Indiana: Posey County

Posey County (pop. 25,910) is in the far southwestern corner of Indiana, across the Ohio River from Kentucky and across the Wabash River from Illinois. It’s the only Posey County.

The county seat of Posey County is the city of Mount Vernon (pop. 6,687).

Posey County Courthouse (1876)

Port of Indiana-Mt. Vernon, on the Ohio River, is the seventh-largest inland port in the U.S.

Four silos on a farm near Mt. Vernon are labeled Tea, Coffee, Sugar, and Flour.

The town of New Harmony (pop. 789) was originally named Harmonie. It was purchased in 1825  by social reformer Robert Owen, who planned a utopian community called New Harmony.

New Harmony attracted scientists and scholars in its early years; many of the early buildings are still standing.

New Harmony today

Posey County was named for Revolutionary War Gen. Thomas Posey, who later served as governor of the Indiana Territory.

Not for the 3-time World Series champion



Indiana: Vanderburgh County

Vanderburgh County (pop. 179,703) is south of Gibson County. It is Indiana’s seventh-largest county in population, and eighth-smallest in square miles.

The only Vanderburgh County in the U.S., it’s named for Henry Vanderburgh (1760-1812), a captain in the Continental Army and later a Territorial judge for the Indiana Territory.

Buried in Knox County

The county seat of Vanderburgh County is Evansville (pop. 117,429), third-largest city in Indiana.

The University of Evansville is a private university, founded in 1854 and affiliated with the United Methodist Church.

About 2,500 students

The old Vanderburgh County Courthouse was built in 1890 in Beaux Arts style. It is now available for receptions and other special events.

The Victory Theatre (1921) is now the home of the Evansville Philharmonic Orchestra.

The Moorish-style Alhambra Theatre was built in 1913. It is currently being renovated.

The Children’s Museum of Evansville is in the city’s former Central Library.

The museum opened in 2006

The Willard Library is a private library, built in 1877 in the Gothic Revival style.

Rumors of a ghost named “Lady in Grey”

Bosse Field (1915) is the third-oldest baseball stadium in the U.S. (after Fenway Park and Wrigley Field) that is still in regular use for professional baseball. It’s home of the Evansville Otters.

In the independent Frontier League

Bob Griese, quarterback for Purdue and the Miami Dolphins, and Yankee great (and current Miami Marlins manager) Don Mattingly are natives of Evansville.

The University of Southern Indiana, a public university founded in 1965, is just west of Evansville. It has about 11,000 students.




Indiana: Gibson County

Gibson County (pop. 33,503) is west of Pike County. Its population has been growing every decade since 1830. The only other Gibson County is in Tennessee.

Gibson County in 1908

The county seat of Gibson County is the city of Princeton (pop. 8,644).

Gibson County Courthouse (1884)

Dave Niehaus (1935-2010), longtime announcer for the Seattle Mariners (1977-2010), was born in Princeton. He received the Ford C. Frick Award in 2008.

Statue at Safeco Field

Toyota has a large plant just south of Princeton. The plant, which opened in 1996, makes Highlanders, Sequoias, and Siennas.

More than 5,000 employees

The plant has a Visitor Center, open weekdays.

Tours are also available.

The Henager “Memories and Nostalgia” Museum, in the community of Buckskin, has exhibits on Smokey Bear, western movie stars, and Abraham Lincoln’s legacy.

It’s been called “The Loneliest Museum in America.”

Hipp Nursery, in the town of Haubstadt (pop. 1,577), has a martini-drinking pink elephant, suitable for photos.

The Gibson Generating Station, near the Wabash River, is Duke Energy’s largest power plant and one of the largest coal power plants in the world.



Indiana: Pike County

Pike County (pop. 12,845) is north of Warrick County. It reached its peak population of 20,486 in 1900.

Pike County in 1908

It’s one of 10 Pike counties in the U.S., all named for explorer and brigadier general Zebulon Pike (1779-1813), who died in the War of 1812.

From 1959 to 1963, both of Indiana’s U.S. senators were Pike County natives – Vance Hartke (1919-2003) and Homer Capehart (1897-1979).

The county seat of Pike County is the city of Petersburg (pop 2,383).

Baseball great Gil Hodges (1924-1972) starred in baseball, basketball, football, and track at Petersburg High School. He was an eight-time All-Star for the Brooklyn and Los Angeles Dodgers.

Hodges mural in Petersburg

The Patoka Bridges Historic District includes two historic bridges in Pike and Gibson counties.




Indiana: Warrick County

Warrick County (pop. 59,689) is in southwestern Indiana, west of Spencer County. Its population has been growing steadily since 1930.

Warrick County in 1908

The county was named for Captain Jacob Warrick (1773-1811), an Indiana militia company commander who was killed in the Battle of Tippencanoe.

The county seat of Warrick County is the city of Boonville (pop. 6,246).

Warrick County Courthouse (1904)

Young Abraham Lincoln studied law in Boonville, borrowing law books and watching local attorney John Brackenridge argue cases.

The town of Newburgh (pop. 3,325) is on the Ohio River, just east of Evansville.

Rivertown Trail, Newburgh

The Newburgh Museum is in the former Presbyterian Church building (1853).

On the National Register of Historic Places

The town of Elberfeld (pop. 625) is unusual, in that it is adjacent to Interstates 64 and 69 but has no direct access to them, and has no major highway running through it.



Indiana: Spencer County

Spencer County (pop. 20,952) is south of Dubois County, on the Ohio River. The only other Spencer County is in Kentucky.

Spencer County in 1908

Spencer County has several major claims to fame: It was the boyhood home of Abraham Lincoln, it has a town named Santa Claus, and it was the childhood home of singer-actress Florence Henderson.

The county seat, Rockport (pop. 2,270), is the southernmost city in Indiana.

Spencer County Courthouse (1921)

The Holiday Drive-In in Rockport, which opened in 1955, has five screens.

Now closed for the season

North of Rockport, Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial preserves the farm site where Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) lived with his family from 1816 to 1830.

The cabin is a replica.

Rockport also has a Lincoln Pioneer Village and Museum, with 14 replica buildings from Lincoln’s era.

Opens May 1

The town of Santa Claus (pop. 2,481) is the largest community in Spencer County. It has the world’s only post office with the name Santa Claus.

Volunteers known as Christmas elves work every year to answer all the letters that arrive for Santa Claus.

Santa Claus has a variety of Santa-themed attractions, including Santa’s Candy Castle, Holiday World, the Santa Claus Museum, and the World’s Oldest Santa Statue.

Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler was born in Santa Claus in 1983 and played football at Heritage Hills High School in nearby Lincoln City.

The town of Dale (pop. 1,593) is the home of Dr. Ted’s Musical Marvels Museum.

Florence Henderson (1934-2016) was born in Dale, one of 10 children of a tobacco sharecropper and a homemaker. She attended school in Rockport.

On “The Brady Bunch” (center)



Indiana: Dubois County

Dubois County (pop. 41,889) is northwest of Perry County. It’s the only Dubois County in the U.S.

Dubois County in 1908

The county was named for Toussaint Dubois (1762-1816), a French-Canadian fur trader who fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Buried in Vincennes

The county seat of Dubois County is the city of Jasper (pop. 15,038).

DuBois County Courthouse (1911)

Jasper is known as “The Wood Office Furniture Capital of the World,” with a tradition of carpenters and cabinet-makers dating back to German immigrants in the early 19th century.

St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jasper dates from 1904. Its stone bell tower is 235 feet high.

Romanesque Revival style

The Geode Grotto in Jasper, built between 1960 and 1970, covers four city blocks in gardens, fountains, planters, and cave-like openings

Local geodes, marble, limestone, concrete

The Jasper Gift Basket and Popcorn Company has a 17-foot-tall popcorn box.

The Indiana Baseball Hall of Fame is in Jasper.

Jasper has a two-mile Riverwalk, along the Patoka River.

The town of Ferdinand (pop. 2,157) is the home of Monastery Immaculate Conception, one of the largest communities of Benedictine women in the U.S.

Founded in 1867

The city of Huntingburg (pop. 6,057) has been called the “Hollywood of the Midwest” because of the movies filmed there, including “A League of Their Own” in 1992.



Indiana: Perry County

Perry County (pop. 19,338) is southwest of Crawford County, on the Ohio River.

Perry County in 1908

Perry County is considered to be Indiana’s hilliest county; much of it is in Hoosier National Forest.

It’s one of 10 Perry counties, all of them named for Oliver Hazard Perry (1785-1819), naval hero of the War of 1812.

“The Hero of Lake Erie”

The county seat of Perry County is the city of Tell City (pop. 7,272), founded by Swiss immigrants and named for Swiss patriot William Tell.

The athletic teams at Tell City High School are known as the Marksmen.

In the nearby city of Cannelton (pop. 1,563), the former Cannelton Cotton Mill (1851) was converted to apartments in 2003.

The mill closed in 1954.

Just east of Cannelton is “The World’s Largest Celtic Cross Carved From a Single Rock.”

At Blue Heron Vineyards

The unincorporated community of Rome is the home of Old Perry County Courthouse, built in 1818. It was the county courthouse until 1859.

Later used as a school



Indiana: Crawford County

Crawford County (pop. 10,713) is west of Harrison County, on the Ohio River.

Crawford County in 1908

It is one of 11 Crawford counties, which are named for three different people named Crawford. It’s uncertain which Crawford this one was named for.

Possibly William H., definitely not Joan

The county seat of Crawford County is the town of English (pop. 645), third-smallest county seat in Indiana.

After English had six floods between 1959 and 1990, most of the businesses and residences in the town were moved about a mile south, away from Camp Fork Creek.

Former downtown area

The Lucas Oil Golf Course, formerly the Old English course, opened in 2002. The front nine holes of the 18-hole course are in the flood plain.

Marengo Cave is in the nearby town of Marengo (pop. 828). The cave, discovered in 1883 by two children, is open for tours.

A National Historic Landmark

Marengo was named for the 1800 Battle of Marengo, in present-day Italy, between the French forces of Napoleon and Austrian forces.

Napoleon won.

The Marengo warehouse and distribution center has 4 million square feet of storage space in a former limestone quarry, 160 feet underground.

Used by U.S. Department of Defense and others

Much of Crawford County is in Hoosier National Forest.

Hemlock Cliffs trail

The William Proctor House (1832) is now owned by the Crawford County Historical Society.

Federal style



Indiana: Harrison County

Harrison County (pop. 39,364) is west of Floyd County, along the Ohio River. Its population has grown in every decade since 1940.

Harrison County in 1908

It’s one of eight Harrison counties, and one of the four named for President William Henry Harrison (1773-1841). He was governor of the Indiana Territory when the county was named.

The county seat of Harrison County is the town of Corydon (pop. 3,122), which was the capital of the Indiana Territory, 1813-16, and of the state, 1816-25.

The Capitol is now a State Historic Site.

The Battle of Corydon, in 1863, was the only Civil War battle fought in Indiana.

The current Harrison County Courthouse replaced the old State Capitol building, which was the courthouse for many years.

Built in 1929

The Harrison County Fair has been running for 156 straight years – the longest consecutively running fair in Indiana.

Indiana’s state Constitution was debated and drafted under the “Constitution Elm” in Corydon. The tree died in 1925, but its trunk is still a local landmark.

Dutch Elm disease killed it.

Harrison County has several caves that are open to the public. Indiana Caverns, just south of Corydon, is Indiana’s longest cave system.

Always 56 degrees underground

The town of Milltown (pop. 818), northwest of Corydon, has one of Indiana’s best shoe trees.

Horseshoe Southern Indiana, on the Ohio River, is the world’s largest riverboat casino, the largest riverboat in the U.S., and the closest casino to Louisville.

The riverboat is a four-deck casino.

Harrison Spring, just north of the unincorporated community of White Cloud, is the largest spring in Indiana. It has an average discharge of 100 cubic feet per second.

Owned by the Nature Conservancy

The steep hills of the Knobstone Escarpment are the most rugged terrain in Indiana.



Indiana: Floyd County

Floyd County (pop. 75,283) is southwest of Clark County, on the Ohio River. It is Indiana’s second-smallest county in square miles.

One of six Floyd counties

In the mid-1800s, Floyd County was the wealthiest county in Indiana. New Albany was Indiana’s largest city from 1816 to 1860.

New Albany (pop. 36,372), the county seat, has a Mansion Row Historic District, with homes of wealthy residents of the mid-19th century.

The Culbertson Mansion (1869) is now a state historic site, open for tours. It has 25 rooms and 20,000 square feet.

Second Empire style

In the early 20th century, New Albany was the world’s largest producer of plywood and veneer. In 1917,  a tornado destroyed much of the city.

The former Carnegie Library  (1904) in New Albany is now the Carnegie Center for Art and History.

Beaux Arts style

New Albany High School was the first high school in Indiana when it opened in 1853. Astronomer Edwin Hubble taught physics, Spanish, and math (and coached the basketball team) there for a year.

Golfer Frank Urban “Fuzzy” Zoeller was born in New Albany in 1951 and graduated from New Albany High School in 1970.

’79 Masters champion

Indiana University Southeast, founded in 1941, has about 7,000 students. Its New Albany campus opened in 1973.

The Grand Theater (1909) in New Albany is now used for weddings and other special events.

Floyd County has the longest tunnel in Indiana, the 4,295-foot Duncan Tunnel, completed for the Southern Railway in 1881.

Still in use


indiana-counties-workingInsert Media



Indiana: Clark County

Clark County (pop. 110,232) is south of Scott and Jefferson counties, on the Ohio River.

Clark County in 1908

The town of Clarksville (pop. 21,724), adjacent to the county seat of Jeffersonville, was the oldest American town in the old Northwest Territory, dating from 1783.

The town was founded by Gen. George Rogers Clark (1753-1818) at the only seasonal rapids on the Ohio River; the town and county were named for him.

Brother of William

Clarksville has one of the world’s largest clocks – the 40-foot-diameter Colgate Clock, atop the former Colgate-Palmolive factory, which closed in 2007.

Formerly the world’s 2nd largest

Falls of the Ohio State Park, along the river in Clarksville, is known for its exposed Devonian fossil beds.

Visitor Center from above

Jeffersonville (pop. 44,953), the county seat, has been a center of shipbuilding since the early 19th century.

Howard Steamboat Museum

Jeffboat, formerly the Jeffersonville Boat & Machine Company, is the largest inland shipbuilder in the U.S.

Recently building riverboat casinos

The George Rogers Clark Memorial Bridge (1929), also known as the Second Street Bridge, goes from Jeffersonville to downtown Louisville, Kentucky.

Looking toward Louisville

Nearby is the Big Four Bridge, a former railroad bridge that now carries pedestrians and bicyclists.

2,500 feet long

Papa John’s Pizza began in Jeffersonville in 1984. The headquarters is now in Jeffersontown, Kentucky.

Jeffersonville has a 20-foot-tall statue of a woman, made of hubcaps.



Indiana: Jefferson County

Jefferson County (pop. 32,683) is west of Switzerland County. It’s one of 26 counties and one parish named (directly or indirectly) for Thomas Jefferson.

The county seat of Jefferson County is Madison (pop. 11,967), which was a major port on the Ohio River until just after the Civil War, when railroads took away much of the river traffic.

Largest city on the Ohio between Cincinnati and Louisville

The Jefferson County Courthouse was built in 1855, and was recently restored after a major fire in 2009.

