lacked air conditioning.† Lucius and
Sarah had discovered the village of Leland,
Michigan in 1903.† Located on a peninsula in the western part of
the state between Lake Michigan and Grand
Traverse Bay, this fishing village became a summer vacation spot
for the family.† Three of the brothers,
and later some of their children, built summer cottages in this remote
area.†† The mothers, children and staff
would spend June through September at Leland, while the men would spend
weekdays in Muncie to run their
business and commute to Leland on the weekends.†
Ball family descendants continue to vacation there to this day.
married and left home in 1924, and Lucius died in 1932.† Sarah was alone in the house, but had family
all around.†† In the 1940ís, her health
started to deteriorate, and she spent more and more time at home.† She died in 1952 at the age of 94 years.
history of the house after her death is unclear, but it appears to have been
rented out to families until the early 1970ís, when it was leased to Ball
who located the WIPB television studios there.†
IPB in WIPB stands for Indiana Public Broadcasting and the station was one of
the first in the public broadcasting system.†
One of WIPBís most famous productions was the Bob Ross Joy of
Painting series.† Nationally
popular, this series ran for over 20 years with hundred of episodes being taped
in the WIPB studios in Muncie.† Ross lived in Florida,
but would come to Muncie to have
the show produced.† Reruns of the show
are still being broadcast by WIPB.
room in which the club held its meeting was the same room used as the taping
studio.† Heavy curtains were hung over
the walls and windows to keep light and sound out as the cameras videotaped
Ross painting at his easel.† This
continued until 1988, when the Edmund
F. Ball Communications
Building with modern television
studios was built on the Ball State campus.
was opened in 1995, the L. L Ball house was renovated for use as the starting
point for tours.† Visitors would enter,
buy a ticket at the front desk, and view an informational slide show in the
room to the right before beginning the tour through the gardens.†† Modern restroom facilities were installed on
the lower level while the second floor was used for offices for the Oakhurst
recently, the procedure was changed so visitors now start their campus tour at
Minnetrista and the L. L.
is used for offices and classrooms.††
However, the slide show is still available to visitors.
Written by Richard H. Cole, Jr.
© 2005 Minnetrista