Road Trips

Abandoned schools on old US 50 in Butlerville, Indiana

I hope my last post didn’t make it sound too much like I’m the Master of the Old Maps and Road Guides, because all too often the old directions stump me. Such was the case as I tried to find US 50’s original path between Nebraska and Butlerville, two tiny towns in Jennings County, Indiana. My Automobile Blue Books kept telling me to turn down roads that I couldn’t find on Google Maps. My best guess is highlighted in blue on this map. (Do you see what I mean about the old roads so often being indirect?)

When I arrived in Butlerville along this path, I came across two abandoned school buildings right next to each other. This is the Butlerville (Elementary, I presume) School, built in 1922. The bushes out front aren’t all that overgrown and the grass is cut, suggesting that someone is minimally maintaining the property.

Butlerville School

And this is the Butlerville High School, built in 1904.

Butlerville High School

I assume that the school consolidation that ran so rampant in Indiana after about 1950 claimed these two schools. It’s sad that they sit derelict, but they’re not alone; many once-proud schools across Indiana have been left to molder.

I thought figuring out the path to Butlerville was hard, but figuring out the way to the next town, North Vernon, was even harder. I’m pretty sure it involves a segment of road that is no longer labeled on Google Maps but shows up in a farmer’s field just the same, and a bridge that not only no longer exists, but there’s no trace of one ever having existed. Whee. So I gave up and just followed current US 50 to North Vernon. It’s a charming town, of which I’ll share some photos next time.

I found another abandoned school just off the Michigan Road in Middlefork, Indiana. Check out the photos.

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