Adjacent to the Courthouse is a miniature Statue of Liberty, erected by the Boy Scouts in 1950.

The Lanier Mansion was built in 1844 in Greek Revival style. It is now a historic house museum.

A State Historic Site

The 1958 movie “Some Came Running,” directed by Vincente Minnelli, was filmed in Madison.

Actress Irene Dunne (1898-1990) lived in Madison during her teenage years.

5-time Oscar nominee

Madison is known worldwide as a center of hydroplane racing. The Madison Regatta draws crowds of up to 100,000 every July 4 weekend.

Clifty Falls State Park, on the west side of Madison, has four waterfalls on Clifty Creek.

1,400 acres

The town of Hanover (pop. 3,546) is the home of Hanover College, a liberal arts college affiliated with the Presbyterian Church. It has about 1,000 students.

Founded in 1827

Actor Woody Harrelson graduated from Hanover College in 1983. His “Cheers” character, Woody Boyd, grew up in Hanover, although Woody Harrelson actually grew up in Ohio.

Lebanon High School




Indiana: Switzerland County

Switzerland County (pop. 10,613) is south of Ohio County, along the Ohio River. It’s the only Switzerland County in the U.S.

Many of the early settlers came from Switzerland, and that’s how the county got its name. The county has never had a railroad line.

The county seat of Switzerland County is the town of Vevay (pop. 1,683). The Swiss city for which it was named is spelled “Vevey.”

Switzerland County Courthouse (1864)

In the 19th century, Switzerland County was known as the “Rhineland of America” because of its wine grape production. Vevay had the first commercial winery in the U.S.

Local winemaking was revived in 1995 with the opening of the Ridge Winery in Vevay.

The tasting room overlooks the Ohio River

The Hoosier Theatre in Vevay was built in 1837 as a warehouse and store.  It was a movie theater from 1926 to 1955, and now has concerts and other events.

225 seats

The Benjamin Schenck Mansion in Vevay (1874) is now a bed and breakfast.

Italianate/Second Empire style

The Switzerland County Historical Museum is in a former Presbyterian Church built in 1860.

Western actor and stuntman Ken Maynard (1895-1973) was born in Vevay.



Indiana: Ohio County

Ohio County is south of Dearborn County, just across the north-to-south flowing Ohio River from Kentucky.

Ohio County in 1908

It is Indiana’s smallest county in population (6,128) and size (86 square miles).

It was named for the Ohio River, and is one of three Ohio counties; the others are in Kentucky and West Virginia.

Wheeling, in Ohio County, W.V.

The county seat of Ohio County, Indiana, is the city of Rising Sun (pop. 2,304), the only incorporated community in the county.

Rising Star Casino Resort

The Ohio County Courthouse, built in 1845, is Indiana’s oldest courthouse that has been in continuous use.

Greek Revival style

The Links at Rising Star Casino is southern Indiana’s only Scottish links-style golf course.

Par 71

The well-known 1890 play and 1917 silent film called “Blue Jeans” were set in Rising Sun.




Indiana: Dearborn County

Dearborn County (pop. 50,047) is east of Ripley County, on the border with Ohio, and across the Ohio River from Kentucky. It’s the only Dearborn County in the U.S.

Dearborn County in 1908

The county was named for Henry Dearborn (1751-1829), U.S. Secretary of War when the county was formed.

A general in the War of 1812

The population of Dearborn County (which is only about 25 miles west of Cincinnati) has been growing since 1920.

The county seat of Dearborn County is the city of Lawrenceburg (pop. 5,042), on the Ohio River.

Dearborn County Courthouse (1871)

Lawrenceburg has long been known as “Whiskey City” because of its history of whiskey production. MGP of Indiana, a Lawrenceburg distillery, dates from 1847.

Beer’s Auto Sales in Lawrenceburg has a wall of vintage gas signs and other signs.

Lawrenceburg has a riverboat casino on the Ohio River – the Hollywood Casino, which opened in 1996 as the Argosy Casino.

The Perfect North Slopes Ski Area, north of Lawrenceburg, founded in 1980 by the Perfect Family, has a vertical drop of 400 feet.

Snowboarding was not allowed until 2002.

The town of Moores Hill (pop. 597) was the home of Moores Hill College from 1854 to 1917. It eventually became the University of Evansville.

Carnegie Hall (1907)

In the city of Aurora (pop. 3,750), the Hillforest Mansion (1855), on a bluff above the Ohio River, is available for tours.

Italian Renaissance style

In Aurora’s Riverview Cemetery, Aurora Schuck was buried in her red Cadillac, according to her wishes, in 1989. Her husband, Ray, had purchased 14 plots so there would be enough room.

Her casket on top




Indiana: Ripley County

Ripley County (pop. 28,818) is east of Jennings County. The only other Ripley County is in Missouri.

The county was named for Gen. Eleazer Wheelock Ripley (1782-1839), an officer in the War of 1812.

The county seat of Ripley County is the town of Versailles (pop. 2,113). It is pronounced Ver-SALES.

Ripley County Courthouse (1863)

Versailles was named for the Palace of Versailles, built near Paris by King Louis XIV in the 17th century.

The annual Versailles Pumpkin Show is the oldest annual festival in Indiana, dating from 1899.

The Bel-Air Drive-In Theater in Versailles has been open since 1957.

Now closed for the season

Versailles State Park, established in 1843, is adjacent to the town.

Busching Covered Bridge (1885)

Batesville (pop. 6,520), the largest city in Ripley County, is partly in Franklin County.

Gibson Theatre (1921)

The town of Milan (MY-lan, pop. 1,899) is the home of Milan High School, legendary winners of the 1954 Indiana high school state basketball championship, when the school had only 161 students.

As told in “Hoosiers”

The Milan ’54 Hoosiers Museum is in the former State Bank of Milan building.




Indiana: Jennings County

Jennings County (pop. 28,525) is north of Scott County. It’s the only Jennings County in the U.S.

The county was named for Jonathan Jennings (1784-1834), the first governor of Indiana.

Jennings County has the smallest county seat in Indiana –  the town of Vernon, population 318.

Jennings County Courthouse (1859)

Vernon was named for Mount Vernon, Virginia.

The largest city in Jennings County is North Vernon (pop. 6,728), just northwest of Vernon.

Park Theatre Civic Center, North Vernon

Author Jessamyn West (1902-1984) was born in North Vernon. Her family moved to Southern California when she was six.

Hannah Milhous Nixon (1885-1967), mother of President Richard Nixon, was born near the unincorporated community of Butlerville.

Dick and Hannah

Richard Nixon and Jessamyn West were second cousins. (Her mother was a Milhous.) Both were raised as Quakers, and both graduated from Whittier College in California.

The Muscatatuck Urban Training Center is in Jennings County. The site was originally the Indiana Farm Colony for Feeble Minded Youth.

Civilian first-responders are trained there.



Indiana: Scott County

Scott County (pop. 24,181) is east of Washington and Jackson counties. It is Indiana’s fifth-smallest county in square miles.

Scott County in 1908

There are 11 Scott counties in the U.S., and they’re named for six different men named Scott. This one was named for Charles Scott (1739-1813), military officer in the Revolutionary War and later governor of Kentucky.

He rose to Brigadier General.

The county seat of Scott County is Scottsburg (pop. 6,747). Scottsburg was not named for Charles Scott; it was named for Horace Scott, a local railroad official.

Scott County Courthouse (1874)

The former Scott County Home, built in 1892 as the county “poor farm,” is now the Scott County Heritage Center and Museum.

The museum opened in 2001.

The Scott Theatre (1947) now hosts the Ross Country Jamboree, with country music performances most weekends.

The Scottsburg Depot (1872) is now the Scottsburg Heritage Station.

Moved one block

Goat Milk Stuff, in Scottsburg, sells a variety of products (including cheese, candy, and soap) made from raw goat milk.

Goat milk caramels

The 741-acre Hardy Lake is the smallest reservoir maintained by the state of Indiana.

On Quick’s Creek



Indiana: Jackson County

Jackson County (pop. 42,376) is north of Washington County. Its population has been increasing every decade since 1930.

It’s one of 24 Jackson counties, and one of the 21 named for President Andrew Jackson (1767-1845).

The county seat of Jackson County is the town of Brownstown (pop. 2,947). The courthouse was built in 1870 and renovated in 1911.

Classical Revival style

The largest city in Jackson County is Seymour (pop. 17,503), once known as the “Crossroads of America” because east-west and north-south railroads crossed there.

Farmers Club, Seymour (1914)

Singer John Mellencamp was born in Seymour in 1951 and lived there until he was 14.

The first train robbery in history took place just outside Seymour, in 1866. The robbers (three brothers named Reno) were caught, lynched, and buried in Seymour.

Graves of the Reno Gang

In Elvis Presley’s first movie, “Love Me Tender,” he played Clint Reno, younger brother of the gang members. Clint had no connection with Seymour.

Original title: “The Reno Brothers”

The town of Medora (pop. 693) has the longest-spanning historic covered bridge in the U.S., dating from 1875.

432 feet long

The 2013 documentary film “Medora” was about the Medora High School basketball team and its struggles to compete against teams from larger schools.



Indiana: Washington County

Washington County (pop. 28,262) is east of Lawrence and Orange counties. It’s one of 30 counties (and one parish) named for George Washington.

The county seat of Washington County is the city of Salem (pop. 6,319). Salem’s population has increased in every decade since 1870.

Washington County Courthouse (1886)

Salem’s 1905 Carnegie Library is still in use.

American statesman John Hay (1838-1905) was born in Salem. Among other positions, he was private secretary to President Lincoln and secretary of state to presidents McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt.

The John Hay Center in Salem includes his birthplace, a Pioneer Village, and a museum.

The Salem Speedway is a .55-mile, paved motor racetrack, dating from 1947.

Uplands PEAK Sanctuary calls itself Indiana’s first and only farm sanctuary. Founded in 2012, it rescues and rehabilitates abused and neglected farm animals.

Dedicated to a vegan lifestyle



Indiana: Lawrence County

Lawrence County (pop. 46,134) is north of Orange County. It’s one of 11 Lawrence counties.

Ten of the 11 Lawrence counties, including this one, were named for James L. Lawrence (1781-1813), naval hero of the War of 1812.

His famous dying words

The county seat of Lawrence County is the city of Bedford (pop. 13,413), known as the “Limestone Capital of the World” because of its limestone quarries.

Lawrence County Courthouse (1930)

Actor Claude Akins (1926-1994) grew up in Bedford. He later graduated from Northwestern University.

Damon Bailey, of Bedford North Lawrence High School, was the 1990 Indiana Mr. Basketball and starred for Indiana University. He was recruited by Bobby Knight while still in 9th grade.

The town of Oolitic (pop. 1,184), named for oolite limestone, has a limestone statue of comic-strip boxer Joe Palooka.

Dedicated in 1948

Virgil “Gus” Grissom (1926-1967), one of the seven original Project Mercury astronauts, was born in the city of Mitchell (pop. 4,350) and grew up there.

The second American in space

Just east of Mitchell, Spring Mill State Park has a Gus Grissom Memorial.

Gemini 3 capsule

Underneath Lawrence County, limestone formations contain several large caverns. Bluespring Caverns has a three-mile, navigable underground river.

Longest in the U.S.



Indiana: Orange County

Orange County (pop. 19,840) is southeast of Martin County. It’s one of eight Orange counties in the U.S.

The county got its name from Orange County, N.C. The early settlers were Quakers who came from North Carolina to escape slavery, bringing freed slaves with them.

The county seat of Orange County is the town of Paoli (pop. 3,677). The courthouse (1850), in Greek Revival style, is the second oldest in Indiana that’s been in continuous use.

The Paoli Peaks ski area is just west of town. It has a 300-foot vertical drop, with 17 runs.

Night skiing is popular.

The adjacent towns of French Lick (pop. 1,807) and West Baden Springs (pop. 574) were famous mineral-spring spa resorts in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

At the West Baden Springs Hotel (1902), the 200-foot dome covering the atrium was for many years the largest free-spanning dome in the U.S.

Hotel rooms face the atrium.

The West Baden Springs and French Lick Springs hotels, both recently restored, are now part of the French Lick Resort, which includes a casino and three golf courses.

In the early 20th century, Pluto Water, bottled at French Lick Springs, was a very popular (and strong) natural laxative.

The French Lick Scenic Railway operates between French Lick and Jasper, through Hoosier National Forest.

The French Lick West Baden Museum has “The World’s Largest Circus Diorama.”

1,100 square feet

Basketball great Larry Bird grew up in French Lick, and played at Springs Valley High School.



Indiana: Martin County

Martin County (pop. 10,334) is east of Daviess County. It’s the fifth-smallest county in Indiana, in population.

It’s one of six Martin counties, which are named for six different people named Martin. This one was apparently named for Maj. John Martin of Kentucky.

Fog over the White River

From about 1915 to 1947, Martin County was a center of button-making, with buttons made from mussel shells dug up from the White River.

Mussel-button factory in Shoals

The county seat of Martin County is the town of Shoals (pop. 756), fourth-smallest county seat in Indiana. The former courthouse is now the county historical museum.

Built in 1876

The Shoals area has been a center of gypsum mining since the mid-20th century.

Shoals is best known for Jug Rock, the largest free-standing table rock formation in the U.S., east of the Mississippi River.

In Jug Rock Nature Preserve

The sports teams at Shoals High School are called the Jug Rox.

In the city of Loogootee (pop. 2,751), the yard of Bill Larkin has more than 3,000 colorful birdhouses. The derivation of the city’s name is uncertain.

Free birdhouses for visitors

About one-fourth of Martin County is in Hoosier National Forest, and about one-third is in the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division.

About 3,000 employees


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Indiana: Daviess County

Daviess County (pop. 31,648) is east of Knox County. It’s one of three Daviess counties; the others are in Kentucky and Missouri.

Daviess County in 1908

All three Daviess counties (and Jo Daviess County, Illinois) were named for Joseph Hamilton Daveiss (the correct spelling of his name), who commanded the Dragoons of the Indiana Militia at the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.


The county seat of Daviess County is the city of Washington (pop. 11,509).

The Daviess County Courthouse was built in 1928 in the Classical Revival style.

Brick and limestone

The Indiana Theater in Washington opened in 1926, closed in 2011, and was restored and reopened in 2014.

Still showing movies

The Robert C. Graham House (1912) in Washington is on the National Register of Historic Places. Graham was a founder of the Graham-Paige automobile company.

Prairie School style

Cody Zeller, now of the NBA Charlotte Hornets, was Indiana’s Mr. Basketball at Washington High School. He played college ball at Indiana University.

7 feet, 0 inches

Washington was hit by a tornado on Nov. 17, 2013, that destroyed 20 houses and severely damaged about 20 others.

73 tornadoes in 7 states that day


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Indiana: Knox County

Knox County (pop. 38,440) is south of Sullivan County and east of Illinois. It’s one of nine counties named for Henry Knox (1750-1806), the first U.S. Secretary of War.

Bordered by the Wabash and White rivers

Knox County was one of the original counties in the Northwest Territory, in 1790, and included almost all of today’s Indiana, and parts of the present states of Michigan, Illinois, and Ohio.

Knox County in 1800 (before interstates)

The county seat of Knox County is the city of Vincennes (pop. 18,423), the oldest (1732) continually occupied settlement in Indiana.

Knox County Courthouse (1873)

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park, in Vincennes, commemorates Clark’s capture of Fort Sackville in the Revolutionary War.

