Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway is more than a road, it’s a journey into America’s transportation history with more than mere pictures and stories, but also historical sites galore. The Whitewater River Valley is waiting for you to drive its roads, hike its trails, or paddle its waters while enjoying its beautiful scenery, charming towns, recreational oﬀerings, and so much more. In fact, there’s so much to see and do here that we’re thinking of changing our name to the Whitewater Canal Scenic DOway. The Byway’s Canal Route mirrors the settlement of the Whitewater River
Valley beginning on the Ohio River in Lawrenceburg and winding north to Hagerstown. More than a single route, this Byway has a bonus with three additional driving loops to help you discover the richness of the entire valley, not just the historic canal route. This is where Indiana all began with Native American settlements and hunting grounds of the Miami and Shawnee tribes. Their trails up the twin forks of the Whitewater River were followed by pioneers and trailblazers seeking space and prosperity. Many roads and highways still follow these familiar routes. As the Northwest Territory was opened to settlement, farmers were seeking better and faster ways to move their products to markets back east. When the Erie Canal in 1825, “canal fever” gripped the Great Lakes !
What to Look for Along the Byway
Food and Wine
Tips for Traveling the Byway LOOK FOR RED – The sites directly on the Byway’s or Loop’s designated routes will be titled in orange. LOOK FOR BLUE – As you travel through a town or city, there will be many sites to see so those oﬀ the route will be marked in blue. LOOK FOR Off-the-Trail – These are significant sites farther away from the Byway and Loops, but might be worth a visit, depending upon your interests. LOOK FOR WEBLINKS - Several sites along the Byway have websites with more information–hours, days of operation or their own brochures. So, click and connect, and plan ahead for your visit. !
region and numerous river communities dreamed of a canal system that would crisscross the heartland. The Whitewater Canal was created to connect the Ohio River to east central Indiana. Initial funding was provided by the Indiana General Assembly as part of the 1836 Mammoth Internal Improvement Act which supported canals, roads and a railroad. The design of the canal called for a 76-mile route starting at Nettle Creek near Hagerstown and following the Whitewater River’s West Fork to Connersville, Brookville, and Harrison, Ohio, and then turning back to Lawrenceburg on the Ohio River. The canal’s design was quite ambitious as it required 56 locks, seven dams, and several aqueducts to accommodate the 491-foot drop or 6.7 feet per mile. In comparison, the Erie Canal’s descent was 1.7 feet per mile while the Wabash and Erie Canal was only 1 foot per mile. The State of Indiana started construction on the canal at Lawrenceburg in 1836. The first boat arrived in Brookville in 1839. Construction was suspended shortly thereafter due to budget problems and wasn’t resumed until 1842 under the leadership of a new private company–White Water Valley Canal Company. The canal was completed to Laurel in 1843 and boats were arriving in Connersville in 1845. The financially strapped company borrowed money from a Cincinnati financier to complete the canal to Cambridge City in 1846. A private group of investors formed the Hagerstown Canal Company to finish the last eight miles from Cambridge City to Hagerstown in 1847. Upon its completion, the Whitewater Canal cost nearly $1.2 million or $15,000 per mile. Meanwhile, another group of investors built the Cincinnati and Whitewater Canal from Cincinnati to Harrison, Ohio and connected to the Whitewater Canal in 1843. A major flood in 1847 severely damaged the canal and permanently closed the portion from Cambridge City to Hagerstown and from Harrison to Lawrenceburg. Additional floods in 1848, 1850, and 1852 caused extensive 2
damage that led to the canal’s abandonment in 1856. Seven years later, the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad purchased the canal and laid the rails on the towpath. A stretch of the canal from Milton through Connersville continued to provide hydropower into the mid-20th century. While the canal era lasted less than 30 years, elements of the canal have been used ever since. And many canal structures still exist throughout the region. Along the Byway, you’ll see lock ruins, get to ride a canal boat through the only covered wooden aqueduct left in the country and visit an operating grist mill in Metamora, a historic canal town which still feels like 1838. Common lore has it that fathers and sons went to the Civil War on boats and came home on trains. Today, the Whitewater Valley Railroad’s excursion train will take you on a scenic ride from Connersville to Metamora. And, since it’s built right on the canal’s towpath you can see canal ruins only visible from the tracks. In the northern reaches of the valley you can get an inside look at the region’s rich automotive heritage in Richmond and Connersville, once called “Little Detroit.” Horses and buggies, gave way to farm equipment, automobiles, and busses. See the old cars in local museums, see their manufacturing sites, and the change in the landscape brought on by the roads, bridges, highways, and interstates of the automobile era. Today, we are a more mobile society with everything and everywhere within reach. It’s interesting that many are seeking ways to get away from it all. If you find enjoyment in the great outdoors, the Byway oﬀers hiking, biking, and paddling trails that help you slow down to relax or play. There’s also great camping, fishing, and horseback riding available. Golfers will find courses for all skill levels. In the winter, there’s skiing and tubing. Oﬀ-roaders and racing enthusiasts can get their thrills in the Valley. The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway takes some time to explore and you can choose when, where, and how you do it––from a one-day excursion, a long weekend, or an extended adventure––but make sure to do it.
