At Thompson Mill

Jesus loves you
Kodak EasyShare Z730 Zoom
2008

Driving along Indiana’s back highways — and, I feel sure, back highways across much of the Midwestern United States — it’s common to pass signs much like this one, nailed to utility poles and trees.

I’ve always doubted that such religious sloganeering materially helps convert anyone to the faith. Especially the signs that say things like “Hell is Real” or “Repent Sinner” — such signs are sure to repel people.

At least this sign has a friendly message.

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Photography

single frame: Jesus loves you

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Due North

Due North
iPhone 6S
2017

I had reason to be in the Boone County Courthouse recently. (See an exterior photo in this post.) As Indiana courthouses go, it’s a relatively new one, completed in 1911.

At the center of its main floor tiles were arranged with an arrow pointing north. I always wonder how accurate such markers are. Given the courthouse’s placement on the city’s downtown street grid, this arrow points in a northerly direction, at least.

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Photography, Preservation

single frame: Due North

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Ohio Theater

Ohio Theater
Kodak EasyShare Z730 Zoom
2008

I made this photo on an impromptu road trip early in 2008, one I took to help me recover from a particularly stressful time. I drove the two 1830s roads that connected Indianapolis to the Ohio River at Madison: the Madison State Road (to Madison) and the Michigan Road (back to Indianapolis). It was my first trip along both roads.

I’d never been to Madison before and I was blown away by how lovely it was. The streets of the old city were lined with very old homes and commercial buildings, some of the oldest I’ve seen anywhere in Indiana — and most of them had been either well maintained or restored.

Built in 1938, the Ohio Theater is a young building on Madison’s historic main street. On the day I visited it still showed first-run movies. But in 2016 the theater’s owners lost the building in foreclosure, and ownership passed to a nonprofit which occasionally shows old films and recently got a grant to determine what it would take to renovate this building.

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Photography, Preservation, Road Trips

single frame: Ohio Theater

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Madison, IN

Downtown Madison, Indiana
Kodak EasyShare Z730 Zoom
2008

Yesterday I mentioned the Madison State Road, an 1830s highway connecting Indianapolis to Madison on the Ohio River. It was one of two such highways, the other being the Michigan Road. Indiana’s first railroad was built between the two cities, as well.

Madison was, in those days, Indiana’s largest city. It competed as a port city with Cincinnati and Louisville and was probably equally important to those cities then. So it’s small wonder there were so many ways to get to the state’s capital.

But times change, and after the Civil War Cincinnati and Louisville surged in ways Madison did not. It has had the effect of freezing Madison in time. Its streets are lined with buildings built through the 19th century, and most of them have been well preserved. It is a lovely town and well worth visiting.

Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Downtown Madison, Indiana

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Story Inn

The Story Inn
Nikon N60, AF Nikkor 28-80mm f/3.3-5.6
Fujicolor 200
2013

You’ll find this old country General Store, today operating as an inn and restaurant, in the middle of nowhere in Brown County, Indiana.

This dot on the map was an important little village until the Great Depression did it in. But I’m getting ahead of myself — come back tomorrow to read the story of Story, which is what this village is called.

I made this photograph on my first visit to Story a few years ago.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: The Story Inn

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Misty morning Bean Blossom 4-9 1

Misty morning in Bean Blossom
Kodak EasyShare Z730 Zoom
2007

One chilly April morning my sons and I headed south on State Road 135 all the way to Corydon, Indiana’s first capital, to see the first statehouse and the elm tree under which delegates drafted our state’s constitution.

On the way we passed through tiny Bean Blossom, perhaps best known for the annual festival bluegrass pioneer Bill Monroe started there. But this day, our favorite attraction was the mist that hung over this deep valley. I paused for a quick photograph, and then we drove into the valley and under the mist.

Tomorrow I’ll show you an 1880 bridge on an old alignment of this road.

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Photography, Road Trips

single frame: Misty morning in Bean Blossom

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