Built in 1931

Comedian Richard Bernard “Red” Skelton (1913-1997) was born in Vincennes and grew up there, before entering vaudeville in 1934.

The Hall of Hollywood Hoosiers, in Vincennes, has a collection of memorabilia related to Indianans in the movies.

Open by appointment

Grouseland, the William Henry Harrison Mansion and Museum, is in Vincennes. Harrison (1773-1841), later the ninth president, lived there when he was governor of the Indiana Territory.

Built in 1804

Vincennes University is the oldest public institution of learning in Indiana. Founded in 1801, it has about 4,000 students.

Vincennes is also the home of the Indiana Military Museum.

New museum opened in 2013

The town of Bruceville (pop. 478) has a homemade, backyard roller coaster, open to the public, summer weekends only.

Bruceville also has a replica of the Washington Monument, next to a giant peach – a 1954 tribute to the Trylon and Perisphere at the 1939 New York World’s Fair.

Outside The Big Peach store


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Indiana: Sullivan County

Sullivan County (pop. 21,475) is west of Greene County, across the Wabash River from Illinois. It reached its peak population of 32,439 in 1910.

It’s one of six Sullivan counties, which are named for three different Sullivans. This one was named for Daniel Sullivan (1754-1790), a scout and spy in the Revolutionary War.

The county seat of Sullivan County is the city of Sullivan (pop. 4,249).

Sullivan County Courthouse (1928)

The sports teams at Sullivan High School are known as the Golden Arrows.

The town of Merom (pop. 228) was the home of Union Christian College from 1859 to 1924. It was one of the first coeducational colleges to allow women to take any class that men could take.

Now a church conference center

The town of Farmersburg (pop. 1,118) is the home of a tiny church called the Taylor Prayer Chapel.

Just off the highway

Peabody Energy’s Bear Run Mine, south of the town of Dugger, is the largest surface mine in the eastern U.S. It employs more than 500 persons.

The coal is hauled out by truck.

Shakamak State Park, partly in Clay and Greene counties, is known for its fishing.

Established in 1929


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Indiana: Greene County

Greene County (pop. 33,165) is west of Monroe County. It’s Indiana’s fourth-largest county in square miles.

It is one of 14 Green counties, all of them named for Nathanael Greene (1742-1786), a major general in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.

The county seat of Greene County is the town of Bloomfield (pop. 2,405). The courthouse was built in 1885, and lost its tower in the 1950s.

Now “headless”

Bloomfield is the home of the Shawnee Summer Theatre, a professional company running continuously since 1960.

Now closed for the season

Bloomfield is also the home of “The World’s Largest Tire Jack.” HI-Lift Jack Company is headquartered in Bloomfield.

20 feet tall

The largest city in Greene County is Linton (pop. 5,413).

Linton Public Library (1908)

The comedian, and singer Phil Harris (1904-1995) was born in Linton. He was the voice of Balloo the Bear in “The Jungle Book” (1967) and Little John in Robin Hood (1973).

The Friends of Goose Pond Fish and Wildlife Area have an annual event in March called the Marsh Madness Sandhill Crane Festival.

Marsh Madness T-shirt

A park in the town of Worthington (pop. 1,467) has a monument containing a limb of what was once the largest sycamore tree in the U.S., with a circumference of 42 feet, 3 inches.

The tree died in a storm in 1925.

Greene County has the longest railroad trestle in Indiana – the 2,295-foot Tulip Viaduct, near  Solsberry.

Greene County has a town called Switz City (pop. 293), the only Switz City in the world. It was named for a local family named Switz.


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Indiana: Monroe County

Monroe County (pop. 137,974) is west of Brown County. It’s one of 18 Monroe counties, all named for James Monroe (1758-1831), fifth president of the U.S.

The county seat of Monroe County is Bloomington (pop. 80,405), seventh-largest city in Indiana.

Bloomington is the home of the flagship campus of Indiana University, founded in 1820. IU Bloomington, known for its Indiana limestone buildings, has more than 40,000 students.

Famous graduates of IU include actor Kevin Kline, journalist Jane Pauley, businessman Mark Cuban, composer Hoagy Carmichael, and the a cappella group Straight No Chaser.

The World’s Largest Anatomically Accurate Sculpture of the Human Brain is on the IU campus. The limestone brain weighs six tons.

David Lee Roth, lead singer of Van Halen, was born in Bloomington.

Most of the 1979 movie “Breaking Away” was filmed in Bloomington.

5 Academy Award nominations

The Indiana Theater (1922) in Bloomington is now the Buskirk-Chumley Theater, hosting a variety of concerts and other events.

The town of Ellettsville (pop. 6,378), northwest of Bloomington, is the starting point of the annual Hilly Hundred bicycle tour, a two-day event that attracts about 5,000 cyclists from around the country.

Lake Monroe, southeast of Bloomington, is the largest lake entirely within the state of Indiana. It was created in 1965 by the damming of Salt Creek.

Limited ice fishing in winter

The community of Elkinsville was evacuated to make room for Lake Monroe; as it turned out, elevation estimates were incorrect, and the lake’s waters never reached the town.


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Indiana: Brown County

Brown County (pop. 15,242) is west of Bartholomew County. One of nine Brown counties, it was named for Gen. Jacob Brown, an American Army officer in the War of 1812.

Brown County is one of Indiana’s two least densely populated counties, and the Indiana county with the largest percentage of land (almost 90%) covered by forest.

Hoosier National Forest

The town of Nashville (pop. 803) is the fifth-smallest county seat in Indiana.

Brown County Courthouse (1874)

The Brown County Art Colony, established in Nashville around the turn of the 20th century, was a major center for American Impressionist painters, including T.C. Steele (1847-1926).

Steele’s “The Old Mills” (1903)

The T.C. Steele State Historic Site is southwest of Nashville.

Steele’s home and studio

Brown County is still known today for its art galleries.

The Brown County Playhouse in Nashville has movies, live theater, and concerts.

Brown County State Park is Indiana’s largest and most-visited state park. It dates from 1931.

The Bill Monroe Music Park and Campground, north of Nashville, has the world’s longest continuously running bluegrass festival.


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Indiana: Bartholomew County

Bartholomew County (pop. 76,794) is west of Decatur County. It’s the only Bartholomew County in the U.S.

The county was named for Major Gen. Joseph Bartholomew (1766-1840), a hero of the Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811.

Badly wounded in the battle

The county seat of Bartholomew County is the city of Columbus (pop. 44,061), which has grown every decade since its founding in the mid-1800s.

Bartholomew County Courthouse (1874)

Columbus is known worldwide for its collection of modernist architecture and public art, with works by Eero Saarinen, I.M. Pei, Robert Venturi, Cesar Pelli, Richard Meier, and many others.

First Christian Church (1942)

J. Irwin Miller, CEO of Columbus-based Cummins, Inc., started the program, which paid architects’ fees for public buildings and public art.

First Baptist Church (1965)

Columbus City Hall was completed in 1981. It was built of brick and Indiana limestone.

Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill

North Christian Church (1964) was designed by Eero Saarinen. The building is hexagonal, with a 192-foot spire.

An oculus below the spire admits light.

The Republic newspaper building (1971) has a glass and white aluminum curtain wall.

248 feet long

The Crump Theatre in Columbus has been called Indiana’s oldest theater. It dates from 1889, but was remodeled into Art Deco style in 1941.

Currently closed

Kidscommons, a children’s museum in Columbus, features “the world’s largest toilet,” which is actually a slide.

Mike Pence, former Indiana governor and current vice-presidential candidate, was born in Columbus in 1959 and grew up there.

On left

NASCAR star Tony Stewart was born in Columbus in 1971. He played trombone in the Columbus North High School marching band.

3-time Sprint Car Series champion


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Indiana: Decatur County

Decatur County (pop. 25,740) is west of Franklin County. The population has been growing since 1930, when it was 17,308.

It’s one of five Decatur counties, all of them named for Commodore Stephen Decatur, Jr. (1779-1820), American naval hero.

The county seat of Decatur County is the city of Greensburg (pop. 11,492). The former Carnegie Library is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1904

The Romanesque-style Decatur County Courthouse (1854) is well-known for the mulberry tree growing on the roof.

Greensburg is known as “Tree City.”

Greensburg has a “Last Supper Museum,” with more than 1,800 works of art depicting Jesus’s Last Supper.

Call for a tour

Honda Motor Company opened an assembly plant in Greensburg in 2008. The plant, with about 2,000 employees, manufactures Honda Civics.

The Westport Covered Bridge (1880) is in the southwestern part of the county. Westport has an annual Covered Bridge Festival.

130 feet long


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Indiana: Franklin County

Franklin County (pop. 23,087) is south of Union County, along the border with Ohio. It’s one of 25 Franklin counties and parishes in the U.S.

Twenty-four of the Franklin counties were named for Benjamin Franklin; the one in Idaho was named for Franklin D. Richards (1821-1899), an apostle of the Mormon Church.

Ben (1705-1790)

The county seat of Franklin County is the town of Brookville (pop. 2,596).

Brookville in the fall

The Franklin County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1851

Skyward Adventures in Brookville has 10 zip lines and four sky bridges.

In the woods

Brookville is also the home of Wolf Creek Habitat, open to the public.

Weekends only

The town of Oldenburg (pop. 674) has been known as the “Village of Spires” because of its churches and other religious institutions.

The unincorporated community of Metamora, on the 19th-century Whitewater Canal, has canal rides, the Whitewater Valley Railroad, and a working gristmill.

The Duck Creek Aqueduct (1843), the last remaining covered wood aqueduct in the U.S., carries the Whitewater Canal over Duck Creek.

Restored in 1949

Grannie’s Cookie Jars and Ice Cream Parlor in Metamora has one of the world’s largest collections of cookie jars.

More than 2,000 cookie jars


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Indiana: Union County

Union County (pop. 7,516) is east of Fayette County, on the border with Ohio.

Union County in 1908

Union County is Indiana’s third-smallest county in square miles and second-smallest county in population – although its population has increased in every decade since 1930.

It’s one of 17 Union counties. It got its name because it was formed by the union of parts of Fayette, Franklin, and Wayne counties.

The county seat of Union County is the town of Liberty (pop. 2,133). The courthouse, built in 1891, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Richardsonian Romanesque style

Civil War general Ambrose Burnside (1824-1881) was born in Liberty. He is best remembered today for giving his name to the facial hair known as “sideburns.”

Poet Joaquin Miller (1837-1913) was also born in Union County (with the name Cincinnatus Heine Miller). He lived most of his life in Oregon and California.

“The Poet of the Sierras”

Whitewater Memorial State Park, Indiana’s third-largest state park, is partly in Union County.

Brookville Reservoir


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Indiana: Fayette County

Fayette County (pop. 24,277) is east of Rush County. It’s one of 11 Fayette counties.

All 11 were named for Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette (1757-1834), the Frenchman who fought in the American Revolutionary War.

The county seat of Fayette County is the city of Connersville (pop. 13,481). Connersville reached its peak population of 17,698 in 1960.

Fayette County Courthouse (1890)

In the early 20th century, Connersville was known as “Little Detroit” (as was Toledo, Ohio) because of its many automobile manufacturing plants.

1922 McFarlan touring car

The Stant Corporation, founded in Connersville in 1898 and still headquartered there, was the world’s largest producer of piano tuning pins.

Connersville High School had the first public high school band in the country, in 1906-07.

Film director and producer Robert Wise (1914-2005) grew up in Connersville. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for “The Sound of Music” and “West Side Story.”

On set with the Trapps

The Whitewater Valley Railroad runs 19 miles between Connersville and Metamora on former Penn Central railroad tracks.

Since 1974

The Thomas Ranck Round Barn (1904) is on the National Register of Historic Places.

70 feet tall


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Indiana: Rush County

Rush County (pop. 17,392) is east of Shelby County. It reached its peak population of 20,393 in 1960.

Rush County in 1908

The only other Rush County is in Kansas. Both were named for Dr. Benjamin Rush (1745-1813) of Philadelphia, a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

The county seat of Rush County is the city of Rushville (pop. 6,341).

Rush County Courthouse (1896)

Wendell Wilkie (1892-1944) had his 1940 presidential campaign headquarters in Rushville (his wife’s hometown), and he is buried in Rushville’s East Hill Cemetery.

Wilkie gravesite

The John K. Gowdy House (1888) is the home of the Rush County Historical Society Museum.

Free admission

The Riverside Park Amphitheatre has free outdoor concerts in the summer.

“Live by the Levee”

Rural Rush County has several 19th-century covered bridges.

Forsythe Covered Bridge (1888)

The former Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Children’s Home (1878) is north of Rushville. The land was turned over to the Indiana National Guard in 2009.

Soldiers’ orphans attended the school.


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Indiana: Shelby County

Shelby County (pop. 44,436) is east of Johnson County. It’s been growing since 1940, when the population was 25,953.

It is one of nine Shelby counties, all of them named for Isaac Shelby (1750-1826), who fought in the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. He was Kentucky’s first and fifth governor.

The county seat of Shelby County is the city of Shelbyville (pop. 19,191).

Shelby County Courthouse (1937)

The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville dates from 1916. It was renovated in 2008, and is now the home of the Shelby County Players.

Shelbyville also has a drive-in theater, the Skyline.

The Porter Pool Bathhouse (1930) in Shelbyville is on the National Register of Historic Places. The pool was demolished in 1998.

Now home of the Chamber of Commerce

William Garrett (1929-1974), the first African-American to play on the Indiana University basketball team, was Indiana Mr. Basketball at Shelbyville High School.

1947 state champions

Sandy Allen (1955-2008), the tallest woman in the world at 7 feet 7 inches, lived much of her life in Shelbyville.


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Indiana: Johnson County

Johnson County (pop. 139,654) is east of Morgan County and just south of Indianapolis. Its population has grown steadily over the years; in 1950, it was 26,183.

The county seat of Johnson County is the city of Franklin (pop. 23,712).

Johnson County Courthouse (1881)

Franklin College is a private liberal arts college in Franklin, founded in 1834. It was the first college in Indiana to admit women, in 1842.

About 1,000 students

Actress Marjorie Main (1890-1975), an Indiana native, attended Franklin College. She played Ma Kettle in 10 “Ma and Pa Kettle” movies between 1947 and 1957.

The Artcraft Theatre (America’s only one) in Franklin was built in 1922 and recently restored. Swartz Family Mortuary sponsors a free Senior Movie Series.

The World’s Largest Rocking Chair is just south of Franklin.

It was associated with a furniture store.

The “Franklin Wonder 5” was a group of basketball players that played together in grade school, won three state championships, 1920-22, and played together (and were undefeated) at Franklin College in 1923.


Indiana: Morgan County

Morgan County (pop. 68,894) is east of Owen County. Located conveniently between Indianapolis and Bloomington, it’s been growing steadily since the 1930s.

It is one of 11 Morgan counties, and one of the nine named for Daniel Morgan (1736-1802) of Virginia, an American general in the Revolutionary War.

The county seat of Morgan County is the city of Martinsville (pop. 11,858).

Morgan County Courthouse (1859)

Martinsville has been known as “The Goldfish Capital of the World” because of its fisheries businesses, dating from 1899 and continuing today.

From the late 1800s to the 1960s, Martinsville was also known for its artesian mineral water health spas, or “sanitariums.” The athletic teams at Martinsville High School are still known as the Artesians.

The gym at Martinsville High School, built in 1924, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

John Wooden (1910-2010) grew up in the area, and played basketball at Martinsville High School.