The valley oﬀers great bed-and-breakfasts or traditional lodging, inviting restaurants, and an opportunity to experience the rhythm of the Whitewater River. Whether you stay on the Canal Route or venture oﬀ onto its three loops, you’ll find that a trip though the valley can truly refresh the soul.
DO Experience the Byway X
The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway follows the the route of the historic Whitewater Canal up the western portion of the Whitewater River Valley. And while the drive along the primary route takes you on scenic highways and features the area’s rich transportation history, we would be selling you short if we didn’t share the rest of the Valley with you. With the Byway’s four routes, sister byways, and historic corridors you can explore more than 200 sites across 300+ miles. Along with the historic Canal Route, the additional loops will take you through small towns and cities, along the Whitewater’s East Fork and Brookville Lake, along the Old National Road, into the “Village of the Spires,” and even to the real-life home of the movie Hoosiers. There are also Oﬀ-the-Trail sites to add interest to your travels. It wouldn’t be a real road trip without enticing restaurants, interesting landmarks, small towns and fun things to see and do. So, click on the weblinks to get more details about sites, and connect to local tourism bureaus to round out your trip with food and lodging. Traveling the DOway isn’t about seeing its sites through a windshield. So, stop in our charming cities and towns, take a walking tour and explore the valley on foot and at a slower pace. This digital driving guide can help you plan the trip you want to take. We’ve provided site descriptions, photographs, and travel-friendly directions to take you through the region. Print the pages you want or download them into your smartphone. Just choose your route, grab your camera, hop in your car, and make a little history of your own. Go on, enjoy the Whitewater Canal Scenic DOway! !
Whitewater River Valley Driving Guide Map
Canal Route Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway On this 78-mile drive, travelers will follow the route of the historic Whitewater Canal. The Canal Route begins in Lawrenceburg at the Ohio River and winds up through hills and valleys to Brookville, Metamora, and Laurel before leveling out north of Connersville. Then its covers the short stretch to Cambridge City and its completion in Hagerstown. Donâ€™t just drive it. Park the car and explore the Valley on foot and at a diďŹ€erent pace.
Historic Lawrenceburg Indiana’s fourth oldest city, it was founded in 1802. The next major settlement down the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Lawrenceburg was a center of the flat boat trade for people and agricultural products moving up and down the Great Miami River from Ohio and the Whitewater River from southeastern Indiana. The area’s abundance of grain and river access led to the city’s rise as a distillery center and earned its nickname as “Whiskey City USA.” The Ohio River still sets the rhythm for the region here. Barges filled with coal, grain, and other products constantly flow up and down the river as it winds its way through America’s heartland. Towns and people get tighter here as the valleys narrow and the river is lined by a succession of towns somewhat indistinguishable from each other. Yet, each has its own identity if you slow down enough to notice. The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway starts here as did its namesake canal. The Byway intersects the Ohio River Scenic Byway, and Indiana’s Historic Pathways Scenic Byway in Lawrenceburg as all three use U.S. 50, once called the Atlantic-Pacific Highway connecting New York City with Los Angeles.
Lodging Transportation Food History &Wine
Levee Walk/Bicentennial Memorial Gate This beautiful space was created in 2002 to celebrate the city’s founding. A threeplaque series pays tribute to founder Samuel Vance and the flatboat which brought early families and their belongings to this river community and its valley.
Start at US 50 and Walnut Street. Take Walnut Street SE (toward the river) 0.5m.
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Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Whitewater Canal Terminus Erected in 1966, this marker designates the southern terminus of the 76-mile long Whitewater Canal that spurred development in region.
Walk to the Levee Walk and turn left (up river) and go 500 feet to marker.
Did you know? Before the 1926 federal highway numbering system was initiated, key routes or â€œauto trailsâ€? had descriptive names. US 50 through Lawrenceburg was the Atlantic-Pacific Highway connecting New York City with Los Angeles. 8
Reverse directions and see the marker on the way back to the Memorial Gate.
