Once in a while I’ll wind up making the same photograph on two trips down the same road, separated by some years. It’s always interesting to see how things have changed.
Here’s the northwest corner of the main intersection in Centerville, in eastern Indiana on the National Road/US 40, as it was in 2009 and then in 2021. As you can see, these facades have received some TLC.
One reason I wanted to bicycle across Indiana was because when I drive it in my car, I whiz by things too fast to notice them. Even when I do notice them, frequently there’s no place to put the car so I can stop and photograph it. A bicycle stows neatly on even the narrowest shoulder.
The National Road is one of Indiana’s oldest roads, originally built in the 1830s. It opened travel into what was then considered the West from the East. As such, people settled on it. A number of homes from the 1800s still stand on the National Road all the way across Indiana. Here are a bunch of them. Each photo is geotagged on Flickr; click the photo to see it there and to access Flickr’s map.
You’ll find this beauty just west of Richmond.
This house is across the street and slightly west of the one above.
This house, a former inn, is on the east side of Centerville.
These two old brick houses are in the same block as the house above.
This large frame house is on the west edge of Centerville.
I found this sturdy brick house in East Germantown, in Wayne County.
This incredible beauty is on the east side of Cambridge City.
This is the Huddleston Farmhouse, which I toured some years ago and blogged about here and here. Those shutters need some maintenance.
This looks like two adjacent structures to me. They’re commercial businesses now, but I’ll bet they were originally residences. They’re in Dublin.
This house is also in Dublin. It looks newer than any of the others I’ve shared so far, late 1800s or even very early 1900s.
This old house is at the main crossroads in Lewisville.
You’ll find this house on the original National Road alignment west of Dunreith.
I’m no architectural expert but I’ve learned some things over the years that help me date houses. I’m stymied by this one — could be anywhere from 1850 to 1920. It’s in Knightstown.
This beauty is also in Knightstown.
As is this one.
This stylish frame house stands west of Charlottesville in Hancock County. All the times I’ve driven the National Road across Indiana, and I’ve never noticed this house before. Bicycling my way across helped me see it.
Many interesting old houses face the road in Greenfield, but this one looks the oldest to me.
There’s a dot on the National Road map called Philadelphia, and you’ll find this house there.
This grand house in Indianapolis’s Irvington neighborhood has been adapted into a church. It’s not actually right on the National Road, but it’s incredibly visible from it.
We’re now on the west side Indiana’s National Road, in Plainfield.
This one is also in Plainfield.
This house is west of Plainfield and serves as the main building on a golf course. It’s just east of the abandoned US 40 bridge.
This is Rising Hall, right on the Hendricks/Putnam County line. I will likely write a longer post about this house alone.
This house stands alone on the road in Putnam County.
This is the McKinley House, which stands near Harmony in Clay County. I’ll certainly do a Then and Now post about it, as I photographed it many years ago when it wore a different paint scheme.
This appears to be among the newer homes in this collection, but I like it. It’s on State Road 340, the original alignment of the National Road, near Cloverland.
These are the interesting old houses that I photographed. I’m sure I missed some, including several in Vigo County that I didn’t photograph because it was raining. I’ll have to go back and get them another day!
I’ve made a lot of photographs this year, but few that please me, or that I think are good.
I’ve been doing a lot of camera therapy this year. It has felt good to make photographs, or it did until recently. The disappointment I’ve experienced with my compositions is now greater than the pleasure I feel when I press the shutter button.
I’ve been making photographs while I’ve been doing other things, mostly taking bike rides or walks to help me lose these 15 stubborn pandemic pounds. I’m not out primarily to make photographs; I’m sneaking photography in along the way.
I’m also bored of my subjects. I’ve shot them all a hundred times now.
It’s possible to make great photographs while doing other things. I made this one in Manhattan while there with Margaret in 2016. We made photographs as we walked to wherever we were going. But Manhattan was largely new to me, and exciting.
I think I need to make some photo walks for their own sake, at places that are new and exciting to me.
Johnson County Courthouse Kodak EasyShare Z730 2008
This is another long-ago image I liked enough to add to my Flickr album of my favorite photos. As of today, 620 images are in that album. I’m slowly printing them all on 8×10 paper to keep in an archival storage box.
The main reason I’m doing this is for my children after I’m gone. I’ve taken tens of thousands of photographs and I can’t imagine them wanting to sort through them all on my computer’s hard drive, or in the boxes where I keep my negatives.
But they all know how central my photography has been in my life, and I feel sure they will like having a small, hand-selected, printed subset of my work. They might take a few of their favorites to remember me by and discard the rest. That’d be fine by me.
We stopped here because I saw an abandoned segment of the old highway, and because I’m a roadgeek I wanted to photograph it. This photograph is westbound. The photo of the house above is from about the same place, but I was facing the other way.
This house used to be the Whispering Winds restaurant. I didn’t know that until someone found information on my site about Brookville Road, and emailed me to ask if I knew anything about the Whispering Winds restaurant. She ate there many times while it was open, and wondered if the house still stood. I did a little research and found this photograph on a Facebook group. The poster said that the people in the photo were her grandparents and aunt, and they owned and operated the restaurant.
The house was built by Andrew Morehouse, although I’m unable to find exactly when. Morehouse’s family was said to live here for many years, and his wife died in 1864, which leads me to think the house predates that. Indiana University Library posted online a newspaper article telling some of this house’s story here.
Brookville Road is a historic road from Indiana’s early days. It connects Indianapolis to the town of Brookville, which is near Cincinnati. A historic marker is posted at this abandoned alignment that tells the road’s story in thumbnail.
Downtown Indianapolis is again becoming a hip and happening place to be, which has led to lots of new construction. There are tons of apartments Downtown now, all in the four-over-one style with a concrete main floor and wood frame upper floors. This growth kicked into gear well before the pandemic; it’ll be interesting to see whether it resumes or not. But the buildings are here regardless. The growth was so strong for a while that it expanded into the previously unfashionable south end of Downtown.
I benefit from this, as I work nearby now. Some of the amenities, such as a CVS pharmacy, are useful to me. I popped in not long ago to buy a box of tissues for my desk.
Area sidewalks are brick, in this interesting multi-color pattern.
The Aleander is a four-star hotel. Or so I hear, since I don’t stay in hotels so close to home. I did attend an event here once, and found the space to be very nice.
One old building remains in this area: this onetime livery stable, now home to the Indianapolis branch of Taxman Brewing. The first time I visited here, most of this construction hadn’t been started yet. Taxman was far enough away from the heart of Downtown that I wondered why they located here. They clearly knew what was to come.