State champions in 1927

Singer Bobby Helms (1933-1997) spent much of his life in the Martinsville area. His biggest hits were “Jingle Bell Rock” and “My Special Angel,” both in 1957.

North of Martinsville, the town of Mooresville was the hometown of artist Paul Hadley, who designed the current Indiana state flag.

Adopted in 1917


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Indiana: Owen County

Owen County (pop. 21,575) is east of Clay County. The only other Owen County is in Kentucky.

Owen County in 1908

The county was named for Abraham Owen (1769-1811), who died in the Battle of Tippecanoe.

The county seat of Owen County is the city of Spencer (pop. 2,217).

Owen County Courthouse (1911)

The Spencer Town Hall and Fire Station is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1898

There is a giant chicken at the entrance to the Owen County Fairgrounds in Spencer. It was formerly located in front of a restaurant.

Spencer has a drive-in theater called the Cinema 67.

It opened in 1957.

Downtown Spencer also has a restored movie theater, the Tivoli, dating from 1928. It is still showing movies.

Reopened in 2013

Cataract Falls, on Mill Creek north of Spencer, is Indiana’s largest waterfall, by volume. The Upper Falls is 45 feet high, and the Lower Falls is 30 feet high.

Lower Falls

Nearby is the much-photographed Cataract Falls Covered Bridge (1876).

Open only to pedestrians

McCormick’s Creek State Park is just east of Spencer.

It opened in 1916.


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Indiana: Clay County

Clay County (pop. 26,890) is east of Vigo County. It’s one of 18 Clay counties, and one of the 15 named for Kentucky statesman Henry Clay (1777-1852).

Three-time presidential candidate

Interstate 70 (Maryland to Utah) runs through Clay County, east to west, paralleling U.S. Route 40 (the old National Road).

The county seat of Clay County is the city of Brazil (pop. 7,912). The city was named in 1866 for a local farm; the farm was named in the 1840s for the country.

The “Chafariz Dos Contos” (“Fountain of Tales”), a memorial fountain in Forest Park, is a replica of a fountain in Ouro Preto, Brazil.

Dedicated in 1956

The Clay County Courthouse (1914) is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Classical Revival style

The former U.S. Post Office (1913) in Brazil is now the Clay County Historical Society Museum.

Beaux Arts style

In 2010, KFC gave Brazil $2,500 for fire safety improvements in exchange for a month-long promotion of its “fiery” chicken wings.

Indianapolis got $5,000.

Popcorn tycoon Orville Redenbacher (1907-1995) was born in Brazil and grew up there; labor-union leader Jimmy Hoffa was born in Brazil in 1913 and lived there until 1924.

He disappeared in 1975.

The unincorporated community of Bowling Green has a bed and breakfast called the Clayshire Castle.


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Indiana: Vigo County

Vigo County (pop. 107,848) is south of Parke County, on the border with Illinois. It’s the only Vigo County in the U.S.

The county was named for Colonel Francis Vigo (1747-1836), an Italian-American who helped American forces during the Revolutionary War.

Statue in Vincennes

The county seat of Vigo County is the city of Terre Haute (pop. 60,785). Terre Haute means “highland” in French.

Vigo County Courthouse (1883)

Terre Haute was known as “The Crossroads of America” because of the meeting of U.S. Route 40 (San Francisco to Atlantic City) and U.S. Route 41 (Copper Harbor, Michigan, to Miami).

Indiana State University, founded in 1865 as Indiana State Normal School, is in Terre Haute. It now has about 13,000 students.

Larry Bird statue and Larry Bird (ISU ’76-’79)

Terre Haute is also the home of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, established in 1874. It is one of America’s most prestigious schools specializing in engineering, mathematics, and science.

The Indiana Theatre (1922) in Terre Haute was an early example of an atmospheric theater, designed by architect John Eberson. It is now open for concerts, movies, and special events.

Built for vaudeville and silent movies

Labor-union leader Eugene V. Debs (1855-1926) was born and raised in Terre Haute. He was a five-time Socialist Party candidate for president of the United States. His home is now a museum.

Terre Haute’s industrial history includes steel mills, distilleries, and food processing. In 1953, its Quaker Maid plant was called “the largest food-processing plant under one roof.”

Clabber Girl is still based in Terre Haute.

The Swope Art Museum, established in 1942, is known for its collection of works by American artists such as Grant Wood, Thomas Hart Benton, and Edward Hopper.

And Andy Warhol

In 1913, a tornado killed 21 people in Terre Haute and destroyed or damaged more than 300 homes.

The LaVern Gibson Championship Cross Country Course in Terre Haute is one of the world’s few purpose-built cross country courses. It was built on a reclaimed coal mine.


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Indiana: Parke County

Parke County (pop. 17,339) is west of Putnam County. It reached its peak population of 23,000 in 1900.

The only Parke County in the U.S.

With 31 covered bridges, it is known as “The Covered Bridge Capital of the World.”

Jackson Covered Bridge (1861)

The county seat is the city of Rockville (pop. 2,607).

Parke County Courthouse (1881)

The Chautauqua Pavilion in Rockville is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Built in 1913

Rockville and other Parke County communities have hosted an annual Covered Bridge Festival since 1957.

One of Indiana’s largest festivals

The Ritz Theater (1912) in Rockville is the home of the Parke Players.

The town of Marshall (pop. 324), north of Rockville, is known for its arch at the entrance to town.

Built in 1921

Turkey Run State Park is in the northern part of the county. It was Indiana’s second state park, purchased in 1916.

Known for its sandstone gorges, or “runs”

Pitcher Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown (1876-1948) was born in rural Parke County. Although he lost parts of two fingers in a farm-machinery accident, he had a lifetime record of 239-130.

He’s in the Hall of Fame.

The unincorporated Parke County community of Lodi was not the setting of Creedence Clearwater Revival’s 1969 song; the song referred to the city in California’s Central Valley.


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Indiana: Putnam County

Putnam County (pop. 37,963) is west of Hendricks County. It was named for Revolutionary War hero Gen. Israel Putnam (1718-1790).

Putnam County is known for its nine historic covered bridges.

Baker’s Camp Bridge (1901)

The county seat of Putnam County is the city of Greencastle (pop. 10,326).

Putnam County Courthouse (1905)

Greencastle is the home of DePauw University, a private liberal arts university that was founded in 1837.

About 2,400 students

The Science and Mathematics Center at DePaul has a three-dimensional display called the Periodic Museum of Elements.

Downtown Greencastle has a World War II German buzz bomb (V-1) on display.

One of two in the U.S.

John Dillinger and his gang robbed the Central National Bank in Greencastle of $74,000 in 1933. It was his largest haul ever from a bank robbery.

The House of Bells is in the town of Cloverdale (pop. 2,172).

Since 1950

The town of Roachdale has annual Cockroach Races during the Fourth of July weekend.

Roaches are imported from South Carolina.


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Indiana: Hendricks County

Hendricks County (pop. 145,448) is west of Indianapolis and Marion County. It has been growing steadily since 1950, when its population was 24,594.

It’s the only Hendricks County – named for William Hendricks (1782-1850), who was governor of Indiana when the county was formed. His nephew Thomas was also governor, and later vice president of the United States.

Gov. William

The county seat of Hendricks County is the town of Danville (pop. 9,001).

Hendricks County Courthouse (1915)

The old county jail and sheriff’s residence (1866) is now the Hendricks County Historical Museum.

It was a jail until 1974.

The Royal Theater in Danville (1914) is still showing movies.

The neo-Tudor facade dates from the ’20s.

Danville once was the home of Central Normal College, which focused on training teachers. It was briefly a private school called Canterbury College, until it closed in 1951 because of bankruptcy.

Downtown Danville has an “Andy Griffith Show”-themed restaurant called the Mayberry Cafe. The show runs on TVs inside.

Police car parked permanently outside

The town of Brownsburg (pop. 21,285) is the home of the Lucas Oil Raceway (1960), which has a seating capacity of 30,000. The facility has a 4,400-foot dragstrip, a .68-mile oval, and a 2.5-mile road course.

Formerly Indianapolis Raceway Park

The town of Plainfield (pop. 27,631) got its name from the early Quakers (“plain people”) who settled in the area.

Plainfield Interurban Depot (1907)

Indiana had one of the country’s largest systems of interurban trains in the early 1900s; the 400-mile Terre Haute, Indianapolis, and Eastern Traction Company served Plainfield.

Map of Indiana interurbans in 1920s


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Indiana: Marion Clounty

Marion County (pop. 903,393) is west of Hancock County. The largest county (by population) in Indiana, it’s had a consolidated city-county government with Indianapolis, called Unigov, since 1970.

Indianapolis (pop. 820,445) is both the state capital and the county seat. More interstate highways intersect in Indianapolis than in any other city.

Indiana State Capitol

The 284-foot Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, in Monument Circle, was built in 1902. The observation level is 330 steps up.

Chase Tower (811 feet) in background

The Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is the world’s largest museum for children.

Dinosaurs breaking out of the building

Author Kurt Vonnegut (1922-2007) was born in Indianapolis and grew up there. He attended Cornell University after graduating from high school.

Vonnegut mural in Indianapolis

Author Booth Tarkington (1869-1946) was also from Indianapolis. His 1918 novel “The Magnificent Ambersons” was largely set in the then-exclusive Woodruff Place neighborhood, just east of downtown.

The movie came out in 1942.

Indianapolis Union Station (1888) now contains a hotel, a charter school, several offices, and a small Amtrak station.

The Grand Hall is rented out for special events.

A downtown statue of Indiana-born basketball coach John Wooden has been informally called “The Coach of the Leg Lamps,” because of its disembodied legs of basketball players.

Unveiled in 2012

Indianapolis is not only the home of the Indianapolis 500 auto race; it’s also the home of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

Just west of downtown

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis belongs to the university systems of both Indiana University and Purdue.

About 30,000 students

Action Duckpin Bowl and Atomic Bowl Duckpin, both in the Fountain Square Theatre Building, are the only duckpin bowling alleys in the Midwest.

The balls are smaller.

The Pyramids are three 11-story pyramid-shaped office buildings, located north of downtown.

Built in 1967-72

The community of Acton, in Marion County’s southeastern corner, has a seasonal attraction called Veal’s Ice Tree – a structure covered in winter with colored water.

Up to 60 feet tall


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Indiana: Hancock County

Hancock County (pop. 70,002) is west of Henry County. Its population has gone up steadily since the 1940s, thanks to its proximity to Indianapolis, just to the west.

It’s one of 10 Hancock counties, all named for American patriot John Hancock (1736-1793).

The county seat of Hancock County is the city of Greenfield (pop. 20,602).

Hancock County Courthouse (1897)

Poet James Whitcomb Riley (1849-1916) grew up in Greenfield. His childhood home is now a museum.

The Hoosier Poet”

Greenfield has an annual Riley Festival.

The Lilly Biological Laboratories in Greenfield are on the National Register of Historic Places. They were built in 1914 for the Eli Lilly Company.

An 80-foot tower

The Ricks Centre for the Arts is in the former Weil Theater (1946).

Art Deco/Art Moderne style

Northwest of Greenfield, the town of Fortville (pop. 3,929) has a martini-drinking pink elephant statue outside a liquor store.

In the town of McCordsville (pop. 4,797), the McCordsville Barbershop is inside an old caboose.

Since 1995


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Indiana: Henry County

Henry County (pop. 49,462) is west of Wayne County. It’s one of nine Henry counties, and one of the eight named for American patriot Patrick Henry (1736-1799) of Virginia.

Henry County was the setting of Ross Lockridge, Jr.’s 1,000-page 1948 novel “Raintree County,” which is often listed among the best American novels of the 20th century.

The 1957 movie is very different.

The Henry County town of Straughn (pop. 222) is called “Waycross” in the book.

Straughn students in 1893

The county seat of Henry County is the city of New Castle (pop. 18,114). New Castle reached its peak population of 21,215 in 1970.

Henry County Courthouse (1869)

New Castle is the home of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame, founded in 1962 in Indianapolis.

Moved to New Castle in 1990

The Fieldhouse at New Castle High School is the world’s largest high school gym, seating 9,325.

Built in 1955

Indiana basketball legend Steve Alford was born in New Castle in 1964 and starred at New Castle High School before playing his college ball at Indiana University. He’s now the head coach at UCLA.

1987 NCAA champions

The Steve Alford All-American Inn in New Castle has a giant sneaker in front.

Artist Robert Indiana was born (as Robert Clark) in New Castle in 1928. He was a leader in the pop art movement.

Eat/Die, 1962

In 1907, the Maxwell Auto Company built what was then the largest automobile factory in the world, in New Castle.

Later a Chrysler plant

Southwest of New Castle, the then-empty high school gymnasium in Knightstown (pop. 2,182) was used for many of the basketball scenes in the movie “Hoosiers” (1986). It’s now called Hoosier Gym.

Now available for tours

Wilbur Wright (1867-1912) was born in the unincorporated community of Millville. His brother Orville (1871-1948) was born in Dayton, Ohio.

Wilbur on right


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Indiana: Wayne County

Wayne County (pop. 68,917) is south of Randolph County, on the border with Ohio. It reached its peak population of 79,109 in 1970.

It’s one of 16 Wayne counties in the U.S., all named (directly or indirectly) for Gen. “Mad” Anthony Wayne (1745-1796), hero of the Revolutionary War.

Hoosier Hill (elev. 1,257 feet), the highest point in Indiana, is in the northeastern part of Wayne County. It is on private property, but there is a trail to the “top.”

About 30 feet above surrounding farmland

The county seat of Wayne County is the city of Richmond (pop. 36,812), home of the Indiana Football Hall of Fame.

Wayne County Courthouse (1893)

At various times in its history, Richmond was known nationwide for lawn-mower manufacturing, school-bus manufacturing, and rose-growing.

Richmond was known as “Rose City.”

Richmond has also been called the “Cradle of Recorded Jazz.” Gennett Records was the first to record Louis Armstrong, in 1923, and Hoagy Carmichael first recorded “Stardust” there, in 1927.

Richmond has a Glen Miller Park. Located in a narrow valley (or glen), it was named for Col. John Miller, the land’s original owner.

Not for the bandleader

Richmond is the home of Earlham College, a liberal arts college associated with the Quakers (established 1847, 1,000 students) and Indiana University East (established 1971, 4,500 students), part of the Indiana University system.

Professors are called by their first names.

A natural gas explosion in downtown Richmond in 1968 killed 41 people and injured more than 150. Fourteen square blocks were destroyed or damaged.

Main Street through downtown was closed to traffic.

Richmond built a five-block pedestrian mall on Main Street a few years later, but it was reopened to vehicle traffic in 1997 in an effort to revitalize downtown.

“The Promenade”

The Richmond School was a group of Impressionist artists who worked in the Richmond area in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The Richmond Art Museum has a variety of American Impressionist works.

“Christmas Eve in Washington Square” by Guy Wiggins

The museum is located at Richmond High School, and so is the fourth-largest high school gym in the U.S. (and in Indiana), which holds 8,100.

Richmond has two of Indiana’s three Egyptian mummies. They’re located at the Wayne County Historical Museum and at Earlham College’s Joseph Moore Museum.

“Mummy Capital of Indiana”

The nearby town of Centerville is the home of “The World’s Largest Candle.”

