I grew up in a unique neighborhood called Ordonia. Ordonia was a cluster of 50 or 60 houses across the street from the fertilizer plant where my dad worked. The houses were all company-owned, rented cheap to employees and their families. For child-raising, it was perfect.

photo of Joy and Dale on bikes


Joy and Dale on bikes in Little Ordonia

 

We grew up with plenty of playmates, few restrictions on our movements, great (and nearly empty) streets for biking and running and games. When it was too hot or cold or rainy, I played cards at the Eippers, dress-up at the Gordons, or hosted a Cat Club meeting in our garage.

Ordonia was dismantled shortly after I left for college. Houses were either torn down for scrap or moved whole to new locations.

I’m currently looking for former residents of Ordonia. Someone at the Dyno-Nobel plant, across from where Ordonia used to be, is researching the history of the neighborhood. We’re especially looking for current contact information of former residents and photos from the neighborhood.

I know that searches for “Ordonia” find my blog, so please leave a comment or send me an email if you come across this post today or in the future. I’m looking forward to hearing from people I knew or people who lived in Ordonia before I did.

Edited to add: I found enough folks to make a group on Facebook. Join us here: Friends of Ordonia.

Signature of Joy Weese Moll


Comments

Seeking former residents of Ordonia — 4 Comments

  1. I’m pretty sure it was 40 small houses in Little Ordonia and ten houses, also small but two story, in Big Ordonia.

  2. Ordonia!! There were at least 46 houses in Little Ordonia. We moved into #46 in 1969 at about the same time the Ludwigs moved into #10 if memory serves me right. It was definitely a slice of Americana. Playing whiffle ball, riding bikes, the car model club in one of the empty garage buildings in Little Ordonia, launching Estes rockets with Mark Kucera and friends with refreshments afterwards courtesy of Mark’s mom, delivering the Press Journal and Courier Post, and yes, watching one of Joy and Mary Beth’s puppet shows in the garage of #7. And best of all, being able to work at Hercules (the fertilizer plant) the summer after my first year of college.

    Decades after Ordonia was torn down, I was walking through there and the guard from the fertilizer plant came across Highway D and asked me what I was doing there. I told him I was just reminiscing about the place and that I used to live in #46, pointing toward the southwest corner of the property. He told me there was no trespassing and to get off the property. He definitely was not an Ordonian.

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