I made this road trip along State Road 67 in southwestern Indiana in tribute to Richard M. Simpson, who passed away unexpectedly at the beginning of 2021. Richard wrote the fantastic Indiana Transportation History blog, and ran the popular Indiana Transportation History group on Facebook. I now share administration of both with his widow.

Richard wrote a wonderful series of posts in which he mapped onto current maps every State Road and US highway that existed when that system came to be in 1926. He analyzed old maps and road guides to figure out which roads the original alignments of those roads followed. Then he made series of screen shots of each highway, and drew a line along the entire original alignment. It had to be an enormous amount of tedious work! You can see the whole series here.

Richard was excited about this segment of SR 67’s original alignment leading to and away from Romona. A bridge over a small creek no longer carries traffic, and the road is closed on either side. It’s been that way for a long time, and Richard wanted to drive in as far as he could to see it. He and I planned to do it together, but he passed away before we could plan the trip.

On this map snippet I traced the entire original route of SR 67 in blue, except for the portion that is closed. Rather, this portion of the road doesn’t exist anymore.

Southbound Old SR 67 to Romona begins in Gosport on Main Street, an east-west road that becomes Romona Road as it heads out of town toward Romona. This is what the beginning of Romona Road looks like.

Romona Road

Facing this, and knowing what the aerial imagery of this road looked like, I got cold feet and didn’t drive it. I wasn’t sure whether my mid-sized sedan was a good choice for navigating what looked to be a little-traveled road. I worried about having some sort of problem or not finding a place to turn my car around, not having good mobile-phone signal, and having to walk all the way back to town to get help. Here’s what this road looks like from the air near where maintenance on it ends. It looks like Romona Road is maintained to this point to connect to three roads. This is the last of them, and it dead ends at someone’s house. Beyond here, given the out-of-service bridge, there’s no point in maintaining Romona Road.

Imagery ©2023 CNES/Airbus, IndianaMap Framework Data, Maxar Technologies. Map data ©2023 Google.

The current alignment of SR 67 was built by 1938, leaving this alignment behind. It was never a great road to be this highway, as it hugged the railroad tracks that pass through here and cross them three times, twice at odd angles.

We detoured along current State Road 67 to the other end of this old alignment, and drove it north to Romona. This road was paved all the way.


It’s a stretch to call Romona a town; it’s more a collection of residences. Founded in 1819 as Brintonville, it took the name Romona in the 1880s to honor the novel Ramona by Helen Hunt Jackson. I don’t know how or why the spelling was changed from the novel’s title, and I’ve seen some references to this place as Ramona.

Here’s what the southbound road looks like as it leaves Romona.

Romona Road - SB Old SR 67

We intended to stop, make a couple quick images, and go. I’m never comfortable being an obvious stranger in small, out-of-the-way places like this. But immediately a fellow came out to greet us and find out what we were up to. When I said that we were out exploring Old State Road 67, he smiled and said, “Yes, this used to be the highway! You can walk the railroad trestle up to see the bridge if you want. The deck’s collapsed but otherwise it’s still there.” We said that we had stopped only for a minute and would soon be on our way. He then pointed out the rock by a small tree that spelled out the town’s name, spelled Ramona rather than Romona. I suppose he knows where he lives better than Google Maps does! He told us he made that stone some years back.


Fortunately, Indiana bridgefan Tony Dillon walked the tracks to photograph this bridge in 2009. It’s a Pratt through truss bridge built in about 1910.

Next: The town of Spencer.

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12 responses to “Indiana State Road 67: The road to Romona”

  1. -Nate Avatar

    I am so loving reading these missives and looking at the pictures .

    I grew up in a rural area and remember the beauty fondly .

    For many decades I criss crossed America on back roads like these .

    Thank you Sir .


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      I’m happy my trip reports connect with you!

  2. Patrick Pearsey Avatar
    Patrick Pearsey

    My great-grandparents lived in Romona in 1893 for a short while and left due to some kind of an epidemic. The husband worked for the Monon RR as a bridge carpenter.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      That’s cool! I wonder what kind of epidemic that was.

  3. Ted Shideler Avatar

    I remember reading a version of this and being intrigued. I’ve loved learning about 67’s progression! It heads right towards me and into a lot of ground I’ve explored. I can’t wait for more!

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      This series continues through about Thanksgiving, then I start sharing the trip along 67 from Indy to Muncie!

  4. Andrew Avatar

    Looks like an interesting bicycle exploring route. The bridge looks intact enough to cross.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Yes. A bike that can handle gravel and uneven terrain would be a good choice.

      1. Andrew Glucklich Avatar
        Andrew Glucklich

        So I finally rode my bike from Gosport to Ramona today. The road gets rough at the Dead End sign but drivable. After the Road Closed sign you would need a vehicle with ground clearance. There were road sections that had flowing water with fish in it. The road bridge was not passable but could walk the rail bridge. It was a fun ride and wished it was longer. I enjoy exploring. I took some photos but can’t share on this platform.

        1. Jim Grey Avatar

          Thanks for the field report!

  5. Old55 Avatar

    The last time I drove Ramona Rd was in the mid 90s. My roadtrip companion had a conniption where the river literally touches the road and covered half the other lane. The only way out was backing out to a side road, then up the steep railroad embankment with a rough crossing at the top. Squeezed between the river and the rail, turning around was impossible.
    I discovered the road when my husband was on a railroad tie gang through there in the late 70s. There was an interesting drive-in dry quarry near Romona to explore and the Hilltop for dinner.
    Romona Road was rough as a cob even then and to find that it was once Hwy 67 is the most surprising fact I’ve learned this year. I just found your blog and as a Wander Indiana die-hard, I salute you.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Thanks for the experience report on the Romona Road! I’m glad now that I didn’t try to drive it — I’m not sure my midsized sedan would have made it.

      Oh yeah, I wander all over Indiana. If you click the words “road trip” above the title of this post, you can see everywhere I’ve been.

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