The History of the 101 Building

101 Hirsh Building

The History of the 101 Building

Winchester Indiana was a quiet sleepy town in 1858 when Adam Hirsh built the Hirsh Building. As one of the oldest establishments in town, this building has a long storied history with many local businesses housed within the walls over the years. That history is dotted with tragic events, illegal activity, and one fateful night that the chief of police at the time was shot right outside the front steps of the building and the criminal who fired on the chief was also shot. Known now as the 101 Building, we dug into the history of the building ahead of our first investigation event at the site. The following history details the events of the building, that many people believe is the catalyst for the paranormal activity experienced there today.

The Early History of The 101

In the 1800’s the 101 building was home to Ms. Carrie, a dressmaker who rented a room on the second floor of the building. After years of assault at the hands of a man named Arney, she shot and killed him at the top of the stairs. Arney wasn’t the only person to lose their life at the 101 building. The owner of a diner at the 101, distraught over financial issues, took his own life by gunshot in the diner.

Aside from the murders and suicides, the building also has a long history of illegal activity. Locals report that the building functioned as a speakeasy in the basement for years during prohibition. The police building that used to stand on the north side of the building often used the 101 building to house criminals in the cells. These cells were underground pits accessed only from the top. It is said the conditions in these cells were inhumane and prisoners were often mistreated.

Chief Troy Clevenger

The Story Of Chief Clevenger

Perhaps one of the most significant events in the building’s history is the shooting that eventually killed Police Chief Troy ‘Zeke’ Clevenger. Two escaped criminals were on the lam and driving through Winchester, Indiana. Then 28-year-old police chief Clevenger was on duty when the light at the top of the courthouse lit up, signaling criminal activity. Clevenger jumped in his car and took off in search of the stolen car the criminals were driving. After spotting the car, Clevenger approached the passenger side door and opened the door.  

After opening the door at the foot of the steps of the 101 building, one of the criminals, Lawrence Schnek, pulled out a gun and shot Clevenger in the stomach. Clevenger was able to fire one shot that eventually killed Schnek right outside the front steps of the 101 building. As Schnek lay dying on the street, a fight broke out over the gun he was carrying. Clevenger stumbled to the car behind the stolen vehicle and asked for a ride to the hospital. Unfortunately, he died of his injuries on the way. Police finally caught up to the other criminal who managed to flee the scene, Charles Hamilton. Hamilton was apprehended in Muncie at the home of Harry Copeland, who later became a member of the Dillinger Gang. For more detailed accounts of this incident, you can read the full account here.

Today At The 101 Para Cafe

In 2017 the Para Cafe owners purchased the 101 building after learning of a plan to demolish the historic site. Workers and visitors of the building report strange occurrences since the building reopened. While repairing the building, many people have reported experiencing strange sounds, hearing growls, moving objects and much more. since taking over the building, Rowana opened the 101 Para Cafe, the perfect place in downtown Winchester to catch up, catch a cup of coffee and connect with friends. Here at Paranormal Dares, we are thankful to Rowana and her team for preserving this historic site and saving it from demolition. Our investigation will take place on October 27, 2018. If you dare explore this historic site and walk among the spirits who lived and lost their lives within these walls, our team will guide you every step of the way with the newest, most advanced technology for detecting paranormal activity.