Directions 92 Walnut Street
Abraham Lincoln Speech Newly-elected president Lincoln gave a preinaugural speech from a train platform on his way to his swearing-in ceremonies in Washington, DC in 1861.
Hunt House Hotel The first building on this site was a tavern built in 1812. In 1817, Jesse Hunt erected a hotel, Indiana’s first three-story, brick building. Subsequent buildings served travelers until closing in 1988. The current structure was saved from demolition and now serves as headquarters for United Community Bank. A plaque on the building tells the building’s complete history.
Go back on Walnut Street two blocks NW to the southeast corner of Walnut and High Street.
Modes of Transportation Marker A plaque on the adjacent corner of the Hunt House building tells the story of the city’s key role in railroad development in Indiana and the west.
The trailhead is at the Levee Walk at the Bicentennial Gate heading downriver to connect with the Aurora segment.
Lawrenceburg Trail This paved rail-trail sits atop a former NYC rail line and follows an active CSX rail line along the scenic Ohio River. Connects to the Aurora Trail.
Lawrenceburg RR Depot The B& O Railroad, one Indiana’s first railroads, built a depot here in the early 1900s. In 2007, it was purchased and converted into a portion of the Lawrenceburg Public Library. Open to the public. !
Turn left onto High Street, go one block and turn right onto Vine Street. Go one block to West William Street and turn left. Go 1/2 block and depot is on the left before Mary Avenue.
Dearborn County Courthouse The present courthouse was built in 1873. It is the third structure on this site (1810, 1828, 1873). For a period from 1836 to 1844, the county seat was relocated to the town of Wilmington.
Directions 215 West High Street
Turn left (SE) on Mary Avenue and Courthouse is on the right.
Vance-Tousey House Set apart by its soaring spiral staircase and grand riverfront façade, the house, built by Lawrenceburg’s founder, Samuel Vance in 1818, is considered one of the finest examples of Federal-style architecture in the State of Indiana. It now serves as home to the Dearborn County Historical Society. Open to the public.
Directions 508 West High Street
Go one block to High Street turn right (SW) and go 0.2m.
Angevine Log Cabin This log cabin was built by James Angevine in 1820 and was his second in Lawrenceburg. He was born in New York City and became a successful grocer before moving to this county in 1818 where he purchased 1,100 acres of land in York Township. The Dearborn County Historical Society is the cabin’s caretaker. Open to the public.
Directions 508 West High Street Same location
Directions Eads Park - Lawrenceburg’s 290 West Eads Parkway Governors Take Front Street (behind cabin) A memorial and a historical marker in the park NE 0.6m to 1st Street. Turn left honor two of Indiana’s governors born in the city. and then turn right on Main Albert Gallatin Porter was the 18th governor Street for one block to the Park. serving from 1881-1885. Winfield Taylor Durbin served from 1901-1905 as Indiana’s 24th governor. 8
Lawrenceburg Historic Architecture Tour A downloadable/online guide provides pictures and stories of 33 significant structures in a 17block area of downtown Lawrenceburg, some of which are included here. The Beecher Presbyterian Church (left) is included on the tour.
Take a Walk
Dearborn-Ripley Loop Loop 3 This scenic 47-mile loop starts and ends in Lawrenceburg at the intersection of US 50 and Main Street. Head west on US 50 to Aurora then Dearborn-Ripley Loop onto Moores Hill, Milan, and Greendale. You’ll see historic homes, stop by an early college, learn about Hoosier Hysteria (basketball) and the region’s whiskey distilling heritage. HC
HOLLYWOOD CASINO Experience the excitement of playing over 3,200 slots, 41 poker tables, or 89 game tables. Situated on the Ohio River, the floating hotel also oﬀers casual to fine dining and entertainment.
The trailhead begins at the entrance to Hollywood Casino.
777 Hollywood Blvd. Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 888-274-6797 www.hollywoodindiana.com
Greendale Trail Paved rail-trail which sits atop a former NYC rail line and follows an active CSX rail line along the scenic Ohio River. The 1.2m trail goes from Greendale to Hardinsburg. Competition Go-Kart Racing Enjoy high-speed European go-kart racing on a 950-ft. track at this upscale indoor racing center, where the precision karts can reach speeds of up to 35 miles per hour! In addition to open racing for adults and youths (certain restrictions apply). the facility oﬀers special corporate and group events. Helmets, driving suits and safety rules are always provided to racers in order to maintain an environment of safety and fun.
