The courthouse in Bloomington, on the Dixie Highway in Indiana

Our Dixie Highway adventure brought us to Bloomington soon enough. I’m pretty sure the Dixie passed through town on Walnut St. Given that Walnut is one way northbound to just south of downtown today, we jogged over one block to the west and followed College Ave. instead.

There’s a ton to do and see in Bloomington, including touring the absolutely gorgeous campus of Indiana University. Downtown Bloomington benefits greatly from the nearby university, as students walk over to spend their money. Downtowns in so many medium-sized Indiana cities suffer, with plenty of vacant and deteriorating buildings. Bloomington is a wonderful exception.

Like so many Indiana towns and small cities, Bloomington boasts a courthouse square.

Monroe County Courthouse

These figures stand watch over the justice meted out within these walls.

Monroe County Courthouse

This being a college town, you are likely to come upon anything. So I should not have been surprised by this sculpture of a brain on the courthouse lawn. Same goes for this fellow.

Contemplating a brain

Maybe it was because Dawn and I were hungry – it was lunchtime, after all – but I failed to get shots of the road through Bloomington other than this northbound shot from the courthouse’s northeast corner.

Northbound, Bloomington

Bloomington was hopping this Saturday. Lots of people were out walking downtown; many milled around the courthouse for some sort of early autumn festival. A bunch of kids were tossing a football around on the courthouse lawn. Somehow that felt all kinds of like America.

I found another busy downtown on US 50. North Vernon is soon to be bypassed, though. See it now!

To get Down the Road in your inbox or reader six days a week, click here to subscribe!
To get my newsletter with previews of what I’m working on, click here to subscribe!


15 responses to “The courthouse in Bloomington, on the Dixie Highway in Indiana”

  1. Tori Nelson Avatar

    Brain statue took me totally off guard. It’s just so wierd it’s cool :)

    1. Jim Avatar

      That’s Bloomington for you.

  2. Avatar

    So All-Amerikun! as my son would say. I’ve heard Bloomington is wonderful, from an old friend who lived there.

    1. Jim Avatar

      It’s a gem among Indiana cities!

  3. zorgor Avatar

    The world needs more sculptures of brains! It should be it’s own category of sculpture — statesmen, equestrian, brains… :)

    1. Jim Avatar

      Yes! Brains lounging, brains sitting, brains riding horses!

      1. zorgor Avatar

        Now you’re talking! On second glance though, that one looks like “this is your brain on drugs”… So few folds, such psychedelic colors.

  4. innotechmanila Avatar

    The photos make me want to be there. Nice work, Jim. What camera did you use this time?

    1. Jim Avatar

      Glad you enjoyed it! When I road trip my go-to camera is my digital Canon S95, which I used for these shots. I so enjoy my S95. I also had my Pentax ME along, with a 28mm lens attached and some Ektar 100 loaded. I plan to share some of those film shots in an upcoming post.

  5. Melissa Waggoner Dieckmann Avatar

    You mentioned being hungry – the obvious question of the day is: where did you eat? Did you continue your Indiana fried chicken tour, or maybe indulge in a family favorite, The Trojan Horse, for gyros?

    1. Jim Avatar

      No fried chicken this day! Chinese is our traditional lunch on the road but this time we found a Mexican place that used a building that once housed a theater.

  6. Steve Miller Avatar
    Steve Miller

    That theater was the Princess, a circa 1923 re-do of the original 1913 theater. The actual auditorium portion of the building collapsed during the ’80s, but the gorgeous tile facade designed by noted Bloomington architect John L. Nichols remains intact.

    BTW, in the Dixie Highway days, Walnut would have been two-way traffic. (And it wouldn’t have had those little “machine-gun nests” that decorate all the corners around the square…)

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks for the backstory on the theater. It explains why it didn’t feel much like a theater inside.

  7. Steve Miller Avatar
    Steve Miller

    Oh, duh… historic photos around the square show “The Dixie Market” on the NW corner of 6th and Walnut. I just figured out where the name came from!

    Samira Restaurant occupies the space now. Afghan food, highly recommended.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      My hometown, South Bend, is also on the Dixie, and I didn’t get for several years why so many businesses had “Dixieway” in the name.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: