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

NEXT STATE: PENNSYLVANIA

 

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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.

NEXT: POSEY COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: VANDERBURGH COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: GIBSON COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: PIKE COUNTY

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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)

NEXT: WARRICK COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: SPENCER COUNTY

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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

NEXT: DUBOIS COUNTY

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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

NEXT: PERRY COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: CRAWFORD COUNTY

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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

NEXT: HARRISON COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: FLOYD COUNTY

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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

NEXT: CLARK COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: JEFFERSON COUNTY

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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.

NEXT: SWITZERLAND COUNTY