Visiting Jamie's house in Alexandria, IN
Jamie Poole grew up in Alexandria, Indiana. Much of the first book in series, The Isle of Osiris takes place in and around Alexandria. Most places mentioned in the book series are real. Recently I went back to where it all began, to quote Jamie. Back to Alexandria, Indiana, where I visited several of the places where the series began...and will end. I took my brother along as my photographer. There were surprises in store for both of us.
Jamie describes her home as an apartment above a carpet store. Her mother worked two jobs to keep food on the table and clothes on her back. Her father was both absent and an unknown shadow she'd never met. In the picture above, I am standing in front of Jamie's apartment above an actual carpet store. The first window on the second floor facing the street would be Jamie's bedroom. In the book there is a pink neon sign advertising the store.
Across the street from Jamie's apartment is a cemetery. This is where her Grandpa John and Grandma Gladys are buried. Jamie finds comfort in looking out her bedroom window to see her grandparents' graves. She imagines them as happy and waving back at her. In later books, Grandpa John becomes a regular character, joining Jamie on many of her adventures. In Jamie's world, there are times and places where those who live and those who are dead just "are." There is no separation. The dead can help the living.
Beside the cemetery are the fair grounds. This is where Jamie first sees the alabaster statue that begins her entire adventure. The statue of Eliyana. It is what prompts her to find her absent father. It is where she meets Burt Dalton, father of Peter Dalton. It is where she meets "Freddie" of whom the Chorus of Displaced Voices first give warning.
“Be wary of that one—Freddie. Your paths will cross again. Ready yourself. Help the boy Dalton and the girl named for Poe.”
The Chorus of Displaced Voices will speak to Jamie throughout her life and guide her as she searches for the woman behind the alabaster statue. Eliyana is a Druidess. She is also Jamie's ancestor. We've already established Jamie is a time traveler. But Alexandria is her origin.
When I first envisioned the Jamie Poole series I lived in Anderson, Indiana, near Alexandria, and often I drove past the carpet store. This might have been the grain of inspiration to choose here for Jamie's home. Anderson is also in the series. In Resurrection of the Druidess, Eliyana asks Jamie how it is that a town is named for her family. Jamie's mother, Julia Anderson Poole is part of the Anderson family that descends from Chief William Anderson (Kikthawenund). By marriage I am his relative too. The town is named for him.
My brother and I explored other "Jamie" locations like the bowling alley where Julia worked or Margie's house, which is situated across the street from the Red Gold tomato processing company--even if I deleted the company from the story. She had to live "there" so the girls could ride their bikes out of town to a farmhouse in this location. To this point I had never been in Jamie's home. And so we decided to introduce ourselves to the owner of M4 Designz where we met Carla and introduced her to Jamie who "lives" in her upstairs apartment.
If you're in Indiana and looking for carpet, Carla has you covered.
While other character homes may exist, they may or may not exist in the right place. Take for example Doyle Dalton's Australian home. The house I modeled for his is actually located in Mount Uniacke, Nova Scotia. But pretty much everything related to Jamie can be driven to if given proper directions exactly as she describes in her own words in the books.
It was a joy and a bit nostalgic to walk again in Jamie's footsteps. I hope as you're preparing for Christmas, you consider adding the Jamie Poole series to your list, if you haven't already done so.
A new book will be added to the list of paperbacks in 2023. We just don't quit with Jamie. There are more adventures and more traveling in Time. Stay tuned for updates.
Meanwhile, I hope you enjoyed your brief tour of Alexandria, Indiana!