Let’s return to my 2007 trip along Old State Road 37 and the Dixie Highway between Indianapolis and Bloomington.
My old maps show that State Road 37 used to go through Martinsville. My maps lack enough detail to show the exact route, so I made some guesses.
But I do know where the original alignment breaks off from the old on its way south into Martinsville. The map shows it. Notice on the satellite image that a ridge appears to flow back from Morgan St. all the way to current SR 37 at Teeters Road, which has all the earmarks of an old alignment. Morgan St. goes straight into downtown Martinsville.
Here’s the turnoff from State Road 37 onto Morgan Road, where it then curves to follow the original State Road 37 path.
Where Morgan St. finished curving, I looked to the north and was faced with a church’s parking lot. I drove in and found this short segment of road that looked an awful lot like what I had been seeing as Old SR 37 everywhere else up to now. The utility poles running along the road were another clue.
Morgan St. is wide for a segment of Old SR 37. Surprisingly, it lacked striping. This shot is northbound from just south of the church.
Morgan St. does not naturally flow back into State Road 37; actually, it ends at State Road 39 on Martinsville’s western edge. But the Martinsville street map showed that if I turned left at Main Street and then veered right at Morton Avenue, I would merge right into current State Road 37 on Martinsville’s southwest side. The map even had this route highlighted, suggesting that it is a major route. I decided it was the likely route for SR 37 and so I drove it.
This photo shows where Morgan St. intersects Main St. at the town square. I drove in from the photograph’s left on Morgan St, turned left at the intersection, and drove out of the photo on the right down Main St.
Where Morton St. merged into State Road 37 wasn’t too remarkable. Because there was a fair amount of traffic, I decided to play it safe. I pulled onto the shoulder and snapped a photo of this merge through my windshield.
Next: A three-span pony truss bridge on an old alignment in southern Morgan County.
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