Outside a candle outlet store

The town of Greens Fork, northwest of Richmond, was the birthplace, in 1850, of Old West outlaw Johnny Ringo . He died in 1882, somewhere in the vicinity of Tombstone, Arizona, possibly shot by Wyatt Earp.


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Indiana: Randolph County

Randolph County (pop. 26,171) is east of Delaware County, on the border with Ohio.

The eight Randolph counties in the U.S. were named for three different Randolphs: John, Edmund, and Peyton. This one was named for Peyton Randolph (1721-1775) of Virginia.

The county seat of Randolph County is the city of Winchester (pop. 4,935). Winchester reached its peak population of 5,742 in 1960.

Randolph County Courthouse (1876)

Winchester Speedway is a half-mile paved, oval racetrack, seating about 4,000 spectators. It opened in 1916.

“World’s Fastest Half-Mile”

The 1995 movie “Now and Then” was written by I. Marlene King, about her childhood in Winchester. It was actually filmed in Georgia, and the town’s name was changed to “Shelby.”

East of Winchester, the city of Union City (pop. 3,584) is just across the border from Union City, Ohio.

The rock group The McCoys got their start in Union City. They had a #1 hit with “Hang on Sloopy” in 1965.

Jim Jones (1931-1978), founder and leader of the Peoples Temple cult, grew up in rural Randolph County. He and more than 900 followers died in Jonestown, Guyana, in a mass murder-suicide.

In the early 20th century, Randolph County and its school superintendent, Lee L. Driver, were known nationwide as leaders in the movement to consolidate rural schools. A middle school in Winchester is named for Driver.


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Indiana: Delaware County

Delaware County (pop. 117,671) is east of Madison County. It’s one of six Delaware counties, none of them in the state of Delaware.

The county seat of Delaware County is the city of Muncie (pop. 70,085).

The citizens of Muncie have probably been studied more than the citizens of any comparable city, thanks to the “Middletown” studies, which began in the 1920s. Muncie has often been presented as a typical, small American city.

Muncie has a long history as an industrial city, with iron and steel mills and the Ball Brothers Glass Manufacturing Company. The five Ball brothers were George, Lucius, Frank, Edmund, and William.

The Ball Brothers’ many philanthropies in Muncie included the purchase of the Indiana Normal Institute from foreclosure, in 1917. After the school was donated to the state, it eventually became known as Ball Teachers College.

Ball State University now has 21,000 students.

The Cincinnati, Richmond, & Muncie Depot (1901) is now a visitor center and office for the Cardinal Greenway, a 60-mile rail trail on the old right-of-way.

The “Cardinal” was the last passenger train on the route.

The Masonic Temple (1920) in downtown Muncie is now the home of the Cornerstone Center for the Arts.

On the National Register of Historic Places

The six-story Roberts Hotel (1921) has recently reopened as the Lofts at Roberts apartments.

The National Model Aviation Museum in Muncie features a recreated 1950s-era hobby shop.

Muncie has a 25-foot Paul Bunyan statue, outside the Timbers Lounge, southwest of downtown.

The town of Albany, northeast of Muncie, is known for its shoe tree.


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Indiana: Madison County

Madison County (pop. 131,636) is east of Hamilton County. It is one of the 19 Madison counties (and one Madison Parish) named for James Madison, fourth president of the U.S.

Hamilton and Madison, along with John Jay, wrote “The Federalist Papers,” which promoted the ratification of the U.S. Constitution.

The county seat of Madison County is the city of Anderson (pop. 56,129).

Paramount Theatre, Anderson (1929)

In 1970, Anderson had 20 General Motors plants and a population of 70,787. All the GM plants are now closed.

Delco Remy Division in 1973

The first interurban railroad in the U.S. was between Anderson and Alexandria, starting in 1898.

Nestle USA opened a plant in Anderson in 2009. It produces Coffee-Mate and Nesquik, among other items.

Anderson is the home of Anderson University, a liberal arts school affiliated with the Church of God (Anderson, Indiana). It has about 2,500 students.

The Indianapolis Colts train there.

Hoosier Park, on the south side of Anderson, has thoroughbred racing and a casino. The track opened in 1994, and the casino opened in 2008.

The city of Alexandria (pop. 5,145) is the hometown of Christian singer and songwriter Bill Gaither. He was born there in 1936.

“The World’s Largest Ball of Paint” is in Alexandria.

Camp Chesterfield, in the town of Chesterfield (pop. 2,547), is the home of the Indiana Association of Spiritualists. Appointments are available with mediums, clairvoyants and healers.

Wendell Wilkie (1892-1944), Republican nominee for president in 1940, was a native of the city of Elwood (pop. 8,614).


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Indiana: Hamilton County

Hamilton County (pop. 274,569) is south of Tipton County and just north of Indianapolis. It’s one of the fastest-growing counties in the U.S., and is Indiana’s fourth-largest county in population.

It is one of 10 Hamilton counties in the U.S., and one of the eight named for Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804), first U.S. Secretary of the Treasury.

The county seat of Hamilton County is the city of Noblesville. Its population grew from 7,548 in 1970 to 51,969 in 2010.

Hamilton County Courthouse (1879)

The former First Christian Church (1896) in Noblesville contains law offices. It is now known as the Adler Building.

The Klipsch Music Center (1989) is an outdoor amphitheater in Noblesville, with a seating capacity of 24,000. It’s the largest outdoor music venue in the Indianapolis area.

View from the lawn

The Indiana Transportation Museum, in Noblesville, has excursion trains on 34 miles of former Nickel Plate Line track.

Leviathan #63

Noblesville was long known as a center of flour-milling. The sports teams at Noblesville High School are still known as the Millers.

The Hamilton County Museum of History is in the Old Sheriff’s Residence and Jail (1876).

Second Empire style

The city of Westfield (pop. 30,068) is the home of the 400-acre Grand Park sports complex, with 31 soccer/football fields and 26 baseball/softball diamonds.

Mainly for travel teams

Carmel (pop. 79,732) is the fifth-largest city in Indiana. Its population in 1960 was 1,442. Carmel is the home of the Museum of Miniature Houses.

Since 1993

Carmel is the unofficial “Roundabout Capital of the United States,” with about 80 roundabouts that have replaced traffic signals.

Fewer accidents

Carmel is also the home of the Great American Songbook Foundation, founded by Michael Feinstein in 2007. The Songbook Exhibit Gallery is open to the public.

The Foundation is located within Carmel’s 1,600-seat Palladium concert hall, which opened in 2011.

A home of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Carmel and the neighboring city of Fishers are often rated among the best places to live in the U.S.A., in magazines such as “Money” and “Forbes.” The population of Fishers grew from 628 in 1970 to 76,794 in 2010.


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Indiana: Tipton County

Tipton County (pop. 15,931) is east of Clinton County. The only other Tipton County is in Tennessee.

The county seat of Tipton County is the city of Tipton (pop. 5,106).

Sherrill’s is now closed.

Tipton was the first town in Indiana to have brick paved streets, in 1890. Its J.J. McIntosh Broom Factory was the largest broom factory in the state.

The Tipton County Courthouse (1894) is on the National Register of Historic Places. Its clock tower is 206 feet tall.

Romanesque style

The Diana Theatre in Tipton dates from 1926. It was rebuilt in 1948, after a fire.

Still showing movies

Charles Benjamin “Babe” Adams (1882-1968), a Tipton native, was a longtime pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. He had a career win-lost record of 194-140.


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Indiana: Clinton County

Clinton County (pop. 33,224) is north of Boone County.

Clinton County in 1908

It is one of the seven counties named for DeWitt Clinton (1769-1828), the governor of New York who was largely responsible for construction of the Erie Canal. Two other Clinton counties were named for his uncle George (1739-1812).

Pouring Lake Erie water into the Atlantic Ocean

The county seat of Clinton County is the city of Frankfort (pop. 16,422).

Clinton County Courthouse (1884)

Frankfort’s founders, three brothers named Pence, named it for Frankfurt am Main, Germany, which was the home of their great-grandparents.

Old Frankfort Stone High School (1892), known as “Old Stoney,” is the home of the Clinton County Historical Society and Museum.

Richardsonian Romanesque style

Actor Will Geer (1902-1978) was born in Frankfort.

On “The Waltons”

Skydive Indianapolis is located at the Frankfort Municipal Airport.

Largest drop zone in Indiana


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Indiana: Boone County

Boone County (pop. 56,640) is east of Montgomery County. Its population has been growing steadily since 1940.

Boone County in 1908

It’s one of eight Boone counties, and one of the six named for frontiersman Daniel Boone (1734-1820).

The county seat of Boone County is the city of Lebanon (pop. 15,792).

Downtown Lebanon

Lebanon got its name because a stand of hickory trees in the area reminded an early settler of the Biblical cedars of Lebanon.

The Boone County Courthouse, built in 1911 in Classical Revival style, is known for its glass dome.

The Strange Nathaniel Cragun House is an historic house and museum in Lebanon, operated by the Boone County Historical Society.

“Strange” was his first name.

Rick Mount of Lebanon was one of the greatest basketball players in Indiana high school history, and a star at Purdue from 1967 to 1970. He was the first high school athlete to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

The town of Zionsville (pop. 14,127), in the southeastern corner of the county near Indianapolis, is known for the brick streets in its downtown area.

Zionsville is the home of the Antique Fan Museum, operated by the Antique Fan Collectors Association.

Since 1997


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Indiana: Montgomery County

Montgomery County (pop. 38,124) is east of Fountain County.

It’s one of 18 Montgomery counties, and one of the 14 named for Richard Montgomery (1738-1775), a major general in the Continental Army, who led the failed 1775 invasion of Canada.

The county seat of Montgomery County is the city of Crawfordsville (pop. 15,915).

Montgomery County Courthouse

Crawfordsville had the first Carnegie Library in Indiana, in 1902. The building is now the Carnegie Museum of Montgomery County.

The boys’ basketball team from Crawfordsville High School won the first Indiana High School Basketball Tournament, in 1911.

Gen. Lew Wallace (1827-1905), author of “Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ” (the best-selling American novel of the 19th century), lived much of his life in Crawfordsville. His study is now open to the public as a museum.

Formerly known as the Ben-Hur Museum

The Rotary Jail Museum, dating from 1882, has a unique, two-story rotary jail. The cells are shaped like pieces of pie.

It still spins!

Wabash College, in Crawfordsville, is one of the country’s three remaining men-only liberal arts colleges.

Established in 1832

Crawfordsville native Joseph Stephen Crane (1916-1985) became an actor and restaurateur in Los Angeles. He and actress Lana Turner were married twice and divorced twice between 1942 and 1944.

Voted “Most Attractive” at Crawfordsville High School

The Crawfordsville Monster was a flying creature that was reportedly seen by Crawfordsville residents in 1891. It was later identified as a flock of birds.

Exteriors for the 1986 film “Hoosiers” were filmed in the town of New Richmond (pop. 333). It was called “Hickory” in the movie.

The town of Wingate (pop. 263) was the site of the first electric basketball scoreboard, in 1935.


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Indiana: Fountain County

Fountain County (pop. 17,240) is east of Vermillion County. It’s the only Fountain County in the U.S.

The county was named for James Fontaine (1757-1790), whose name was also spelled “Fountaine.” He died in a Northwest Indian War battle named either Harmar’s Defeat, Battle of the Maumee, Battle of Kekionga, or Battle of the Miami Towns.

Also “Battle of the Pumpkin Fields”

The county seat of Fountain County is the city of Covington (pop. 2,645).

Fountain County Courthouse (1937)

The Carnegie Library in Covington is on the National Register of Historic Places

Built in 1914

The largest city in Fountain County is Attica (pop. 3,245).

Devon Theater (1932), Attica

Indiana’s state song, “On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away,” was written (by Paul Dresser) near Attica, which is on the banks of the Wabash River. Paul Dresser was the brother of novelist Theodore Dreiser.

Portland Arch Nature Preserve is near the Wabash River, between Covington and Attica.

Sandstone bridge carved by Bear Creek


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Indiana: Vermillion County

Vermillion County (pop. 16,212), long and narrow, is south of Warren County, between Illinois and the Wabash River. It reached its peak population of 27,625 in 1920.

It is the only Vermillion County in the U.S. Across the border in Illinois is a Vermilion County (with one “l”), and Louisiana has a Vermilion Parish.

Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona

The county seat of Vermillion County is the town of Newport (pop. 515), second-smallest county seat in Indiana.

Vermillion County Courthouse (1925)

The Newport Antique Auto Hill Climb dates from 1909 (with interruptions).

The largest city in Vermillion County is Clinton (pop. 4,893). Many of its early citizens were immigrants from Italy, Austria, and Scotland who worked in the local coal mines.

Its population in 1920 was 10,962.

Actor Ken Kercheval grew up in Clinton. He played the role of Cliff Barnes on the TV show “Dallas.”

Punched by J.R. Ewing (Larry Hagman)

Journalist Ernie Pyle (1900-1945) was born on a farm near the town of Dana (pop. 608). He died in the Battle of Okinawa.


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Indiana: Warren County

Warren County (pop. 8,508) is west of Tippecanoe County. It borders Illinois on the west; the Wabash River separates it from Fountain County on southeast.

Indiana’s third-smallest county in population, it reached its peak of population (11,497) in 1880. The county had a famous resort hotel called the Mudlavia, from 1890 to 1920.

It’s one of 14 Warren counties in the U.S., all named for Gen. Joseph Warren (1741-1775), who died in the Battle of Bunker Hill.

The county seat of Warren County is the town of Williamsport (pop. 1,898).

Warren County Courthouse (1908)

The 90-foot Williamsport Falls, the highest waterfall in Indiana, is in Williamsport.

Fall Creek goes over a sandstone ledge.

James Franklin Hanly (1863-1920), governor of Indiana from 1905 to 1909, practiced law in Williamsport for many years. He ran for president on the Prohibition Party in 1916.

Buried in Williamsport

The town of State Line City (pop. 143) is adjacent to the community of Illiana, Illinois. Abraham Lincoln gave a speech in State Line City in 1861, on his way from Springfield, Illinois, to Washington, D.C.

Commemorative marker


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Indiana: Tippecanoe County

Tippecanoe County (pop. 172,780) is southwest of Carroll County.

It’s the only Tippecanoe County. The name apparently came from the anglicization of “Kethtippecanoogi,” a Miami Indian term meaning “place of the succor fish people.”

The Battle of Tippecanoe took place in 1811 near the confluence of the Tippecanoe and Wabash rivers. U.S. forces led by William Henry Harrison fought Native Americans associated with Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa (“The Prophet”).

The county seat of Tippecanoe County is the city of Lafayette (pop. 67,140).

Tippecanoe County Courthouse (1884)

Lafayette is served by two Amtrak trains: the “Cardinal,” between New York City and Chicago, and the “Hoosier State,” between Indianapolis and Chicago.

Big Four Depot (1902)

Axl Rose (William Bruce Rose, Jr.), lead singer of the rock band Guns N’ Roses, was born in Lafayette in 1962 and grew up there.

Lafayette participated in the first airmail delivery in U.S. history, in 1859. A hot-air balloon took off from Lafayette, bound for New York City. It only made it 30 miles – in the wrong direction.

The 123 letters eventually reached NYC.

The Lafayette Theater (1938) hosts concerts and a variety of other events.

West Lafayette (pop. 29,596) is across the Wabash River, to the west of Lafayette. It’s the home of Purdue, Indiana’s land-grant university, founded in 1869. Purdue has about 39,000 students.

Boilermaker statue (2005)

Neil Armstrong (1930-2012), the first man on the Moon, was a Purdue graduate, in aeronautical engineering.

John Wooden was a three-time All-American basketball player at Purdue. He graduated in 1932 with a degree in English.

“The Wizard of Westwood”


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Indiana: Carroll County

Carroll County (pop. 20,155) is west of Howard County.

Carroll County in 1895

It’s one of 13 Carroll counties, and one of the 12 named for Charles Carroll (1737-1832) of Maryland, who was the last surviving signer of the Declaration of Independence.

He died at age 95.

The county seat of Carroll County is the city of Delphi (pop. 2,893).

Carroll County Courthouse (1917)

The Niewerth Building in Delphi is on the National Register of Historic Place.

Built in 1874

The Delphi Opera House (1865) was recently renovated. It now hosts a variety of concerts, plays, and other events.

On the second floor of a downtown building

The Wabash and Erie Canal, which connected the Great Lakes with the Ohio River, ran through Delhi. Today, Delhi has a Wabash and Erie Canal Park.

The Adams Mill Covered Bridge dates from 1872.


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Indiana: Howard County

Howard County (pop. 82,752) is west of Grant County. It’s one of seven Howard counties in the U.S. Those seven counties are named for six different people named Howard.

Howard County in 1908

This Howard County (and Iowa’s) are named for Gen. Tilghman Howard (1797-1844), an attorney and U.S. congressman from Indiana.

Born in South Carolina

The county seat of Howard County is the city of Kokomo. Its population in 2010 was 45,468; after it annexed more than seven square miles in 2012, its population reached about 57,000.

Former City Building (1894)

Kokomo has long been known as the “City of Firsts.” Some of the firsts include the first automobile, first stainless steel flatware, first push-button car radio, first canned tomato juice, and first mechanical corn picker

Kokomo also had the first McDiner – a McDonald’s with a diner inside – in 2001. This experiment in table service at McDonald’s was soon discontinued.

Indiana University Kokomo was established in 1945. It has about 4,000 students.

The Seiberling Mansion (1889) is now part of the Howard County Historical Museum.

Decorated for Christmas

The Beach Boys’ song “Kokomo” is not about the real Kokomo. It’s about a fictional place “off the Florida Keys.”

The “Kokomantis” is a scrap-iron sculpture in downtown Kokomo. It’s 17 feet tall and 22 feet long.

Legs made of stoplight arms

Highland Park in Kokomo has “The World’s Largest Preserved Steer” – Old Ben, who died in 1910 – preserved in a glass box. The park also has “The World’s Largest Sycamore Stump.”

He weighed 2.5 tons.

Kokomo was the hometown of Norman Bridwell (1928-2014), author of the “Clifford the Big Red Dog” books.


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Indiana: Grant County

Grant County (pop. 70,061) is west of Blackford County. It’s one of 14 Grant counties and one Grant Parish in the U.S.

This Grant County was named for Captains Samuel and Moses Grant – Kentuckians who died fighting Indians in 1789.

Most of the others were named for him.

The county seat of Grant County is the city of Marion (pop. 29,948). The courthouse in Marion dates from 1882. Its dome was removed in 1943.

The courthouse in 1930

Marion is the home of Indiana Wesleyan University, established in 1920 and affiliated with the Wesleyan Church.

About 3,000 students in Marion

Marion has been a worldwide leader in the paper plate industry. It is also known as “Christmas City USA” because of its mile-long “Walkway of Lights” during the holiday season.

On the Mississinewa Riverwalk

The annual “Mississinewa 1812,” at the Mississinewa Battlefield near Marion, is the largest War of 1812 battle reenactment in the U.S.

Every October

Musician Lyle Lovett and actress Julia Roberts were married at St. James Lutheran Church in Marion in 1993. Lovett was on tour at the time.

Divorced in 1995

Actor James Dean (1931-1955) was born in Marion and spent much of his childhood and teen-age years at the farm home of his aunt and uncle, near the town of Fairmount (pop. 2,954).

Fairmount High School yearbook

The James Dean Gallery in Fairmount claims to have the world’s largest collection of James Dean memorabilia. Fairmount also has an annual James Dean Festival.

In a restored Victorian home

Dean is buried at the Park Cemetery in Fairmount.

Cartoonist Jim Davis, creator of “Garfield,” was also born in Marion (in 1945) and also grew up on a farm near Fairmount.

Davis still lives in Indiana.

The city of Gas City was a center of the Indiana Gas Boom of the late 1800s.

Oil derrick street sign

In the nearby town of Swayzee (pop. 981), the high school basketball team played a nine-overtime game (an Indiana record) in 1964.


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Indiana: Blackford County

Blackford County (pop. 12,766) is west of Jay County. Indiana’s fourth-smallest county in square miles, it reached its peak population of 17,213 in 1900.

Blackford County in 1908

Blackford County was named for Judge Isaac Blackford (1776-1859), longtime chief justice of the Indiana Supreme Court. It’s the only Blackford County in the U.S.

Blackford County was a center of the Indiana Gas Boom, in the late 1800s. Today, about 70% of the county’s land is planted in corn or soybeans.

The county seat of Blackford County is Hartford City (pop. 6,220).

Courthouse (1894)

In the nearby city of Montpelier (pop. 1,805), the 1908 Carnegie Library is still open.

On the National Register of Historic Places

Montpelier is the hometown of Astronaut Kevin A. Ford . He graduated from Blackford High School in Hartford City in 1978, and was the pilot of the Space Shuttle Discovery in 2009.

Now a retired USAF colonel

The Point restaurant, west of Montpelier, is known for its fiberglass giant holding an ice cream cone.


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Indiana: Jay County

Jay County (pop. 21,253) is south of Wells and Adams counties, on the border with Ohio.

Jay County in 1908

Named for John Jay (1745-1829) of New York, first Chief Justice of the United States, it’s “The Only JAY in the USA,” according to the Jay County Visitors and Tourism Bureau.

The county seat of Jay County is the city of Portland (pop. 6,223).

Jay County Courthouse (1919)

Dancer and choreographer Twyla Tharp was born in Portland in 1941. She was named for Twila Thornburg, the “Princess” of the 89th annual Muncie Fair.

The Jay County Historical Museum is in Portland.

Open Tuesday to Friday

The Bowstring Truss Bridge (1914) in Portland is the only concrete bowstring truss bridge in Indiana.

Restored in 1997

The Museum of the Soldier is in the former Coca Cola bottling plant in Portland.

The city of Dunkirk (pop. 2,362) is the home of the Glass Museum, which has more than 8,000 pieces of glassware from 110 factories around the world.

It opened in 1981.

The Rebecca Rankin Round Barn (1908) is on the National Register of Historic Places.

In northern Jay County


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Indiana: Wells County

Wells County (pop. 27,636) is west of Adams County. The only other Wells County is in North Dakota.

The county was named for Capt. William A. Wells (1770-1812), who was captured and adopted by the Miami Indians in Indiana. When he was killed in the War of 1812, Potawatomi Indians cut out his heart and ate it, in honor of his bravery.

He had three wives – 2 Native Americans and an Army officer’s daughter.

The county seat of Wells County is the city of Bluffton (pop. 9,897), on the bluffs of the Wabash River.

Wells County Courthouse

Bluffton was historically known as “The Parlor City” because its paved streets (at a time when many streets were not paved) made the city “as clean as your parlor.”

Binghamton has the same nickname.

The Wells County Historical Museum is in the historic Stewart-Studabaker House.

Built in 1882

U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan (1927-2003), from New York City, spent most of his childhood summers on his grandfather’s farm near Bluffton.

Former Northern Illinois quarterback Chandler Harnish was born in Bluffton. He was “Mr. Irrelevant” of the 2012 NFL draft – the last person picked, at 253rd overall.

Drafted by the Colts

Ouabache (pronounced “Wabash”) State Park, on the Wabash River, is east of Bluffton.

Fire tower


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Indiana: Adams County

Adams County (pop. 34,387) is south of Allen County, on the border with Ohio.

It was named for President John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) of Massachusetts.

The county seat of Adams County is Decatur (pop. 9,405).

Adams County Courthouse (1873)

David Anspaugh, the director of the movies “Rudy” and “Hoosiers,” was born in Decatur in 1946.

The city of Berne (pop. 3,999) was settled by Swiss and German immigrants and was named for the capital of Switzerland. In 2010, the city built a 160-foot replica of the clock tower in Berne, Switzerland.

The one in Switzerland is 500 years old.

The tower has daily glockenspiel performances at 12 noon, 3, 6, and 9 p.m.

Berne also hosts entertainment at the base of the tower.

The town of Geneva (pop. 1,293), named for the city in Switzerland, was the longtime home of author Gene Stratton-Porter (1863-1924), author of “A Girl of the Limberlost.” Her home is now Limberlost State Historic Site.

Limberlost Swamp was nearby.


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Indiana: Allen County

Allen County (pop. 355,329) is Indiana’s largest county in square miles and third-largest county in population. It’s one of five Allen counties in the U.S.

The county was named for Col. John Allen (1771-1813), an Army officer from Kentucky who was killed in the War of 1812.

Died at the Battle of Frenchtown

The county seat of Allen County is Fort Wayne (pop. 253,691), second-largest city in Indiana.

Allen County Courthouse (1903)

The U.S. Army built the original Fort Wayne (named for General “Mad Anthony” Wayne) in 1794 near the Miami Indian settlement of Kekionga, at the confluence of the Maumee, St. Joseph, and St. Marys rivers.


Fort Wayne skyline

Fort Wayne’s industrial history includes the first gas pump (1885) and the first domestic refrigerator (1913).

Fort Wayne’s former Pennsylvania Railroad Station (1914) is now a banquet hall and community events space called the Baker Street Station.

Fort Wayne is not currently served by Amtrak.

The Karpeles Manuscript Library, which has the world’s largest private collection of original manuscripts and documents, spread around 11 U.S. cities, has two Fort Wayne museums – both in old churches.

Former First Church of God (1917)

The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Fort Wayne dates from 1860.

Spires are 192 feet tall.

Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) is Indiana’s fifth-largest public university, with about 13,000 students.

The mascot is Don the Mastadon.

The NBA Detroit Pistons originated in 1941 as the Fort Wayne Zollner Pistons. Owner Fred Zollner owned a foundry that made pistons for auto engines. The team moved to Detroit in 1957.

The Fort Wayne TinCaps, Class-A Midwest League affiliate of the San Diego Padres, play at Parkview Field (2009). The name refers to the cooking pot allegedly worn as a hat by Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman).

John Chapman (1774-1845) died in Fort Wayne and may be buried in Johnny Appleseed Memorial Park.

Actors who were born in Fort Wayne include Carole Lombard (Jane Alice Peters), Shelley Long, Jenna Fischer, and Dick York.

She married Clark Gable.


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Indiana: Whitley County

Whitley County (pop. 33,292) is north of Huntington County. The only other Whitley County is in Kentucky. Both were named for William Whitley (1749-1813), a hero of the War of 1812.

The county is last, alphabetically, among Indiana’s counties. It has the highest number (92) on Indiana’s license plates.

The county seat is Columbia City (pop. 8,750). Columbia City and Whitley County, located just west of Fort Wayne and Allen County, have been growing consistently for many years.

Whitley County Courthouse (1888)

Thomas R. Marshall (1854-1925), Indiana governor and U.S. vice president under Woodrow Wilson, practiced law in Columbia City for many years.

Marshall on right

The Whitley County Historical Museum is located in Marshall’s Columbia City home.

Open Tuesday-Friday

The town of South Whitley (pop. 1,751) was the birthplace, in 1947, of country singer Janie Frickie.

South Whitley was formerly known for its annual Fall Festival, featuring bed races.

The town of Churubusco (pop. 1,796), named for an 1847 battle in the Mexican-American War, is known as “Turtle Town, U.S.A.” because of the mythical giant snapping turtle called the Beast of Busco that lived in a local pond.


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Indiana: Huntington County

Huntington County (pop. 37,124) is east of Wabash County. It’s the only Huntington County in the U.S.

The county was named for Samuel Huntington (1731-1796), a signer of the Declaration of Independence and later governor of Connecticut.

The county seat of Huntington County is the city of Huntington (pop. 17,391).

Huntington County Courthouse (1904)

Huntington has long been known as “The Lime City” because of its limestone quarries and kilns.

Dan Quayle, vice president under George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993, graduated from Huntington High School and later practiced law in Huntington (with his wife, Marilyn) before his election to the House of Representatives.

Class of ’65

The Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center, in the former First Church of Christ, Scientist, has displays about all the vice presidents, focusing on the five from Indiana.

Spiro Agnew memorabilia

Huntington is the home of Huntington University, affiliated with the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. It has about 1,200 students.

Founded in 1897

The Tel-Hy Nature Preserve, south of Huntington, has a collection of historic outhouses.

The unincorporated community of Bippus is the hometown of broadcaster Chris Schenkel  (1923-2005). He studied at Purdue University, and died in Fort Wayne.

The village of Markle (pop. 1,095), in both Huntington and Wells counties, has a smiley-face water tower.


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Indiana: Wabash County

Wabash County (pop. 32,888) is east of Miami County. The only other Wabash County is in Illinois.

The county was named for the Wabash River, Indiana’s longest river. The word is an English spelling of a French version (“Ouabache”) of the Indian name for the river – “Wabashike,” meaning the “pure white” of the limestone river bottom.

Wabash River catfish

The county seat of Wabash County is the city of Wabash (pop. 10,666). Wabash reached its peak population of 13,379 in 1970.

Wabash County Courthouse (1879)

In 1880, Wabash became “The First Electrically Lighted City in the World,” when four huge carbon-arc lights were placed on top of the courthouse and lit the entire block.

Industrialist Mark C. Honeywell (1874-1964) founded Honeywell, Inc., in Wabash and was its first president and CEO. Honeywell International, Inc., is now based in New Jersey.

Famous for thermostats

The Honeywell Center (1952) in Wabash, operated by the Honeywell Foundation, has a theater, restaurant, art gallery, and meeting rooms.

Rebuilt in 1994

The Eagles Theatre in Wabash dates from 1906. It was purchased and restored by the Honeywell Foundation in 2010.

Still showing first-run movies

Wabash also has a drive-in movie theater – the 13-24 Drive-In, named for two highways that intersect nearby.

It opened in 1950.

Country singer Crystal Gayle (younger sister of Loretta Lynn) grew up in Wabash and graduated from Wabash High School.

The town of North Manchester (pop. 6,112), north of Wabash, is the home of Manchester University – a liberal arts school affiliated with the Church of the Brethren.

It has about 1,500 students.

The 110-foot Peabody Memorial Tower (1937) is on the grounds of the Peabody Retirement Community in North Manchester.

Renovated in 2010

Wabash County has two historic covered bridges, both dating from 1872.

North Manchester Bridge


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Indiana: Miami County

Miami County (pop. 36,903) is east of Cass County. It’s one of three Miami counties – the others are in Kansas and Ohio.

Miami County in 1895

The county seat of Miami County is the city of Peru (pop. 11,417), on the Wabash River. Peru reached its peak population of 14,453 in 1960.

Miami County Courthouse (1910)

Peru was the hometown of Cole Porter (1891-1964), composer of Broadway shows such as “Anything Goes” and “Kiss Me Kate.” He is buried in Mount Hope Cemetery in Peru.

Peru has an annual Cole Porter Festival.

