Indiana State Road 67: Old alignments leading to Worthington in Greene County

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.

Old SR 67 NE of Worthington

This particular ROW marker blew my mind because of the nature of the road it marks. It’s just a narrow, gravel country road.

Old SR 67 NE of Worthington
Old SR 67 NE of Worthington
Old SR 67 NE of Worthington

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.

Imagery ©2023 IndianaMap Framework Data, Maxar Technologies, USDA/FPAC/GEO. Map data ©2023 Google.

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.

Imagery ©2023 IndianaMap Framework Data, Maxar Technologies, USDA/FPAC/GEO. Map data ©2023 Google.

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.

Welcome to Point Commerce

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.

NB Old SR 67 north of Worthington

From the air, you can see a little pavement continuing past where these alignments part.

Imagery ©2022 IndianaMap Framework Data, Maxar Technologies, USDA/FPAC/GEO. Map data ©2022 Google.

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,

NB Old SR 67 north of Worthington

After cresting the hill, the road ends at the approach to the former bridge.

SB Old SR 67 north of Worthington

Here’s the end of the road, with the current SR 67/US 231 bridge in the background.

Site of previous SR 67 bridge

Next: Worthington.

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6 responses to “Indiana State Road 67: Old alignments leading to Worthington in Greene County”

  1. -Nate Avatar

    Another fascinating post .

    What I want to know is : how come 70 + year old Concrete roads are so often still in VGC when newer ones have endless problems ? .

    Mostly incompetently engineered for drainage I think .


    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Another factor is that the era of these concrete highways was limited. They were often the first improvement of the highway, and were followed up relatively quickly (10-20 years) with a complete realignment or rebuild of the road. So they didn’t get a ton of use and then were left to sit.

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      The Google Street View cars move in mysterious ways. Why do they go down some roads and not others? Only Google knows.

  2. Warren W Jenkins Avatar
    Warren W Jenkins

    This a great segment, multiple alignments over rivers are fascinating…
    I’m going to suggest that the first crossing lost its covered bridge before the 1936 replacement and alignment were built. On Historic Aerials, the 1946, 1962, and 1965 aerials all seem to show the shadow of a truss bridge where the covered bridge once stood.
    Gone in the 1986 aerials, do the abutments remain?

    1. Jim Grey Avatar

      Fascinating. I didn’t check the historic aerials. I’m pretty sure the abutments are still there but I didn’t go look to be certain.

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