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The National Road was the nation’s first federally funded highway. It connected Maryland to the western interior in Illinois. Conceived by George Washington, it became a reality in 1806 during Thomas Jefferson’s administration.
The road reached Indiana in 1827. It stretch across Indiana from Richmond to Terre Haute by 1834. Initially, all that was done was to clear a dirt path with trees cut low enough for Conestoga wagons to ride over them. Since it's initial construction, it has changed often. Railroads were built, automobiles were invented and I-70 was constructed.
National Road Scenic Byway in Indiana
Indiana National Road Association website.
Wikipedia National Road Summary
US 40 Golden Highway (modern Nat'l Road Route) website.
Updated Apr 10, 2007
Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1960.2
Title: Sarah T. Bolton 1814-1893
Marker Text: A pioneer poet of Indiana, author of "Paddle Your Own Canoe" and "Indiana," crusader for women's rights, lived here at "Beech Bank" from 1871 to 1893.
Credit Line: Erected by the Society of Indiana Pioneers, 1960
Directions: 107 E. Sherman Drive, west of Sarah T. Bolton Park, Beech Grove.
Updated Mar 28, 2007
Title: The Central Canal
Marker Text: Part of a statewide canal system begun in the late 1830's. The Central was projected from Peru to Worthington via Marion and Martinsville. Twenty-four miles were completed in this region. Railroads soon replaced the canals.
Credit Line: Erected by Indiana Sesquicentennial Commission, 1966
Directions: Illinois Street & Westfield Boulevard, Indianapolis.
Updated Mar 28, 2007
Indiana Historical Bureau: ID#: 49.1962.1
Title: Camp Morton 1861-65
Marker Text: Site selected by Lew Wallace as training camp for volunteers on old State Fairgrounds in 1861 and named for Governor Oliver P. Morton. Used as a camp for Confederate prisoners, 1862-65. Col. Richard Owen, Commandant.
Credit Line: Erected by Indiana Civil War Centennial Commission, 1962
Directions: 1900 block N. Alabama Street, Herron-Morton Place Historic Park, Indianapolis.
Updated Mar 28, 2007
To begin with, I think farmers markets are great! They give local people an opportunity to buy from local farmers. It is very important to support the local economy, why would want to buy corn from Iowa when there is plenty in Indiana? I have been to 2 here in Indianapolis, one at 62nd and Allisonville Rd. (open March-2nd wk. October) and the one downtown at City Market on Market St. (open Wednesdays: June-October). Right now it is fall and they have the craziest things, some of the gurds are just for decoration they told me. I was wondering because I wouldn't want to eat those, and i surely don't know how I would prepare it!
Plus, this is a great opportunity to mingle with locals and buy some healthy food if you are on a budget travel!
The link that I have included is to all of the farmers markets in Indiana with locations and open times.
Written Sep 27, 2006
Jill and I kept hearing about and seeing in print the term Athenaeum. We had no idea what it was so we went looking. We finally found it and discovered that it is a brooding large structure that was designed by Bernard Vonnegut (grandfather of noted author and Indianapolis native, Kurt Vonnegut). The Athenaeum was originally called Das Deutsche Haus and was once the center of the city's German life.
It was begun in 1893 and completed in 1898; it is a grand example of German Renaissance Revival architecture. The building has been undergoing restoration work since 1991.
Today, it houses the Rathskeller (the city's oldest restaurant), a branch of the YMCA (the city's oldest functioning gymnasium), a beer garden with a stylish band shell, and the American Cabaret Theatre.
The Athenaeum is mentioned in several of Kurt Vonnegut works and is the setting for a scne in the movie, Going All the Way.
You are able to schedule a tour, but you may also wish to "poke around" on your own after dinner or before a show.
Hours: Monday-Thursday 9-5
(Of course, the different establishments within the building have varying schedules.)
Updated Mar 26, 2006
If you're the type that likes to explore cemeteries, there's one in Indy I happened upon.
