The Dixie Highway originally cheerfully passed through New Ross about 12 miles southeast of Crawfordsville, but just southeast of town the road crossed a railroad track after a sharp curve. Indiana’s highway engineers devised a new route that crossed the tracks more safely, bypassing New Ross in the process.
There’s not much to New Ross, but plenty of people were out and about there when I visited. Here’s its most prominent structure, on Main Street, which runs perpendicular to the Dixie Highway.
That US 136 passed New Ross by doesn’t seem to have bothered it. There are plenty of signs of life here, most notably the delightful 1878 Browns Chapel Methodist Episcopal Church, which has been well kept.
Beyond the stop sign the old Dixie Highway leads to a few homes before dead ending at a creek. On the other side of the creek, the road enters Boone County.
The Dixie Highway spends very little time in Boone County, but what it lacks in length it makes up for in the greatest old alignment west of Indianapolis. It’s paved in brick! Have I ever mentioned how happy it makes me when I find an old bridge or old pavement that used to serve on an important highway? Oh my, but it does. Here’s a westbound shot as the road emerges from the creek.
At some point, the bridge that carried the Dixie’s older alignment was demolished. The brick road begins east of where the bridge was. This entire alignment through New Ross was surely once paved in brick, but this remnant is all that’s left. It provides access to one property. The resulting ultra low traffic is certainly why this segment has never been covered in asphalt.
When you zoom the map in a little closer, another bridge becomes visible U was hoping to see it, but couldn’t find a way that didn’t involve trespassing. Fortunately, someone on Bridgehunter.com photographed it; see it here. If you go back to the previous map, you can see how the road used to be aligned to cross this bridge. My guess is that when the Dixie Highway was paved in bricks, probably during the 1920s, this old bridge was for whatever reason judged insufficient. A newer bridge (I’m betting a pony truss bridge, based on the Bridgehunter photos of the older bridge above) was built and the road realigned to use it. I wouldn’t be surprised if the old bridge is still used by the landowner.
The brick road curves to cross the tracks squarely. There’s a little asphalt on either side of the tracks, I presume to smooth the crossing for drivers.
Concrete curbs are visible on the curve.
Here’s the brick road as it heads due south toward modern US 136, which is at the Stop sign.
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