Friday, October 23, 2015

Headed South through Indiana

Our Missouri/Kansas/Nebraska trip in June was coming to the end and this was the beginning of our last day on the road.  We still had quite a bit of ground to cover before we actually got home and we limited our exploratory side trips although we did stick to the 2 lane highways for the most part.

To make better time I had planned to take I-65 south from Indianapolis to the intersection with Indiana Hwy. 46 at Columbus Indiana.  However a major highway construction project forced us to take US Hwy. 31 south.  It slowed us down a bit but the detour did ‘force us’ by a couple additional historic sites…

This massive structure is the Johnson County Courthouse in Franklin Indiana.  Apparently size does matter!  Johnson County was established in 1822.  Franklin, now actually part of the Indianapolis metropolitan area, was platted in 1823 and it was named after Benjamin Franklin.  This ‘wedding cake’ of a courthouse was built in 1882 and it is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.   

Next we discovered the former Franklin Indiana railroad depot which was across the tracks from a small park and an old wooden bay window style caboose.  This combination depot was built back in 1909 by the Cleveland, Cincinnati, Chicago and St. Louis Railway.  It was moved from its original location to this spot adjacent to the old Pennsylvania Railroad tracks.   The depot is now the home of Franklin’s Chamber of Commerce…

As we headed on down Indiana Hwy. 46 toward Madison Indiana and the bridge across the Ohio River, we rolled through North Vernon in Jennings County.  I decided that we’d try to find the old railroad depot.  

As it turned out, the depot was right next to downtown North Vernon and the area was crisscrossed with railroad tracks.  I’d only seen one other depot situated in a ‘diamond’ like this one and it was in South Carolina.   This brick depot was built ca. 1888 by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad.  The tracks are now part of the CSX system…


·       Hannah Milhous Nixon, mother of President Richard M. Nixon was from Jennings County Indiana.

·       Reportedly, the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains was the Madison to Vernon Railroad which was built in 1838.  The line was extended to Indianapolis in the 1840s.

Just click on any of the photos if you’d like to enlarge them…

Thanks for stopping by for a visit!

Take Care, Big Daddy Dave 

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