890 Rudolph Way Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 (812) 539-4949 (513) 564-8080 www.competitionracing.net
Lawrenceburg Speedway Located at the Dearborn County Fairgrounds, the Lawrenceburg Speedway is famous among area racing enthusiasts who flock to the track on Saturday nights for sprint car, modified and pure stock racing on the 3/8 mile oval. Motorcycle races are held on Friday nights. Track season is May through October.
351 E. Eads Parkway (US 50) Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 (812) 539-4700 www.competitionracing.net
From Lawrenceburg ! to New Trenton GO
A bit of history...
An early flatboat landing, this village was named for Henry Hardin who settled here in 1796. Hardinsburg held promise of being a bigger shipping port than Lawrenceburg until that fateful morning when the Great Miami River decided to change her course leaving Hardinsburg high and dry. With the river now a mile and a half from town, the residents of Hardinsburg looked hopefully to the coming of the Whitewater Canal through their village. Canal Locks 1 and 2 were located near Hardinsburg.
GA 12 11
Base Map Image #om Google Maps !
____ Canal Route ____ Presidential Pathways
Take US 50 East/Eads Parkway from Eads Park 2.1m to Walnut Street in Hardinsburg. Turn onto Walnut Street and turn left at Main Street and continue to Oxbow’s entrance.
Oxbow, Inc. Wetlands Nature Preserve Over 1,100 acres of protected wetlands provide a wildlife haven in the Great Miami floodplain on the shores of the Ohio River. The “oxbow” was created when floodwaters changed the river’s course in the 1800s. Open to the public.
1st Principal Meridian Marker A stone pillar was placed here November 27, 1838 to mark the 1st Principal Meridian line used for public land surveys under the system designed by Thomas Jeﬀerson. It also serves as the Indiana-Ohio state line marker and was on the right bank of the Whitewater Canal as it crossed the state line.
21010 State Line Road Lawrenceburg, IN 47025 (513) 333-0333 http://www.sugarridgegc.com
From the Park, take US 50 east 0.2m to SR 1 (Belleview Ave.). Turn left 0.4m, then right onto Oberting Road (Byway route), proceed 2.6m to State Line Road, marker on NW corner.
Sugar Ridge Golf Course The 18-hole public golf course is 6,106 yards long from the longest tees. With many rolling hills and narrow, winding greens, the course is sure to test any golfer's ability while remaining fun to play at the same time.
Elizabethtown, Ohio An early stopover for drovers taking their livestock to market in Cincinnati. Once home to several businesses. Today, the American Discovery Trail, the only coast-to-coast, non-motorized recreational trail, splits here with the Northern Midwest Route heading to Oxford and into Indiana near Richmond on its way to Lake Michigan. The Southern Midwest Route heads west to Lawrenceburg then traces the Ohio River downstream across Indiana. !
Directions 19347 State Line Road
Continue east on US 50 for 1.1m. Turn left on Lawrenceburg Road to follow the Byway.
Presidential Pathways Scenic Byway A state scenic byway that traces the lives of two U.S. presidents from southwestern Ohio. William Henry Harrison (9th President) and his grandson, Benjamin Harrison (23rd President). The elder Harrison is buried in Cleves, Ohio. The 47-mile byway travels from the Ohio River area to Hueston Woods State Park north of beautiful Oxford, Ohio. Considered a sister byway to the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway, the two connect in West Harrison/Harrison just as the canal did nearly 170 years ago. A complete route guide is available here. A quick 11.7-mile loop will let you visit Shawnee Lookout Park, President William Henry Harrisonâ€™s Tomb overlooking the Ohio River and the Whitewater Canal Tunnel in Cleves. Click here to jump to those sites at the beginning of the Presidential Pathways Byway Route.
10465 Suspension Bridge Road Harrison, OH 45030 (513) 353-4770 www.greenacrescanoe.com
Green Acres Canoe and Kayak Rentals On the site of the former Long Island Beach Amusement Park, people now venture into the Whitewater River for canoeing, kayaking, tubing, and rafting. Also on site are picnic areas and a miniature golf course. Pick between 3-mile and 8-mile trips.
West Harrison-Harrison Canal Junction A two-sided marker shows the location of the junction of the Whitewater Canal and the Cincinnati and Whitewater Canal improving the connectivity between Indiana and the important Cincinnati markets. 13
Directions Proceed north on Lawrenceburg Road 7.2m. Cross the river, the marker is at NW corner of next intersection with Campbell Road on the left.
