It’s a little unusual for me to make road trips this late in the year – I like the road best while it’s still warm outside. Yet I’ve hit the asphalt a lot this autumn. I’ve been sharing my Halloween trip with you lately, a trip down US 40 and the National Road in eastern Indiana. A particular friend and I make a point to take a road trip together every year, and this was our 2009 excursion. We spent most of our day in Wayne County, exploring Richmond and Centerville and spending a little money in the antique shops in Cambridge City. Also, the Michigan Road Historic Byway project has been heating up as my partner in the effort, blogger Hoosier Reborn, and I have been building support in Michigan Road counties south of Indianapolis. So I’ve spent a little time on the Michigan Road recently, and you know I love to do that.
2009 may go down for me as the year I began noticing vintage signs. I’ve already written one sign post (get it? sign post? signpost? I kill me!) this year, about the signage along the National Road in Vigo County. Here I go again!
My National Road friend and I got hungry midafternoon while antiquing in Cambridge City. So we stopped for very tasty tenderloin sandwiches at the Silver Dollar Lounge. The french fries were hot and crisp, too! Thee neon portion of their sign was lit.
Down the street a bit is the Drive-In Liquors sign, some of its neon also lit.
After Hoosier Reborn and I finished extolling the virtues of a Michigan Road Historic Byway to people interested in tourism and historic preservation in Madison the other day, I was hungry and went off in search of lunch. Seems like every other time I’ve been to Madison, Hinkle’s Hamburgers has been closed. But this day not only was it open, but their sign was on. I snapped this shot and then went in for a double cheeseburger. Mm mm!
After lunch, I walked Madison’s main drag for a little while snapping shots. This great neon sign lurks quietly a half block north of Main Street on Mulberry Street. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a neon Independent Order of Odd Fellows sign before, and I’ve seen a lot of Odd Fellows buildings in my travels. I wonder when it was last lit.
I followed the Michigan Road home from Madison. The road followed two routes through Ripley County. The original 1830s route remains a lovely drive along a narrow country road. But when the automobile came to prominence in the early 20th century, Michigan Road signs went up on a parallel route slightly to the east, along what is now US 421 through Versailles (that’s ver-sales to you, bud) and Osgood. In Versailles, the Moon-Lite Motel’s sign was partially lit, so I stopped for a photo.
The last time I passed through Osgood, the Damm Theatre was still undergoing restoration, and its sign was down. This isn’t the original sign, but it’s a nice reproduction.
The Michigan Road passes by a Coca-Cola bottling plant on Shelbyville’s north side, just before it crosses the Big Blue River. I was delighted to find the neon sign over its front door lit.
If you like signs, too, then check out my twilight visit to Logansport, Indiana.
Last updated on 19 February 2020 by Jim Grey