Hinkle Hamburgers

Hinkle’s Hamburgers
Canon PowerShot S80
2009

There’s a lot to like about Madison, a small Indiana city on the Ohio River and at the beginning of the historic Michigan Road. One of those things is Hinkle’s. They make a mean hamburger — grilled crispy on the edges, with pickle and grilled onions on a soft bun.

As you can see, this sign is a little weatherworn. Fortunately, it’s been restored since I made this photograph. But in the process it changed color. When you visit Madison, look for the dark green Hinkle’s sign! It’s right on Main Street.

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Photography

single frame: Hinkle’s Hamburgers

Hinkle’s Hamburgers, a Madison, Indiana institution.

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Road Trips

Back to Hanging Rock Hill

You don’t expect to come upon a place like this in Indiana. This is Hanging Rock, on a section of State Road 7 known as Hanging Rock Hill. It’s in the Ohio River town of Madison.

Hanging Rock Hill

If you want to head north out of Madison, you’re going to have to go uphill. The original town plat from its 1809 founding is deep in the river valley.

Hanging Rock Hill

When I say uphill, I mean seriously uphill. Here’s a northbound shot from under the rock.

Hanging Rock Hill

Now southbound. If you want, you can pull off SR 7, drive under Hanging Rock, and then get back onto the highway. Long ago the road was routed under the rock, as photos on this page show.

Hanging Rock Hill

Water runs from the cliff above. I’ve never seen it at more than this trickle. But I hear that after the area gets a couple inches of rain, this turns into quite a waterfall. Under especially heavy rainfall the flow here can spill out onto the highway itself.

Hanging Rock Hill

I called this post “Back to Hanging Rock Hill” because I’ve visited it before and blogged about it. See that ten-year-old post here. Nothing has changed — as you’d expect, given how permanent rock tends to be.

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Music
Broadway Hotel

I have built quite an internal repertoire of popular music. I can sing along with hundreds, maybe thousands, of songs. It’s not something I set out to do — I just like to sing along to songs I like, and the lyrics have stuck.

Some song or other plays in my head at virtually all times. The places and things I encounter, as well as the conversations in which I take part, frequently remind me of a song. Then my mind plays it, on repeat, until some other experience changes the tune.

Upon encountering Madson’s Broadway Hotel, an old Al Stewart song filled my head the rest of the day. It’s a sad, odd little song with a lovely piano and violin interlude, and it has nothing other than a shared name to do with this old-timey inn in Madison.

Broadway Hotel

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Preservation, Road Trips

Strolling through Madison

Madison, Indiana, is a preservationist’s dream town. A whopping 133 blocks of its downtown is a Historic District and a National Historic Landmark.

On Main St.
Main Street

Founded in 1810, the town competed with Louisville and Cincinnati as Ohio River port cities. It grew rapidly into the railroad age of the mid-1800s, but railroads leading to those other two cities performed better than the one leading to Madison. Indeed, Madison’s railroad failed in 1862. Even though its line ended up becoming a part of the vast Pennsylvania Railroad system, the die was cast. After the Civil War, Madison’s growth stalled.

Bank
Broadway Hotel

Madison’s antebellum loss is our modern gain as it largely froze the town in time. You’ll find all the major architectural styles from the nineteenth, and even some of the twentieth, centuries in downtown Madison.

Ohio Theater
Hinkle Hamburgers

Residences surround the downtown commercial area, and most of the homes are simply stunning.

House in Madison
Madison street
Dr. Hutchings

The river is just a few minutes’ walk from anywhere in Madison’s historic district. Goods are not received at any port here anymore — you’re far more likely to see powerboats racing here. It’s been happening in Madison for at least 100 years. An annual powerboat race, now known as the Madison Regatta, has been held annually since 1929 over the Independence Day weekend.

Bench on the Ohio
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Preservation, Road Trips

The new old Broadway Fountain

At Broadway Fountain

This fountain might look old, but it dates only to 1981. That’s not an entirely fair or accurate representation of this fountain and its story, however. Its story goes back more than a century before that.

At Broadway Fountain

A cast-iron fountain that looked just like this was on display at the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Considerable wrangling and dogged persistence (story here) saw it moved to Madison, Indiana, in 1884.

At Broadway Fountain

But by World War II, the fountain had deteriorated badly and had to be turned off. It sat in that condition until 1950, when a local real-estate agent raised the funds for its restoration.

At Broadway Fountain

By the 1970s the fountain had again deteriorated. In 1976, Madison officials sought another restoration. This time, they went even farther: they had the entire fountain remade in bronze, a hardier metal than iron. It took several years for a sculptor to make molds of every part of the fountain and put the new pieces together on the site. Broadway Fountain reopened in 1981.

Canon PowerShot S95

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