Indianola Memories

Nancy Carswell


This story was shared by Amelia Hill. Even though I am not a Mosquito Beater, I live in

the old Crawford “packing house,” which is located in the former town of Indianola, and I

lovingly collect Merritt Island historical stories and facts.


Chuck Reed, who lived in Rockledge as a small boy, loved to come across the river and

play with his cousins, who resided in the Buck house. At this time, the Sam Field house,

the Post Office, .the Crawford house, and Crawford’s packing house were located just

north of the Buck house on Indianola Drive. There was a dock in front of the post office,

used by the Indianola community.


Mr. Gotchall, an Indianola resident, and relative of the Crawfords, was a closet drinker.

His secret supply was in a jug he kept in the river. In the late afternoon, he would stroll

down to the dock, untie his boat from the dock and row out into the river. Then he would

pull up the jug, drink a few swigs, and row back to the dock.


Chuck and his cousins knew his secret, and decided to play a trick on Mr. Gotchall. They

rowed out into the river, pulled up the jug and emptied it into the river. The jug was then

filled with river water and returned to the river. The boys rowed back to shore and waited

for Mr. Gotchall to make his “river cocktail hour” trip.


Mr. Gotchall followed his usual routine, pulled up the jug and took a big swig. He was

shocked to taste river water, and quickly spit it out. Now Mr. Gotchall was furious. His

secret stash was gone, and he knew who had done this to him. Unfortunately, he couldn’t

accuse the children. If he did, everyone would know of his closet drinking. Their prank

was a huge success!

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