A bit of history... Old Harrison Bridge
During the Civil War, Morganâ€™s Raiders left a path of destruction across Indiana and Ohio in 1863 and burned the wooden bridge over the Whitewater River to slow the pursuit of the Union Army. A suspension bridge was built as a replacement and it remained in use until it fell during the 1913 flood. The bridge crossed the river at the Ohio-Indiana state line adjacent to Canal Junction. For more pictures, visit Green Acres Canoe Rentals.
Harrison, OH West Harrison, IN Settlers arrived in the Harrison area in the early 1800s. Most were Revolutionary War veterans or others lured by the promises of abundant forested land located within the network of navigable rivers flowing to the Ohio. Othneil Looker, a leading citizen, built a home of lumber in 1804 and set about providing instruction in reading and writing to his fellow settlers. He eventually served as the fifth governor of Ohio in 1814. By 1810, the four blocks of the original town centering on the intersection of Market (now Harrison Ave.) and Walnut Streets were platted. The town has been called Harrison since 1814, in honor of General William Henry Harrison (later president), a resident of nearby North Bend. The electric railway came from Cincinnati through Anderson's Ferry, cutting oďŹ€ at Valley Junction and coming up the Whitewater Valley along Kilby and Campbell Roads into Harrison. The main line went to Lawrenceburg and Aurora. The Harrison terminal was at the corner of Harrison Avenue and State Street. The first car came into town July 4, 1900, and the last went out November 30, 1930. Located on a main route, Harrison Pike was the earliest road, followed by US 52, and todayâ€™s Interstate 74 connecting Cincinnati and Indianapolis.
Outdoor Transportation Food and Recreation History Wine
Kaiser Mill/Hardware Originally built ca. 1840 as a hydraulic powered flour mill on the Whitewater Canal. The mill was converted to steam in 1879 and operated as a mill from 1840 to 1950. It is presently operated as Kaiser Hardware. !
Directions 201 North State Street
Proceed north 0.8m, building is on the left.
Braysville Cemetery Braysville Cemetery is on ground originally given for burial purposes by Judge Solomon Manwarring. The oldest grave marked by a stone bearing a legible inscription is that of Hannah Case who died in 1818. Take a walk and look for the earliest stones facing the river and canal, while later stones face the road.
2552 Harrison-Brookville Road (Old US 52) Continue north on State Street, it becomes Harrison-Brookville Road and proceed 3.7m to cemetery on left.
Grand Oak Golf Course The 18-hole course features 6,363 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. Designed by Dr. Michael Hurdzan, ASGCA, the Grand Oak golf course opened in 1989.Â GO
370 Grand Oak Drive West Harrison, IN 47060 (812) 637-3943 www.grandoakgolfclub.net
Directions 4080 US 52, New Trenton
Continue NW 2.6m on US 52 to New Trenton. Go past North Street and itâ€™s the second drive on the right.
Rockafellar Tavern Built in 1816, it is one of two early taverns serving this canal town. The left entry door gave access to the tavern and the right door to the family quarters. Private residence of Bob and Doneta Hawkins.
A bit of history...
John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail The Byway intersects the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail. In 1863, Confederate Brigadier General Morgan led 2,000 troops on an 18-day raid through southern Indiana and across Ohio. The band swept through here in July 1863. To slow down the pursuing Union soldiers, they took horses and other loot and burned wooden bridges, including the one over the Whitewater River. They were eventually captured in northeastern Ohio. The Indiana trail, with numerous markers and storyboards, follows their infamous raid from Corydon to West Harrison. 16
Snow Hill Covered Bridge Also known as Johnson's Fork Covered Bridge, this single span Howe Truss structure has a length of 72 feet. Built 1894-1895 over Johnson's Fork Creek by John H. Horn and William H. Butts, it was an important route to Cincinnati markets. Named for local landowner Lemuel Snow, a Revolutionary War veteran. Public access to bridge.
From downtown New Trenton, turn east on New Trenton Road and proceed 3.3m to Johnson Fork Road. Turn left and go north 0.7m to Snow Hill Road, bridge on left.Return to New Trenton.
From New Trenton to Metamora BH 40
Base Map Image #om Google Maps 37
Metamora Inset MC
____Canal Route _____Oldenburg-Batesvi*e Loop !
_____East Fork Loop 17
Take a Bike Ride...The Vatican Ride Two bike trails (17 miles and 44 miles) give riders the opportunity to travel the rolling hills of Franklin County and visit four or seven beautiful Catholic churches, tracing the history of European immigration in the Whitewater Valley. The longer trail includes St. Peter’s Church just west of New Trenton on St. Peter’s Road and Holy Guardian Angels Church on U.S. 52 in Cedar Grove (on the Canal Route). Click here for an online map of the two bike trails.
