On October 18, 2008, I explored Indiana State Road 42 from end to end. It begins southwest of Indianapolis in Mooresville and ends in Terre Haute.
As I headed west on SR 42, the first little town I encountered was Monrovia.
Where SR 42 makes its 90-degree curve into town there’s a football field, and I was fortunate to find a game in progress.
The 90-degree curve here is not how this road always was, of course. In this case, the original T intersection remains for local access.
Monrovia has a few old buildings in its downtown.
This building started its life as a bank. Notice the depository drawer. I think that vent-like thing is an alarm.
Most of the buildings showed the year they were built up high in the brick facade, and all of the dates were after 1900.
Most Indiana towns and cities have an Odd Fellows building, and here’s Monrovia’s. It’s sad that the second-story windows are boarded up.
SR 42 rolls gently through Indiana farmland as it leaves Monrovia. That’s my little red wagon on the right.
West of Monrovia, SR 42 goes through its most intense series of 90-degree curves, as this map shows. The last time I drove SR 42, which was the first time I drove it, probably 20 years ago, I reached this mess and became so frustrated that I bailed onto I-70 at Little Point. Clearly, my roadgeek seeds had not yet sprouted.
Indiana is dotted with little old white churches, and there’s one where the road turns south at Crown Center.
Little Point is just a couple truck stops that serve I-70. Perhaps it was more a long time ago. Those truck stops are on the only I-70 exit in Indiana that drops you onto a county road. Just beyond the truck stops, SR 42 curves out of I-70’s right-of-way. Wanna bet that this was a 90-degree turn once?’
On the left in the photo above is a joint called Koger’s. You can see its sign from I-70. I don’t know what they do there – if their sign explains, it’s too faded to read – but they do have a bunch of old cars in their yard. The green car at left looks like a ’71 Plymouth Satellite, except that the wheel wells are wrong. The next car is a ’66 Ford Galaxie 500, and then there’s a 1964 Mercury Comet, a 1962 Ford Galaxie, and a Mustang II of indeterminate year.
There isn’t much to tiny Eminence, but when I stopped at a gas station for a soda, I was surprised to find it quite busy with people. The grand old Eminence High School building looks like it belongs in a much larger town.
There’s less to Eminence’s downtown than to Monrovia’s, but clearly the rivalry between the towns is strong. Somebody spray-painted “Monrovia Sucks” on the side of this crumbling building that once housed Gash & Co. (This building has since been demolished.)
I’m including this shot of the Gash & Co. building’s doors just because I like how it turned out. If you squint, you’ll see me in my cameo appearance in this trip report. I needed a shave.
State Road 142 has its western end in Eminence. Across SR 142 from Gash & Co., Eminence’s Odd Fellows building houses a bank. I’ll bet it’s Indiana’s only Odd Fellows building with a drive-through.
Next: The steel truss bridge over Mill Creek.
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