Peabody Singing Tower

 NORTH MANCHESTER HISTORICAL SOCIETY
 North Manchester, Indiana

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Hotel Sheller
Howe Bait
Leedy Motor Co.
Louie's Candy

Mfg Industries
Mills
N.M. Airport
N.M. Foundry
Oppenheim-125 Yrs
Peabody Retirement
Peabody Seating
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Planing Mill
Rex Windmill
Stickley Furniture
Telephone Cos.
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Source: NMHS Newsletter Feb 2005

Louie's Candy Kitchen

A. Ferne Baldwin

For many people who grew up in Manchester or lived here during important years of their lives recalling Louie's Candy Kitchen brings a special nostalgia. Louie's was a gathering place and a designated driver hurried to Louie's to reserve a booth after the ball game while the crowd gathered. Latecomers didn't get a booth and the place might get so crowded one could hardly move. There was music in the jukebox as long as the nickels lasted and the cheese toasties or the current favorite treat to savor.

But as years went by Louie and his wife went to the Lake and Louie's was seldom open. Many College alums always checked hoping to get a well-remembered goodie but were not often lucky. Slowly the building faded into disrepair. More than a year ago the Historical Society tried to persuade Louie to sell the building to them so they could stop the leaking roof from doing more serious damage to the entire building.. Their efforts fell on deaf ears.

Finally in the fall of 2003 Kyle Penrod and his wife, Kelly, were able to buy the building and begin the awesome task of restoring it. The building which dates from the late 1800s, was in a very sad condition. Nearly fifty buckets were not enough to catch the water coming through the roof. Several animals lived in the basement amid the stores of old records and discarded equipment

Once a new roof was on the building, the next task was to restore the upstairs apartment which hasn't been occupied for several years. It was formerly the home of Louie Longo and his wife, but now, in addition to the leaky roof, there were large holes in the walls and many other problems. The Penrods plan to live in the upstairs and they are making that floor larger by extending the back of the building so they can also make space for a garage on the first floor. They also plan a new kitchen and bathrooms on the first floor.

Many other challenges await. Cleaning the basement is one already begun. There they found old vinyl records and checks from the 1940's. It is the couple's ambition to restore the old eating place to the original state. The juke box had been sold but another will be among the items to be purchased. The fountain must be replaced but the marble is still intact. Some of the booths have survived and can be refinished; others will be replaced. The old look will be restored; tin ceilings and mirrors on the walls, with lots of woodwork.

The early goal was to complete the restoration in three years, but now the Penrod's hedge a bit. But one goal is firm: the motto for the restaurant will be "Where the future is as bright as the past ." They intend to serve some hot food, desserts, coffee, ice cream, of course, and maybe candy. And if we're lucky...all year round.

The new owners are adding modern heating, plumbing, new wiring with air conditioning. A final touch will be to redo the facade. But behind it all they intend to have the old Louie's -- better than ever.

Kyle Penrod is a graduate of Manchester High School with a degree in finance from IPFW. Kelly graduated from Northfield High School. Both are employed at Steel Dynamics in Whitley County.