Driving the Michigan Road between Indianapolis and Logansport, you see a lot of farmland and a bunch of small towns. Some of those small towns are barely dots on the map. Middlefork is one of those, so named because it is near the middle fork of Wildcat Creek. It’s so small that you don’t even have to slow down for it. I sped through it dozens of times before I noticed its abandoned road and abandoned school.

State Road 26 intersects the Michigan Road (State Road 29) at Middlefork’s north edge, just south of Wildcat Creek. SR 26 was moved 50 feet north at this intersection somewhere along the way, but a short stretch of the old road was left behind.

Abandoned Indiana State Road 26

This schoolhouse – at least it looks like a schoolhouse to me – stands abandoned on this abandoned road, probably the victim of consolidation.

Abandoned school

I really, really wanted to take a closer look. But ever nervous about trespassing and perhaps encountering unfriendly landowners, I stayed back. I hope to learn more about what caused this road and this school to be left behind.

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11 responses to “Double abandonment”

  1. Ryan Avatar

    I often find myself in that same predicament, wanting to take a closer look, but not wanting to press my luck either. I’ve actually been trying to get permission to explore places like the Schmulbach Building in Wheeling ( office building/sky scrapper ).

    You need I.D. to enter, and I’ve spent most of my time on an endless hunt to contact the right person. But it will just make actually getting in that more exciting!

  2. Jim Avatar

    Ryan, good luck getting that permission.

  3. hoosier reborn Avatar
    hoosier reborn

    here’s a tip……..I used to tell folks that I was an architecture student and it got me and my buddies in all kinds of places. Ryan-I suggest you tell them you’re a teacher. Jim-tell them you’re the authority on the Michigan Rd.

  4. Jim Avatar

    Maybe I should have cards made up! Jim Grey, Michigan Road Authority.

  5. Dave Avatar

    I used to pass by there every day (on both the old and new alignment). I understand your trepidation about getting closer. I got a flat tire about 2 miles east of there one day and pulled into a driveway to change the it. Wasn’t long before a grizzled old man came down from the house and said “You git on out of here, you damn hippie, or I’m coming back with a shotgun!”

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Reminds me of the times I was ran off the road by hicks in pickup trucks when I was a long-haired dude with an earring at about age 20. Good times, good times. (rolleyes)

      I didn’t start driving this way until after 26 was realigned here. I can’t figure out where it used to go west of where this old alignment ends.

  6. Jim Johnson Avatar

    Jim, just saw your site while trying to find out when Middlefork School was built. Any clue? I am a graphic artist and created a digital “painting” of it after admiring it for a long time. (Visit my website http://www.digitalhomesandbarns.com.) And I’m in the same boat with you and Dave—wary of stopping anywhere to photograph a barn or building!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Jim, I have no idea when this building was built.

      1. jim johnson Avatar
        jim johnson

        Thanks anyway, Jim. Enjoyed your site.

  7. David Gardner Avatar
    David Gardner


    I used to drive this way alot, at least twice a week (see my post on your blog entry on Sycamore Row). The intersection of Michigan Rd and SR 26 never used to line up right, and if one were going west on SR 26, one would have to turn right onto Michigan Rd, then turn left to get back on SR 26. Compounding things was there was only a flashing yellow light for Michigan Rd, and in the 80s it had significant truck traffic so it was a dangerous intersection. SR 26 was realigned to line up the ends of SR 26, and they put in a 4 way stop.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Outstanding – thank you for confirming that 26 was a jig-jog at Michigan Road. That was one of my theories and it’s nice to know it for sure now.

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