It's a small plot, right next to I-465 and E. Washington St.
Its small size would imply a family plot, but the names are quite varied, so I don't think it's just family.
Most of the markers (the ones that could be read) are around 100 years old or so.
Dir: Exit on E. Washington, go W to traffic light. Turn left on S. Old Trail Rd. Follow 1/4 mile to cemetery on L.
Written May 9, 2005
Please click the photo; it is PANORAMIC
On our Spencer, Indiana, Adventure, Jill tells the background of why we went to Spencer in the first place:
"My ancestors left Monroe and Owen counties in Indiana in the 1850s and lived in Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas before settling in Oklahoma. However, the house where my great-great-great grandfather, Rev. Leroy Mayfield, had lived is still found near Bloomington. I had an address, so Dee and I went to find the house and the nearby cemetery where Leroy and his family were buried.
I had tried to contact the present owners, but did not succeed. However, we found the house and photographed it from the car. Next, we traveled down the road to find the family cemetery. I spotted a few headstones through some trees. One of my landmarks for the cemetery was a gravel pit. We found that the gravel pit was still in very active use. We parked carefully out of the way of the trucks and carefully crossed the road to a trailer that stood in front of the cemetery.
A woman greeted us cheerfully and replied that we were welcome to visit the cemetery. She warned us about a downed tree, but didn't mention the barbed wire. That wire didn't stop either of us.
I dashed about reading stones and finding familiar names. I photographed a number of the stones. They were not in good condition, but I've seen worse abandoned cemeteries and was delighted to view the home and final resting place of one of my more interesting ancestors.
Rev. Leroy taught himself to read the Bible and became a Baptist circuit preacher in the 1830s. According to the history books, he was involved in the formation of Indiana University."
Yet, Jill and Dee continue the adventure...
Written Apr 18, 2005
One of our side trips was to Spencer, Indiana, which proved to be a great adventure. Here, in Jill's words is what happened:
"I'm a genealogist with Indiana roots, so one day of our trip involved genealogy. I wanted to see a distant relative that I had phoned, written, and e-mailed some years ago. When I contacted her and asked if we could meet at the Spencer, Indiana, genealogy libray, she replied that she and her husband would like to have Dee and me come to lunch at her country home so we could talk about our family research.
My distant cousin and I re-established our relationship (we are related in two family lines) while Dee toured the lovely house with my cousin's husband and talked gardening. I think we both had a wonderful time.
I found some information at the Spencer Library's genealogy room that filled in a blank space in my family history. I must add that this small town's genealogy area equals or surpasses those where I volunteer in suburban Chicago. Much of the material printed by the genealogy society is also available on the web under Owen County genealogy.
Note: I took this photograph at Vivian and Jack's home in Spencer, Indiana, while Jill and I were on our "genealogy adventure.
Updated Apr 18, 2005
On our way back to Chicago, Jill and I stopped on the northwestern fringe of Indianapolis (about 20 minutes away) to see the quaint village of Zionsville. It was pouring down rain, but we did not let that detour us from our last adventure. We put on our raincoats, and away we went!
There are over fifty shops that line the brick street of Zionsville. These shops offer a variety of shops, most quite "upscale". There are women's shops, antique shops, children's shops, toy shops, and, of course, eateries.
If you decide to stay over, there are two Bed and Breakfasts here.
Surrounding the village are preserved historical homes dating back to the 19th Century.
You are able to tour the village by horse-drawn carriage if you are so inclined. We thought not a good idea in the rain.
The village is only 8 blocks long so it is an easy place to walk. It's really a reconstructed Colonial Village. We learned while there that in 1903, the inter-urban railway was laid down the center of Main Street thus linking Zionsville with downtown Indianapolis (it was a 30-minute ride). I sometimes wish the "olden days" were now because transportion via train was so much better.
Jill and I managed to see all the shops, buy chocolate candy, have a cream soda, and eat lunch. Just think what we could have done if it were not raining!
Written Apr 15, 2005
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