Road Trips

Double abandonment

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 thoughts on “Double abandonment

  1. 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!

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  2. hoosier reborn says:

    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.

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  3. 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!”

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    • 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.

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  4. 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!

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  5. David Gardner says:

    Jim,

    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.

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