Road Trips

Old US 36 in western Indiana

US 36 in west-central Indiana is a pleasant enough road. It won’t knock your socks off like twisty State Road 62 in the hilly Ohio River valley, and it doesn’t carry the history of US 40 to the south. It’s just a minor US highway, two lanes most of the way, with some interesting scenery and occasionally some moderate hills and curves.

What makes US 36 interesting is its history, some of which is still evident in old alignments. I found several along the way, including two that contain covered bridges…

Covered bridge along old US 36 in Indiana

one that never got paved…

Dirt segment of US 36 in Indiana

and one that stops on one side of a lake and picks up on the other.

US 36 EB into Raccoon Lake in Indiana

There’s more to US 36 than meets the eye in western Indiana. The whole story, with lots more pictures, is on my roads pages.

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4 thoughts on “Old US 36 in western Indiana

  1. Someday you’ll have to take me along on a trip unless you prefer being alone, of course. Reading your reports is sort of like being a kid exploring some lost civilization.

    That camera of your’s certainly seems to eat batteries. I can take hundreds of pics within a few days of a charge. Perhaps the rechargeable is getting old? I’ve had a few go bad on me now.

  2. I just bought the camera in February! But it was essentially a closeout. I should just buy a new battery before my next trip so I’m not limited.

    You can totally come along on a road trip someday. It *is* kind of like exploring lost civilizations.

  3. Cameron Miller says:

    I was wondering, Jim, if you had ever considered Broyles road between Avon and Danville as a potential early alignment of US 36 – or maybe it was a part of the 1915 alignment of the PPOO highway. A quick glance at Google Earth’s imagery really makes me wonder about these possibilities. Perhaps you have already ruled out Broyles Rd, which could be the reason you have made no mention of it at all. For all I know, Broyles Rd is of more recent construction, an automatic disqualification, of course. If so, please forgive my ignorance, for I speak from the disadvantaged position of not having explored the area myself.

    I may just have to go to the Avon-Danville area myself in order to satisfy myself that there is (or is not) probable cause for further study into this matter. (I live about 25 or 30 mi from there.)

    PS: Keep up the great work. I thoroughly enjoy the notes you post each week. I, too, am fascinated by the history and evolution of our highways and byways.

    • Cameron, thanks for reading! I don’t remember now whether I considered Broyles Rd., but it does look very old-alignmenty when I look at it today on Google Maps. I found this link:

      http://bridgehunter.com/in/hendricks/bh36735/

      that shows the bridge that’s on that road, and the page calls it “Old Rt. 36 Bridge,” so that’s a good indicator. The bridge dates to 1875, so that alignment was probably part of a stage route or something that predated even the PP-OO.

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