Porter’s childhood home is now both a museum and the Cole Porter Inn, with guest rooms called the Cole Porter Suite, the Anything Goes Suite, and the Night and Day Suite.

He lived there for his first 10 years.

The Miami County Museum has exhibits on Cole Porter, early pioneers, and Native Americans, as well as a large military collection.

Porter’s 1955 Fleetwood Cadillac

For many years (ending in 1941), Peru was the winter home of several circuses, including the Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey. Today, the former winter quarters is the home of the International Circus Hall of Fame.

Peru, and much of Indiana, suffered devastating damage in the Wabash River flood of March 1913.

This circus elephant was one of the fatalities.

Grissom Air Reserve Base, southwest of Peru, is the home of the Grissom Air Museum, with a collection of 28 aircraft.

Established in 1982

The 37-mile Nickel Plate Trail is a bike trail on the former right-of-way of the New York, Chicago, and St. Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate Road). It runs through Miami County, going from Fulton County in the north to Howard County in the south.


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Indiana: Cass County

Cass County (pop. 38,966) is south of Fulton County, on the Wabash River.

It’s one of nine Cass counties in the U.S., and one of the eight named for Lewis Cass (1782-1866), whose many job titles included U.S. senator from Michigan, U.S. ambassador to France, Secretary of War, and Secretary of State.

The county seat of Cass County is the city of Logansport (pop. 18,396), located at the intersection of the Wabash and Eel rivers.

Logansport was named for James Renick-Logan (“Captain Logan”), a half-Shawnee soldier who was a scout for U.S. forces in the area during the War of 1812.

c. 1774-1812

The State Theatre in Logansport (1940) now hosts concerts and other events.

Actor Greg Kinnear was born in Logansport in 1963.

Logansport is known for the historic Spencer Park Dentzel Carousel, built in 1900.

43 horses

Logansport High School’s mascot, Felix the Cat, is the oldest recognized mascot in Indiana.

France Park, just west of Logansport, has hiking, cross-country skiing, swimming, and scuba diving – in an abandoned stone quarry.

France Park waterfall

Cass County has a town called Onward (pop. 100).


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Indiana: Fulton County

Fulton County (pop. 20,836) is east of Pulaski County. It’s one of eight Fulton counties in the U.S.

Fulton County in 1895

The county was named for Robert Fulton (1765-1815), inventor of the first commercially successful steamboat.

The county seat of Fulton County is the city of Rochester (pop. 6,218).

Fulton County Courthouse (1896)

Many early settlers in the county came from upstate New York; Rochester was named for Rochester, N.Y.

Lake Manitou, on the east side of Rochester, is a man-made lake, created in 1767 by the Potowatomi Indian tribe.

775 acres

Actor Elmo Lincoln (1889-1952) was born in Rochester. He was the first film Tarzan – in the silent “Tarzan of the Apes” in 1918.

Fulton County is known as “The Round Barn Capital of the World,” with about 15 historic round barns.

Utter-Gerig Round Barn

The Round Barn at the Fulton County Historical Society Museum, north of Rochester, was badly damaged in a windstorm in August 2015.

Drone photo


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Indiana: Pulaski County

Pulaski County (pop. 13,402) is north of White County.

Pulaski County in 1908

It’s one of seven Pulaski counties, all named for Kazimierz Michal Wladislaw Wiktor Pulaski (1745-1779), Polish nobleman and “Father of the American Cavalary.”

The county seat of Pulaski County is the town of Winamac (pop. 2,490).

Pulaski County Courthouse (1894)

The town’s name was taken from the Potawatomi word for “catfish.”

The Isis Theatre has been showing movies in the same location since 1936.

The Vurpillat Opera House in Winamac is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Second Empire style

Tippecanoe River State Park is popular for canoeing, hiking, and horseback riding. The 182-mile Tippecanoe River is a tributary of the Wabash River, which forms the Indiana-Illinois River before joining the Ohio River.


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Indiana: White County

White County (pop. 24,643) is east of Benton County. It’s one of five White counties in the U.S. – all named for different men named White.

This White County was named for Isaac White (1776-1811), who died in the Battle of Tippecanoe – between U.S. forces and Native Americans led by Tecumseh – near present-day Lafayette, Indiana.

The 182-mile Tippecanoe River flows south through White County. It joins the Wabash River in Tippecanoe County.

Dams on the river form Lake Freeman and Lake Shafer.

The county seat of White County is the city of Monticello (pop. 5,378). The Lafayette Bank & Trust building in Monticello was built to resemble Thomas Jefferson’s home in Virginia.

Monticello has a drive-in movie theater, the Lake Shore, that dates from 1949.

Now closed for the winter

The Monticello Tornado on April 3, 1974, destroyed much of the city’s central business district, killing eight persons and injuring more than 350. The tornado did more than $100 million damage in the Monticello area.

The 1894 courthouse was destroyed.

The Whyte Horse Winery in Monticello has a tasting room in a renovated 1886 farmhouse.

Indiana Beach Amusement Resort, on Lake Shafer (just north of Monticello), dates from 1926. It now has six roller-coasters.

Reopening in May

The Madam Carroll (1976) is an excursion boat on Lake Freeman, just south of Monticello. The boat has a capacity of 500 passengers.

“The biggest boat in Indiana”

The nearby town of Brookston (pop. 1,554), whose motto is “The Star of the Prairie,” has an annual Apple Popcorn Festival.

The Monon Railroad, which operated mainly in Indiana, was named for the town of Monon (pop. 1,777). Monon is now the home of the Monon Connection Museum and Whistle Stop Restaurant.

Many railroad artifacts

The town of Wolcott (pop. 1,001) was the starting point for Bobbie the Wonder Dog’s legendary 2,500-mile walk to his home in Oregon in 1923, after being separated from his family.

Bobbie and owner Frank Brazier


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Indiana: Benton County

Benton County (pop. 8,854) is south of Newton County, along the border with Illinois. Indiana’s fourth-least-populous county, it reached its peak population of 13,123 in 1900.

Benton County in 1908

It is one of nine Benton counties, and one of the seven named for Thomas Hart Benton (1782-1858), five-term senator from Missouri.

The painter was his great-great-nephew.

Benton County has long been one of Indiana’s leaders in corn and soybean production. It’s now also known as the leader in wind-energy production in Indiana.

Fowler Ridge Wind Farm

The county seat of Benton County is the town of Fowler (pop. 2,317).

Benton County Courthouse (1874)

The 196-seat Fowler Theatre, in Streamline Moderne style, dates from 1940. It’s still showing movies.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights

The town of Oxford (pop. 1,162) was the birthplace of Dan Patch (1896-1916), the fastest harness-racing horse of its era and a nationwide celebrity. Dan Patch lived in Minnesota from 1902 until his death.

Oxford has an annual Dan Patch Days festival

The town of Boswell (pop. 778) has long been known as “The Hub of the Universe” – as has Boston, Massachusetts.

The town of Earl Park (pop. 348) is distinguished by its cemetery and the 22-foot monument to early settler Edward C. Sumner and his wife, Abigail.

Erected in 1882


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Indiana: Newton County

Newton County (pop. 14,244) is west of Jasper County, on the border with Illinois. It’s one of six Newton counties in the U.S.

The county seat of Newton County is the town of Kentland (pop. 1,748).

Kentland was the hometown of author George Ade (1866-1944). Ade and David E. Ross were the principal benefactors for the new football stadium at Purdue University in 1924.

Ross-Ade Stadium has been expanded many times.

The Newton County Courthouse is on the National Register of Historic Places.

A few miles east of Kentland, the town of Goodland (pop. 1,043) was the birthplace of jazz musician Eddie Condon (1905-1973).

He played guitar and banjo.

The Kentland crater, in the area of Kentland and Goodland, is a 5-mile-wide impact crater, dating from many millions of years ago. Because of erosion, few signs of the crater are visible on the surface.

Limestone quarry at the center

The nearby town of Morocco (pop. 1,129) is the home of the Antique Snowmobile Museum of Indiana.

Indiana’s only one

The community of Roselawn, partly in Jasper County, is known for its two nudist resorts, which date from the 1930s.

World’s largest sundial, Sun Aura Resort

Fair Oaks Farms has a variety of agriculture-related experiences for visitors, including the “Dairy Adventure” and the “Pig Adventure,” plus a restaurant and gift shop.


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Indiana: Jasper County

Jasper County (pop. 33,478) is west of Starke County. It is Indiana’s third-largest county in square miles.

It’s one of eight Jasper counties in the U.S., all named for Revolutionary War hero William Jasper (1750-1779), whose exploits were popularized by author Parson Weems.

Raising the flag at Fort Moultrie

Weems’s stories also made Sgt. John Newton famous. As a result, Jasper and Newton were often paired in the American mind in the early 1800s, when counties were being named. Five Jasper counties (including Indiana’s) are adjacent to Newton counties.


The county seat of Jasper County is the city of Rensselaer (pop. 5,859), which was originally named Newton. Rensselaer (ren-sa-LEER) was named for James Van Rensselaer, a merchant who came to the area from Utica, N.Y.

Jasper County Courthouse

The Ritz Cinema in Rensselaer opened in 1928 as the Palace Theatre. It reopened in 2006.

Admission: $5.00

Tom Harmon (1919-1990), University of Michigan football star and sports broadcaster, was born in Rensselaer. He won the Heisman Trophy in 1940. His children included actor Mark Harmon and actress Kristin Harmon, who married singer Ricky Nelson.

Tom’s grandsons Gunnar and Matthew

The adjacent community of Collegeville is the home of Saint Joseph’s College, a Catholic liberal-arts school with about 1,000 students.

St. Joseph’s Chapel

The Chicago Bears held their annual training camp at St. Joseph’s College from 1944 to 1974. Parts of the TV movie “Brian’s Song” were filmed on campus.

The town of Remington (pop. 1,185) has a water tower built in 1897, with a wooden tank above a brick tower.

140 feet tall

South of Rensselaer, the Fountain Park Chautauqua, dating from 1895, still has a two-week summer Chautauqua season with guest speakers, art classes, and family-oriented entertainment.

Fountain Park Chautauqua Hotel


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Indiana: Starke County

Starke County (pop. 23,363) is west of Marshall County. It’s the only Starke County in the U.S. Its northwestern border is the Kankakee River, which flows west to the Illinois River in Illinois.

Shaped like New York state

The county was named for Gen. John Stark (1728-1822), whose militiamen defeated the British in the Battle of Bennington (Vermont) in 1777. An “e” was mistakenly added to the county’s name sometime in the 19th century.

The county seat of Starke County is the city of Knox (pop. 3,704).

Melody Drive-In (1949)

The Starke County Courthouse in Knox was built in 1897 in Richardsonian Romanesque style. Tours to the clock tower are available by appointment.

Indiana limestone

The Starke County Visitor Center is in the old Knox railroad depot.

South of Knox is Bass Lake, the third-largest natural lake located entirely within the borders of Indiana.

The town of Hamlet (pop. 800) was not named for Shakespeare’s Prince of Denmark; it was named for John Hamlet, who established the town in 1863.

Sir Laurence Olivier and friend

The unincorporated community of Toto, west of Knox, is known for its giant Indian, which was once located at the entrance to Porter County’s now-defunct Enchanted Forest amusement park.

The park closed in 1991.

The town of North Judson (pop. 1,772) has an annual Mint Festival, to celebrate the history of mint farming in the area. North Judson is also the home of the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum.

Saturday rides in summer


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Indiana: Marshall County

Marshall County (pop. 47,051) is west of Kosciusko County. It is one of 12 Marshall counties in the U.S.

The county was named for U.S. Chief Justice John Marshall (1755-1835).

The county seat of Marshall County is the city of Plymouth (pop. 10,033).

Marshall County Courthouse (1872)

The 100-foot East LaPorte Street Footbridge (1898) connects downtown Plymouth with a residential neighborhood to the east. The footbridge is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the Yellow River

Plymouth has a restored, vintage Mobil gas station.

Montgomery Ward, formerly a mail-order business only, opened its first retail store in Plymouth, in 1926. By 1929, Wards had 531 stores.

It was in this building.

The annual Marshall County Blueberry Festival is held on Labor Day weekend in Plymouth.

Since 1967

The four-screen Tri-Way Drive-In in Plymouth has been open since 1953. It’s one of Indiana’s few remaining drive-in theaters.

Open April to September

West of Plymouth, the unincorporated community of Donaldson is the home of Ancilla College, a two-year, private liberal arts college. It was founded in 1937 by the Poor Handmaids of Jesus.

In the town of Bremen (pop. 4,588), the Bremen Theatre (1934) is still showing first-run movies.

The town of Culver (pop. 1,353) is the home of the Culver Academies, a college preparatory boarding school. The school began as the Culver Military School in 1894.

Indiana’s first indoor rowing tank

Culver alumni include George Foreman III, Hal Holbrook, Michael Huffington, Walter O’Malley, Gene Siskel, George Steinbrenner, Hal Steinbrenner,  Jonathan Winters, and Alexander, Crown Prince of Yugoslavia.

Country singer Dierks Bentley also attended.


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Indiana: Kosciusko County

Kosciusko County (pop. 77,358) is west of Noble County. The only Kosciusko County in the U.S., it has about 75 lakes within its borders.

The county was named for Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kosciuszko (1746-1817), a Polish-Lithuanian military leader who fought on the American side in the Revolutionary War.

The county seat of Kosciusko County is the city of Warsaw (pop. 13,559), named for the capital of Poland.

Old Courthouse (1884)

Warsaw has long been known as the “Orthopedic Capital of the World” because of its cluster of industries and services related to orthopedic (or orthopaedic) devices.

Authors Ambrose Bierce (1842-circa 1914) and Theodore Dreiser (1871-1945) and former NBA basketball player Rick Fox all lived in Warsaw and attended Warsaw High School.

The Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts in Warsaw hosts the Symphony of the Lakes and a variety of other concerts and plays.

Theater in the round

The 2008 documentary film “American Teen” was filmed at Warsaw High School and featured actual Warsaw students.

Just east of Warsaw, the town of Winona Lake (pop. 4,908) is the home of Grace College and Theological Seminary. Evangelist Billy Sunday (1862-1935) lived in Winona Lake for many years.

Northeast of Warsaw, Webster Lake has summer excursions on the Dixie, built in 1929, “Indiana’s oldest sternwheel excursion boat.”

The town of Mentone (pop. 1,001) calls itself the “Egg Basket of the Midwest” because of its large commercial egg enterprises. Mentone has an annual Egg Festival.

Giant egg, Mentone

Mentone is also the home of the Bell Aircraft Museum, named for Lawrence D. Bell (1894-1956) – the Mentone native who founded the Bell Aircraft Corporation. The Bell X-1 was the first supersonic aircraft.

B-29 manufacture in Georgia


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Indiana: Noble County

Noble County (pop. 47,536) is west of DeKalb County. The only other Noble counties are in Ohio and Oklahoma.

The county was named for James Noble (1785-1831), first senator from the state of Indiana.

Served 1831-37

The county seat of Noble County is the town of Albion (pop. 2,349). The courthouse was built in 1887.

Richardsonian Romanesque style

Earl Butz (1909-2008), Secretary of Agriculture under Presidents Nixon and Ford, was born in Albion and grew up on a Noble County dairy farm. He was one of seven students in his high school graduating class.

Also Dean of Agriculture at Purdue

The largest city in Noble County is Kendallsville (pop. 9,862), home of the Mid-America Windmill Museum,

52 windmills on display

The Strand Theatre in Kendallsville opened in 1890 as the Spencer Opera House. It’s still showing first-run movies.

