As in most states, Indiana placed concrete right-of-way markers on its highways as part of improvement projects. They mark the state’s boundaries for the road. They always extend a little bit past the edges of the road.
This particular ROW marker blew my mind because of the nature of the road it marks. It’s just a narrow, gravel country road.
You’ll find this old alignment just inside Greene County, northeast of Worthington. County Road 940 N to Base Line Road. The ROW marker is about 175 feet from current SR 67/US 231 on CR 940 N.
Where the road originally went next is not clear to me. An unfortunate gap in Richard Simpson’s research on the 1926 alignment of SR 67 (here) leaves a lot of questions. His maps show that the 1926 alignment turned south onto what is now County Road 75 West. But then there is no map for a segment that includes Worthington. So I’m making educated guesses from here. I believe the 1926 route followed the blue line. Based on state highway maps I’ve found, I believe the road to have been realigned to the current route by about 1930, except that it followed the section in red originally to cross the Eel River.
This 1936 map of the area shows SR 67 on the second alignment, but still calls out the first alignment. It begins in the upper right corner.
Both routes pass through a place called Point Commerce, founded 1836. This was the first settlement in this part of the state, which would become part of Greene County when it was founded eight years later. Point Commerce was founded here because the Indiana State Legislature passed a bill specifying that a canal be built down the Wabash River and the White River to meet at the mouth of the Eel River. Trouble was, that canal ended up on the opposite side of the river from Point Commerce. The town of Worthington sprang up there, and thrived where Point Commerce faltered. The people who still live in Point Commerce put up this sign along old SR 67 to mark the place.
The 1926 route of SR 67 crossed the Eel River over a covered bridge that no longer stands. I found this newspaper clipping with a vintage photo of it.
I also found this post card view of the bridge.
When the highway was realigned, this bridge was built over the Eel River. I’ve seen aerial imagery from 1975 showing the covered bridge still intact, so it was demolished some time after that.
Here are 1954 and 1975 aerial images of this area, showing how the roads changed here as the two later bridges were built.
I stood where the original alignment and the later alignment met and made this northbound photo. The pavement of the later alignment veers left and ends, while the original alignment veers right.
From the air, you can see a little pavement continuing past where these alignments part.
Turning southbound, this road looks very much like a 1920s-1930s Indiana highway covered with asphalt. Notice the center seam and the parallel seams about one foot away from each edge. This is the typical pattern of concrete highway construction Indiana used in those years. I’m betting that if you stripped away the asphalt, you’d find concrete,
After cresting the hill, the road ends at the approach to the former bridge.
Here’s the end of the road, with the current SR 67/US 231 bridge in the background.