Oldenburg-Batesville Loop - loop 2 The intersection of US 52 and SR 1 is the eastern terminus of a scenic 35-mile loop to experience the German heritage of Oldenburg and Batesville while traveling through rural Ripley, Franklin, and Dearborn counties. The oﬃcial route begins in Metamora. Oldenbu
Mound Haven Restaurant and Auto Camp Named for an Indian mound that was removed when US 52 was built through here in 1929, Mound Camp was one of many “businessmen’s fishing camps” serving leisure travelers coming from the city on trains and in their new automobiles in the 1920s and 1930s. Families would rent a small cabin for the weekend to fish, camp, eat fried chicken dinners, and visit the dance halls. The former dance hall is a restaurant/lounge, while the former restaurant is a gift store and banquet hall. 19
Intersection of Little Cedar Road and US 52 Continue on US 52 West 0.8m. Church is on the right.
Directions 9238 US 52, Brookvi*e
Return to New Trenton turn right (W) on US 52 and go 7.1m. Two buildings are on the right side.
Little Cedar Baptist Church The first Baptist church in Indiana and one of the earliest in the Mississippi Valley. Built in 1812, this is the oldest church building still on its original location in the state. Interior shows rifle openings in walls, a balcony and raised pulpit. Burial plot adjoins church. Read the marker or pick up a leaflet to learn more. It is currently owned and operated by the Franklin County Historical Society. Public access. 18
Whitewater Canoe Rental Scenic canoe trips, kayaking, tubing, rafting, and riverside camping on the Whitewater River are great for individuals, families, and groups of any size. With three locations on the River, Whitewater Canoe Rental operates mid-April through mid-October conditions permitting.
White’s Farm and Flea Market In operation since 1922, the family business hosts an expansive flea market every Wednesday from daylight until noon, a miscellaneous auction from 11 am until 1 pm, and a livestock auction starts at 1 pm.
11162 US Highway 52 Brookville, IN 47012 (765) 647-5434 whitewatercanoerental.com
3028 Holland Road Brookville, IN 47012 (765) 647-3574 www.whiteswebsite.com
Brookville Situated on a bluﬀ and in the valley at the junction of the east and west forks of the Whitewater River, it is one of Indiana’s oldest settlements. Becoming Franklin County’s seat in 1811, the town boomed when a federal land oﬃce was located here in 1820. When the land oﬃce moved to Indianapolis in 1825, the town languished until the Whitewater Canal began construction in 1836. Later, the railroads sustained the local economy as the canal was discontinued. Located at the confluence of the Whitewater River’s East and West Forks, Brookville’s history of flooding led to construction the Brookville Dam on the east fork in the mid-1960s. Wander up and down the hills, enjoy the architecture, learn about the notable state and national leaders from here, and visit the parks on the two forks in this charming, historic town.
Outdoor Transportation Food and Recreation History Wine !
Base Map Image #om Google Maps 36
25 26 24
22 23 21
____Canal Route _____East Fork Loop
Morganâ€™s (Canoe) Outdoor Adventures The fastest flowing river in Indiana, the Whitewater River is considered a Class 1 stream and great for canoeists of all skill levels. Morganâ€™s invites visitors to canoe, kayak, raft, and camp from its 120-acre facility overlooking the River. !
7040 Whitewater River Lane Brookville, IN 47012 (765) 304-4904 www.morganscanoe.com
Brookville Governors Marker Brookville played a leading role in early Indiana. Four governors, including three consecutive oﬃceholders, were from here. The marker tells their years of service.
St. Michael’s Catholic Church Original church was built on this site in 1845. A Catholic school was added in 1855. The present church was built in 1862 and enlarged in 1902. The school buildings are adjacent to the church.
Directions 250 HighStreet
Next to the Church.
Continue on US 52 towards Brookville 2.5m. Marker is on the right in front of the Ford automobile dealership.
Proceed WNW on US 52/SR 1 for 0.5m, turn right on 3rd Street and go two blocks to Franklin Street. Turn right and then right into church entry.
Noble Family/ St. Michael’s Rectory On the grounds of the rectory is a marker for the home of the illustrious Noble family, which included a physician, elected leaders, federal oﬃcials and an Indiana governor. Private residence.
Wallace Family Marker Two markers indicate the homesite of David Wallace, an early state governor. His son, Lew Wallace, was an accomplished military leader, public servant, and the author of the epic Ben-Hur.
