Road Trips

Postcard views of the Michigan Road, Indianapolis to Michigan City

Here are the rest of the vintage postcards I collected showing images from the Michigan Road in Indiana. Last time I shared images from Madison to Indianapolis, the southern portion of the road. Now I’ll share images from Indianapolis to Michigan City, the northern portion of the road.

In Indianapolis, for many years the road on the northwest side of the city was called Northwestern Avenue. Today it’s Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. from the northwest edge of Downtown to the old city limits, and then Michigan Road from there to the county line. This bridge, long since replaced, carried the road over the White River. Guessing, I think this postcard is from the 1920s. Back then, this was outside the city limits.

The next postcards I owned take us 66 miles north of that bridge to downtown Logansport. The road followed Broadway Street for a few blocks. This view looks east, which is northbound on the Michigan Road. This postcard bears a 1906 postmark.

This 1920s view of Broadway looks west, which is southbound on the Michigan Road.

This 1960s view also looks west on Broadway.

Finally, as the road leaves Logansport northbound it passes by Logansport Memorial Hospital. This hospital building isn’t visible from the road; perhaps it’s been razed in favor of the current set of buildings. Perhaps it was in a different location in the city; I don’t know. But I’m including it because the current hospital is very much on the Michigan Road

Next, a couple views of downtown Rochester. This view from the air is on a postcard postmarked 1911. The grand Fulton County Courthouse is just out of the photo to the right.

Here’s a 1960s ground-level view from the intersection with 8th Street, right in front of the courthouse.

Next I had this postcard from Plymouth, a little south of downtown from its grand avenue of lovely homes. Most of those homes still stand today, making this just as lovely a drive now as then. This postcard is postmarked 1911.

This view of downtown Plymouth is from a postcard postmarked 1958, but judging by the cars I’d say the image is from the early 1950s. This photo looks northbound.

This southbound photo of downtown Plymouth is also postmarked 1958.

This is easily the most interesting postcard in the set. It’s a view of Lakeville, a small town just south of South Bend. It is postmarked 1911. This is a southbound view. Notice how wide this dirt road is! The Michigan Road claimed a 100-foot right-of-way when it was built.

Next is South Bend. This card postmarked 1906 shows Michigan Street, but the city has changed so much that I couldn’t tell you where this is located and whether this is a northbound or southbound photo.

The same would be true for this card postmarked 1909, except that its caption clears things up very nicely.

This card is from the same place as the one above, taken sometime in the 1950s. I think the building second from the right edge of the photo is the same one that’s second from the right edge of the photo above, the building with the advertisement sign painted on the side.

Finally, we reach the end of the Michigan Road, in Michigan City. This vast sand dune is no more. It was carted off load by load, and used to make glass. A giant cooling tower for an electrical power plant stands here today.

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!

Standard

13 thoughts on “Postcard views of the Michigan Road, Indianapolis to Michigan City

  1. Jan Rogers says:

    The State Theater was on the east side of Michigan. On the west side of the photo, there is a tall building with an S showing on the side. I’m pretty sure that the building is Robertson’s Department Store. Further north there is another vertical sign which I’m pretty sure was the Granada Theater. I was born and raised in South Bend.

  2. Darts and Letters says:

    It’s funny how many Indiana connections there are on my street, it never really sunk completely in until I started following you and slowly learning more about the state. One of our neighbors went to Rose-Hulman, I think I’ve mentioned that to you once before. Two more are actually from Indiana though I don’t know them super well, he always wears a Chicago Cubs hat. Another two are Notre Dame alum, she played field hockey there (though they’re respectively from New Jersey and Michigan).

    Sure like looking at these postcards. They’re great.

  3. Dan Cluley says:

    I don’t know where the Logansport Hospital was, but based on that code in the lower right, the postcard was first published in 1938, which seems reasonable based on the cars.

    I found some other postcards online, an 1890 map, and a photo gallery from the Tribune with lots of photos.

    https://www.hippostcard.com/listing/south-bend-indianasouth-michigan-streetnew-centerbrandon-durrell-cokp1911/1880588

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/South-Bend-IN-Sibley-Stoves-amp-Hardware-Brandon-Durrell-Burned-Down-1926-PC-1910-/303711549206?nma=true&si=IHZSrEo6airw75YuDs9gVF4Mkek%253D&orig_cvip=true&nordt=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

    https://tedsvintageart.com/products/south-bend-indiana-1890-historical-map/

    https://www.southbendtribune.com/multimedia/photos/throwback-thursday-michigan-street-in-south-bend-through-the-years/collection_efc728a4-d77f-11e6-b960-935c4e3b9649.html#1

    Based on those, Sibley Hardware and Stoves was in the 100 block of S Michigan on the east side, so that matches with the caption on the second postcard.

    The 1950’s card must be the 200 block of S Michigan, since the State Theater building is still there today. The white building does look very similar to the Sibley Hardware, but I don’t believe it can be the same one.

    The 1906 black/white card is also looking north in the 200 block. The Sibley Hardware shows up again in the distance on the east side of the street and the building on the right with the flagpole on top is about where the theater will be built in the ’20s.

Leave a Comment

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