Twinned in 1980

Every October, the city of Ligonier (pop. 4,405) is the site of Pumpkin Fantasyland, with a variety of pumpkin displays and activities.

Pumpkins as presidents

Ford C. Frick (1894-1978), Commissioner of Major League Baseball from 1951 to 1965, grew up in Noble County and went to high school in the town of Rome City (pop. 1,361).

1961 baseball card

Chain O’Lakes State Park, popular with boaters, has nine connecting lakes and 13 lakes total. Illinois also has a Chain O’Lakes State Park.

The lakes are 20-65 feet deep.


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Indiana: DeKalb County

DeKalb County (pop. 42,223) is south of Steuben County and just west of Ohio.

It’s one of six DeKalb counties in the U.S., all named for Johann von Robais, Baron de Kalb (1721-1780), a French military officer who served as a major general in the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War.

He died in the Battle of Camden.

The county seat of DeKalb County is the city of Auburn (pop. 13,086).

DeKalb County Courthouse (1905)

Auburn is known as the “Home of the Classics” because of its history of producing luxury automobiles. The Auburn Automobile Company was founded in Auburn and went out of business in 1937.

The Auburn Automobile Company made Duesenberg cars from 1926 until Duesenberg folded in 1937.

1931 Duesenberg Torpedo Phaeton

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Automobile Museum, located in the company’s former buildings, has a collection of about 125 vehicles.

The former showroom

The Auburn Cord Duesenberg Festival is held annually on Labor Day weekend.

The Parade of Classics

Auburn is also the home of the Early Ford V-8 Foundation and Museum, “preserving 1932-1953 Ford history.”

Founded in 1991

Auburn is one of four communities in DeKalb County (along with Butler, Garrett, and Waterloo) with community mausoleums, built between 1914 and 1922. All are on the National Register of Historic Places.

Roselawn Cemetery, Auburn

The city of Garrett (pop. 6,286) was the hometown of silent film star John Bowers (born John Bowersox in 1885), whose career collapsed with the beginning of “talkies” and who apparently committed suicide in 1936 in the Pacific Ocean near Malibu.

On the Hollywood Walk of Fame

Amtrak’s “Capitol Limited” (between Washington, D.C., and Chicago) and “Lake Shore Limited” (between New York City and Chicago) stop in the town of Waterloo (pop. 2,242) – each one daily, in both directions.

2-3 hours from Chicago


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Indiana: Steuben County

Steuben County (pop. 34,185) is in the northeastern corner of Indiana, adjacent to Michigan and Ohio. The only other Steuben County is in New York.

The county was named for Prussian-born Friedrich Wilhelm August Heinrich Ferdinand Steuben (1730-1794), better known as Baron von Steuben. He was an American military officer during the Revolutionary War.

Gen. Washington’s chief of staff

With more than 100 lakes, the county has long been a popular area for visitors.

Clear Lake’s population goes from 300 in winter to 2,000 in summer.

The county seat of Steuben County is the city of Angola (pop. 8,612).

Steuben County Courthouse (1868)

Downtown Angola is centered on a traffic circle that has a monument in the middle, dedicated to the local men who fought in the Civil War.

Built in 1917

Angola is the home of Trine University, a private university founded in 1884. Its name was changed from Tri-State University in 2008, in honor of Ralph and Sheri Trine, owners of Angola-based Vestil Manufacturing Corp.

About 1,700 students on the Angola campus

From 1956 to 2008, Angola had a small amusement park called the Fun Spot. It had 30 rides, including three roller coasters.

In 2007

Notorious 19th-century criminal Sile Doty (1800-1876) was based in Angola for some years, and he once broke out of the Angola jail.

Horse thief, counterfeiter, robber, gang leader

In the nearby town of Hudson (pop. 518), the Gangsters Grille restaurant is located in the former Farmers State Bank – allegedly robbed by John Dillinger and gang in 1933.

“Food this good should be criminal”

Pokagon State Park, north of Angola, was named for Potawatomi Indian chief Leopold Pokagon (1775-1841) and his son Simon Pokagon (1830-1899).

Potawatomi Inn (1927)

In winter, the park is popular for its quarter-mile, refrigerated toboggan run, with a vertical drop of 90 feet. Top speed is about 40 mph. The original slide opened in 1935.


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Indiana: LaGrange County

LaGrange County (pop. 37,128)  is east of Elkhart County. It’s the only LaGrange County in the U.S.

The county was named for the Chateau de la Grange-Bleneau in France, east of Paris. The chateau was the home of the Marquis de Lafayette from 1802 to 1834.

The towers date from the 15th century.

The 126-mile Indiana Toll Road (part of Interstate 90) runs across the northern part of the county. The Toll Road connects the Chicago Skyway with the Ohio Turnpike.

Along with Elkhart County, LaGrange County is considered part of “Northern Indiana Amish Country.”

The county seat of LaGrange County is the town of LaGrange (pop. 2,625).

Downtown mural

The LaGrange County Courthouse was built in 1878 of red brick and Indiana limestone.

Famous for its bell tower

West of LaGrange is the town of Shipshewana (pop. 658), well-known for its manufacturers of hand-crafted Amish furniture.

Information center in Shipshewana

The Shipshewana Quilt Festival is a major annual event for quilters.

June 22-25, 2016

The Shipshewana Auction and Flea Market has antique auctions all year. The Flea Market (May to October) is the Midwest’s largest flea market.

Dating from the 1920s

The Howe Military Academy is in the unincorporated community of Howe. The academy, which dates from 1884, is a coeducational, college-preparatory boarding school for grades 7-12.


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Indiana: Elkhart County

Elkhart County (pop. 197,559) is east of St. Joseph County, along the border with Michigan.

The origin of the name “Elkhart” is uncertain. One theory is that the island on the Elkhart River in downtown Elkhart is shaped like an elk’s heart, as viewed from above.

Aerial views were not available when it was named.

The county’s population has grown consistently over the years (it was 84,000 in 1950), mainly because of the recreational vehicle industry. More than half of American RVs are made in Elkhart County.

Elkhart (pop. 50,949) is the county’s largest city. The RV/MH Hall of Fame is just northeast of the city.

Interior of the RV museum

Elkhart is also the home of the National New York Central Railroad Museum, established in 1987 to honor the now-defunct railroad line that ran through Elkhart between New York City and Chicago.

The railroad had 11,000 miles of tracks.

The Robert Young Yard in Elkhart is the largest railroad classification yard (where freight cars are sorted) east of the Mississippi.

View from the air

Elkhart has also been known as “The Band Instrument Capital of the World” because of the many factories making instruments – down from about 60, years ago, to just a few today.

The Lerner Theatre in Elkhart dates from 1924. It now has a variety of concerts and theatrical events.

A movie theater until 1987

At the corner of Lexington Avenue and Riverside Drive in Elkhart, dentist Joseph Stamp embedded many of the teeth that he’d pulled into a concrete block in front of his office.

There’s no charge to view it.

The Hall of Heroes Museum in Elkhart is “the only Super Hero and Comic Book Museum in the world.” It has more than 60,000 comic books, plus more than 10,000 toys, figures, and props.

Built in 2006

The county seat of Elkhart County is the city of Goshen (pop. 31,719), home of the Elkhart County 4-H Fair and Goshen College, a liberal-arts school affiliated with the Mennonite Church.

Elkhart County Courthouse (1870, renovated 1908)

Film director Howard Hawks (1896-1977) was born in Goshen, where his family owned the Goshen Milling Company. The family later moved to Pasadena, California.

Elkhart County has a significant Amish population. In Nappanee (the longest city name in the U.S. containing each letter in its name twice) is Amish Acres, an Amish tourist attraction.

An 80-acre farmstead


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Indiana: St. Joseph County

St. Joseph County (pop. 266,931) is Indiana’s fifth-largest county in population. The only other St. Joseph County is in Michigan, just a few miles to the northeast.

The county was named for the 206-mile St. Joseph River, which flows through Michigan and Indiana into Lake Michigan. It flows through downtown South Bend.

The bend in the river gave the city its name.

The county seat of St. Joseph County is South Bend (pop. 101,168). The city reached its peak population of 132,445 in 1960.

Old Courthouse (1855)

The Studebaker Corporation was founded and headquartered in South Bend. Its South Bend automobile plant closed in 1963, and the company went out of business in 1967.

Studebaker National Museum, South Bend

A former Studebaker test track – now a park – has a group of trees that were planted in 1937 to spell “Studebaker’ (as seen from above).

Bendix Woods County Park

The restored Palace Theatre (1921), now the Morris Performing Arts Center, hosts the South Bend Symphony Orchestra and touring Broadway shows.

Saved from demolition in the 1960s

Tippecanoe Place, built in 1889 as a home for the Studebaker family, is now a restaurant.

Richardsonian Romanesque style

The South Bend Cubs, single-A Midwest League affiliate of the Chicago Cubs, play at Four Winds Field at Covelski Stadium (1987). The gift shop is a former synagogue, adjacent to the stadium.

Sons of Israel Synagogue (1901)

South Bend’s Union Station (1929) is now used as a data center for Global Access Point, a telecommunications company. Amtrak uses a small, newer station, located two miles west of downtown.

It was across the street from the Studebaker factory.

The former East Race Canal in South Band was converted in 1984 to the East Race Waterway – the first artificial whitewater waterway in North America. It is open June-August.

1,900 feet long

South Bend is most famous for the University of Notre Dame – which is not actually in South Bend, but in the census-designated place of  Notre Dame, just north of South Bend.

The city of Mishawaka (pop. 48,252), just east of South Bend, has an AM General assembly plant that built Hummer H2s until 2010. It’s now building Mercedes-Benz SUVs for export to China.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Hummer


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Indiana: LaPorte County

LaPorte County (pop. 111,467), east of Porter County, is Indiana’s second-largest county in square miles.

The county is considered part of Michiana, a seven-county area in northwestern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. The name dates from 1934, when it was the winner of a contest held by South Bend merchants.

The county seat of LaPorte County is the city of LaPorte (pop. 22,053). The Courthouse dates from 1894.

Richardsonian Romanesque style

In the late 19th century, LaPorte was the home of the Parsons Horological Institute – the first watchmaking school in the country. After a few years, the school was moved to Peoria, Illinois.

It became part of Bradley Polytechnic Institute.

The LaPorte County Historical Society Museum has a display on Belle Gunness (born 1858), a local Norwegian immigrant and serial killer who reportedly murdered 25-40 people (including her suitors, husbands, and children) before disappearing from the area.

6 feet tall, 200 pounds

The largest city in LaPorte County is Michigan City (pop. 31,479), on Lake Michigan. Michigan City reached its peak population of 39,369 in 1970.

Barker Mansion (1855)

The 90-mile South Shore Line, one of America’s few remaining interurban railroads, runs down the middle of 11th Street in Michigan City.

It runs from downtown Chicago to the South Bend airport.

Pitcher Don Larsen, who threw the only perfect game in World Series history (for the Yankees in 1956), was born in Michigan City in 1929.

Celebrating with catcher Yogi Berra

The Michigan City East Lighthouse was built in 1904. One of Indiana’s few lighthouses, it has an unusual iron walkway (no longer in use) above the pier.

Now a museum

The Washington Park Zoo in Michigan City has a 70-foot observation tower, open to the public.

A WPA project from 1937

Purdue University North Central is south of Michigan City, near the town of Westville (pop. 5,857). It has about 4,000 students.


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Indiana: Porter County

Porter County (pop. 164,343) is east of Lake County, on the shores of Lake Michigan. Its southern border is the 133-mile Kankakee River, a tributary of the Illinois River.

The only Porter County in the U.S.

The county was named for naval officer David Porter (1780-1843), who served in the War of 1812.

Portrayed by Jeff Chandler in this 1952 movie

The 15,000-acre Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has 15 disconnected pieces of land along a 25-mile stretch of Lake Michigan. Indiana Dunes State Park is within the national lakeshore.

Indiana Dunes in the 1960s

The county seat of Porter County is the city of Valparaiso (pop. 31,730).

Porter County Courthouse (1883)

The city was originally named Portersville, but it was changed in 1837 to Valparaiso after Valparaiso, Chile, where David Porter captained U.S. ships against the English in the War of 1812 Battle of Valparaiso.

Valparaiso is the home of Valparaiso University, founded in 1859 as one of the first coeducational colleges in the U.S. It has about 4,500 students. It is now affiliated with the Lutheran church.

Chapel of the Resurrection (1959)

The old Porter County Jail and Sheriff’s House (1871) now contains the Porter County Museum of History.

The jail moved out in 1974.

Indiana-born businessman Orville Redenbacher had his popcorn business in Valparaiso. The city has had an annual Popcorn Festival since 1979.

Orvillle statue

The largest city in Porter County is Portage (pop. 36,828), along Lake Michigan.

Chicago skyline is visible across the lake.

Farther east, in the town of Beverly Shores (pop. 613), are five buildings that were moved from the “Homes of Tomorrow” exhibition at the 1933 Century of Progress World’s Fair in Chicago.

Florida Tropical House


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Indiana: Lake County

We begin our virtual tour of Indiana’s 92 counties in Lake County (pop. 496,005), along Lake Michigan in the northwestern corner of the state. Lake County is Indiana’s second-most-populous county.

This is the route that we’ll be taking around the state. We will end in Posey County, in the southwestern corner, sometime next fall.

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The county seat of Lake County is the city of Crown Point (pop. 27,317). The old Lake County Courthouse now has shops, offices, and the Lake County Historical Museum.

Built in 1880

In the Courthouse basement is the John Dillinger Museum, dedicated to the notorious Indiana-born gangster (1903-34), who once broke out of the local jail. Dillinger’s “death pants” are on display.

Replica of Chicago theater where Dillinger died

In the early 20th century, Crown Point was known as the “Marriage Mill,” because marriage licenses could be obtained so quickly. Actor Rudolph Valentino was married there in 1923 and boxer Muhammad Ali in 1964.

“The Shiek” (1921)

The largest city in Lake County is Hammond (pop. 80,830). Hammond was the hometown of humorist Jean Shepherd (1921-99), who wrote and narrated the 1983 film “A Christmas Story – full of memories of his childhood there.

Pole-licker statue, Hammond

Thanks to Meredith Willson’s 1957 musical “The Music Man” and the 1962 movie, Gary (pop. 80,294) is easily the best-known city in Lake County.

Gary’s population is less than half of what it was in 1960 (178,320). Its fortunes have declined with the shrinking of employment in the local steel mills.

The Jackson 5, and all of the Jackson family of their generation, were born in Gary. The family moved to California in 1968, when they started recording for Motown.

The city of East Chicago (pop. 29,698), just west of Gary, was the site of Marktown, a planned community for industrial workers, established in 1917. The sidewalks were for cars, and the streets were for pedestrians.

Homes are still standing, but surrounded by an industrial area.

ArcelorMittal’s Indiana Harbor complex in East Chicago is the largest steel mill in the U.S. The mill complex was formerly operated by Inland Steel and Youngstown Sheet and Tube.

Indiana Harbor Works

Greg Popovich, coach of the NBA San Antonio Spurs, was born in East Chicago and grew up in the area.

He played basketball at the Air Force Academy.

At a four-way stop in Hanover Township, south of Hammond, drivers have been throwing their old shoes at the side of the road for many years. The shoes are collected each week and donated to charity.

109th and Calumet avenues


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