Directions 371 Main Street
Return to Main Street/US 52, turn right to another marker just south of the courthouse.
Directions 145 St. Michael’s Blvd.
Continue between the Rectory and the School and marker is on the left.
Governor Hammond Marker A marker indicates that Abram Hammond, governor of Indiana 1860-61, lived in Brookville as a boy in the old Yellow Tavern, now the site of the county jail.
Directions 459 Main Street
Proceed north one block to courthouse.
Franklin County Courthouse Originally constructed in 1852, the clocktower is all that remains from the original structure. During its renovation in 1910, the Courthouse was converted into a NeoClassical architectural style. It is now one of two county government buildings.
Did you know? When the railroad purchased the canal and laid the rails on the canal’s towpath, many of the train depots were built directly over the canal and the water flowed underneath the stations.
Seminary and Historic Marker Built in 1829, the Seminary functioned for two decades. The town purchased the building in 1862 for use as a public school, but eventually it went into private hands. Today, the restored building serves as a museum of the Franklin County Historical Society.
Brookville Historic District Federally-designated in 1975, the marker recognizes Brookville’s early contributions to Indiana’s settlement and its eﬀorts to preserve its historic structures.
Directions 412 5th Street
Turn right on 5th Street north of the courthouse and proceed 3 blocks to Mill Street.
Indian Trading Post Plaque A marker placed by the local DAR Chapter marks the site of an early French trading post. Brookville Federal Land Office Plaque A marker indicates the site of the land oﬃce 1820-25.
813 Main Street
Directions Marker on Courthouse lawn.
North of 6th Street on the west side, between the second and third storefronts.
766 Main Street !
Howland-GoodwinStrohmeier Home Built in the 1850s by John Howland, and later owned by the Goodwins, a Brookville banking family. It now houses the Brookville Chamber of Commerce and the Franklin County tourism bureau. 22
Directions 30 919 Main Street
SW corner of Franklin and 10th Sts.
Turn right on 10th Street and go one block. House is on the right.
Governor James Brown Ray House and Marker Built in 1821, Ray was Indiana’s 4th governor serving from 1825-31. Elevated at age 31, he was the youngest governor to serve. He was also the only Senate President ProTempore to be governor. An early proponent of canals, he later switched allegiances to railroads. The house’s Palladian window was thought to be too ostentatious and nearly cost him the gubernatorial election. Private residence First Methodist Church and Cemetery The church, the oldest in Brookville, was built by the Methodists in 1821-22. Through the years, several denominations have called the church building home. Many early settlers are buried in the church’s cemetery.
Brookville Carnegie Library Dedicated in 1912 and starting with approximately 600 books; collections and services have expanded to meet needs of local patrons. One of 1,679 libraries built in U.S. with funds from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie. Indiana built more Carnegie libraries than any other state.
Directions 1010 Franklin Avenue
Across 10th Street on the NE corner.
Just past the old high school on the right side.
Brookville College A marker on the southwest lawn of the old Brookville High School indicates the site of the College established in 1852 and run by the Methodist church until closing in 1872. The town purchased it for use as a school until it was razed for the current building in 1912. The school was home to the Brookville Greyhounds until 1988 when it merged with Laurel High School to create Franklin County High School. It was converted to a county government building in 2006.
Brookville Park • Brookville Grandstand Marker Baseball’s history here traces its roots back to 1867. In 1922, a 1,000-seat grandstand was constructed for fans of the town’s semipro team. The current structure was built in 2006 following a fire.
Continue past cemetery to Mill Street. Turn right and marker is on the left overlooking the park.
Hermitage • Bed & breakfast The original house was built in 1835. In 1898, noted Indiana artists J. Ottis Adams and T.C. Steele selected this site to set up their 19room home and studios, where the Hoosier Group painted for many years. Today, it operates as a bed and breakfast.
Across the street from the school.
Did you know? The Brookville Dam was completed in 1975 as a flood control and recreation project. The cold water of Whitewater River’s East Fork flows through the Brookville Town Park after its release from the Brookville Dam just north of town. The stream oﬀers great trout fishing. South of town the East Fork and West Fork merge.
Brookville Lake The 5,260-acre lake is the centerpiece of the 16,000+ acres along the Whitewater River East Fork. There are two state recreation areas, over 30 miles of trails, and miles of pristine shoreline. Brookville is on the lake’s southern end with the flood-control dam.
650 East 8th Street Continue on Mill Street to 8th Street, turn left and proceed 2.5 blocks.
Road Trip Oxford Pike This early road winds through beautiful farm country on its 16mile route to Oxford, Ohio, home of Miami University.
