Indiana household donates crib to Blairsville Church | information

Indiana Barb Barrish donated the life-size display that her parents John and Grace Barrish bought when she was a child of John LaMantia Wholesale Fruits and Produce, which was then on Indiana’s Water Street, in 1959.

Her father, who “really loved Christmas,” paid $ 65 for the crib, which has been in her family for 61 years, she said.

He showed the manger at the foot of the vinegar hill between Seventh and Eighth Streets.

“My father really loved it. He just loved Christmas, ”she said. “He had to have it.”

The crib was repainted twice – once in the 1970s by a student and again in the 90s by Barrish herself.

Barrish said she had shown the crib for about a decade too, but a move to a smaller and yard, as well as the size too big to build on her own, left her in camp.

“I love it. I really wanted it to have someone who felt just like me,” she said. “It’s time for someone to see and enjoy it.”

She went to the Hebron Lutheran Church in Blairsville because the church had displayed nativity scenes for years and Barrish kept information she had once seen about it.

“I wanted these people to have it,” said Barrish.

“Barb actually saved the clip that had my name and phone number on it,” said Kathy Gilmore, a community member. “That’s how she contacted me.”

Gilmore said community members and townspeople alike have commented on the crib.

“Everyone is just so excited,” she said. “Our members are thrilled.”

Gilmore said the church has not offered the usual exhibit since 2017, but members are hoping for the future.

“We’re especially grateful that this year is closed for personal worship. It’s something outside that people can enjoy and that shows the importance of Christmas,” said Gilmore.

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