In 2012, I drove a section of the Dixie Highway from the Illinois state line to Indianapolis along the corridor that is now US 136. I’m bringing that trip report here from my old Roads site.

After crossing the Wabash River, the Dixie makes its way through Covington, the seat of justice in Fountain County.

Imagery ©2012 DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, IndianaMap Framework Data, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2012 Google

It makes a left at the courthouse square, passing behind the courthouse. I stopped to take photos all around the square. This is the courthouse itself, a fairly modern-looking building.

Fountain County Courthouse

This is 4th St. from Liberty St., at the southeast corner of the square.

Covington square

This little building stands just east of the square on Washington St. I just liked the way it looks.

Covington Building

If you’re not too persnickety, the easiest way to drive the Dixie Highway’s western mainline in Indiana is just to follow US 136. You will miss a few old alignments in so doing, but your cruising will be eased by needing only to follow the marked highway. If you’ve read this blog at all, you know I’m persnickety. Naturally, I followed all of the old alignments. The longest old alignment stretches about 8½ miles from Covington to just past Veedersburg at US 41.

The road is narrow with no shoulders, which suggests that the road saw few improvements while it was still the state highway. When Indiana chose to seriously invest in its road here, it built a new alignment to the north.

Dixie Bee Road

Most of this road is signed Dixie Bee Road. A competing auto trail known as the Dixie Bee Line connected Chicago and Nashville, Tennessee, via Danville, Illinois and Terre Haute, Indiana. My 1920s Indiana road maps show the Dixie Bee Line following a different path from this road, but given that some auto trails’ routes changed frequently, it is still possible that this was once the Dixie Bee Line as well as the Dixie Highway. After all, this segment ends at US 41, which leads directly to Terre Haute.

When Dixie Bee Road reaches Veedersburg, its name changes to State Street.

Imagery ©2012 DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, IndianaMap Framework Data, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2012 Google

It cuts across Veedersburg’s south side and then crosses Coal Creek on on this great pony-truss bridge.

Steel bridge

Except for rust and a bent railing where a vehicle nudged it, the bridge looks to be quite solid. Whenever you see equilateral triangles in a truss bridge, you know you’re looking at a Warren truss.

Pony truss bridge

These trusses are massive, stretching about eight feet above the deck.

Pony truss bridge

About a mile east of the bridge, the Dixie Highway meets US 41. US 136 rejoins the historic alignment from here west.

Hillsboro is about five miles down the road.

Imagery ©2012 DigitalGlobe, GeoEye, IndianaMap Framework Data, USDA Farm Service Agency, Map data ©2012 Google

It is a typical Indiana small town.


Here’s the road, westbound from the middle of Hillsboro.


State Road 341 heads south out of Hillsboro here. I can imagine a time when a covered bridge or perhaps a steel or iron truss bridge crossed this creek. What a lovely scene it must have been. I so lament the loss of so many of these old bridges.


Next: Waynetown and Crawfordsville.

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4 responses to “The Dixie Highway in western Indiana: Covington, Veedersburg, and Hillsboro”

  1. Paul Avatar

    Excellent job with your article and photos.
    I drove from east Florida to Indianapolis on the east and west Dixie Highways 4 yrs ago. Took 5 days. Many original Dixie Highway roads still exist.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Someday I’d like to explore them!

  2. J P Avatar

    We lack imagination in naming highways today.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes, and the old network of named auto trails was nigh onto impossible to keep track of for the average driver. Especially when names were similar, such as Dixie Highway and Dixie Bee Highway, both of which ran through Indiana.

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