Return to Main Street, turn right and take SR 101 across the river and take the first road right.
Continue north on SR 101 to the first road on the left after crossing the river. Turn left onto Overlook Road and follow the signs.
Whitewater Canoe Rentals Scenic canoe trips, kayaking, tubing, rafting, and riverside camping on the Whitewater River are great for individuals, families, and groups of any size. With three locations on the River, Whitewater Canoe Rental operates mid-April through midOctober conditions permitting.
East Fork Loop - loop 1 This 46-mile loop begins in Cambridge City and ends in Brookville. Visit the Brookville Lake overlook (north on SR 101) then return to the Canal Route heading west on US 52 from Brookville to Metamora. W
11162 US Highway 52 Brookville, IN 47012 (765) 647-5434 whitewatercanoerental.com
Boundary Hill Marker This marker sits on the 1795 Greenville Treaty line extending from the Ohio River to Fort Recovery, Ohio creating “The Gore, a wedge of Indiana originally part of the Ohio Territory. The marker is located in the hillside of a dangerous curve on US 52.
14994 US 52, Brookvi*e Continue west 1.2m. House is on the right.
Brook Hill Golf Club The 18-hole "Brook Hill" course features 6,361 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. Designed by Denis Griﬃths, ASGCA/Gary Kern, ASGCA, the Brook Hill golf course opened in 1975.
From US 52 and SR 1 intersection, go west 1.7m on US 52. Sign is on the left. Caution: dangerous curve.
1175 Fairway Lane Brookville, IN 47012-8975 (765) 647-4522 www.brookhillgc.com
r East Fo
Boulder House William Mittendorf, a Cincinnati businessman collected rocks on his commute to the city and spent the next 40 years creating this unique landmark. The north side of the home faced the original Brookville Road (SR 39). When US 52 was routed south of the house, through an old canal ice field, Mittendorf moved the front porch to the south side of ! the house. Private residence 25
Whitewater Canal Trail Yellow Bank Trailhead This one-mile leg of the Whitewater Canal Trail, on the old Big Four Railroad line, begins at Yellow Bank Creek and provides hikers with access to an old canal lock and railroad remnants. Open to public with parking.
18077 US 52
Directions US 52 at Yellow Bank Road
Continue west on US 52 for 3.8m.
Proceed 0.1m to the trailhead on the left.
Whitewater Canal Site Rest Area Part of the State Historic Site, this road side rest area and shelter house is from a bygone era of automobile travel, so grab a picnic basket or carryout dinner and enjoy this quite spot along the historic Whitewater Canal.
Metamora 1838 Canal Town Platted in 1838, the town’s prosperity rose and fell with the Whitewater Canal’s fortunes. The canal bisected the town and growth was rapid on both sides. The canal continued to provide water power even after the railroad took control of the towpath. In the 1930s the passenger trains ceased and then U.S. 52 was rerouted north of the town. In the 1940s a concerted eﬀort resulted in the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site and the town began its resurgence. The site includes a working grist mill, canal boat, the Duck Creek Aqueduct, Gordon’s Lock, and the southern stop of the Whitewater Valley Railroad. The town is the trailhead for the Whitewater Canal Trail and home to the Whitewater Valley Gateway Park.
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Gordon’s Lock #24/ Millville The state of Indiana restored this lock as part of the 15-mile long Whitewater Canal State Historic Site. At its height, the town of Millville had a cotton mill, a flour mill and seven houses of which only one remains.
Directions 18752 US 52
Continue 0.4m west on US 52. There is an egress for parking on the left.
41 48 47
Continue west to Metamora, cross Duck Creek and turn left on Columbia Street and go three blocks, cross the canal and turn left onto Main Street and proceed 0.2m to Aqueduct and trail.
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Aqueduct over Duck Creek The 70-foot, covered wooden aqueduct carries the canal over Duck Creek, 16 feet below, and is the only covered aqueduct in existence in the nation. It’s on the National Register of Historic Places and is one of Indiana’s three National Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks. 27
Whitewater Canal Trail Metamora Trailhead This 2.6 mile section of the trail begins near the Duck Creek Aqueduct. Hikers will find the covered canal aqueduct, beautiful natural areas, railroad markers, a restored canal lock and “Twin Locks,” two lock ruins within 500 feet of each other at the trail’s end. Open to public with parking.
Directions Park in the lot across the road from the Aqueduct.
Canal Boat Ride Visitors can step back in time to 1838 and take a ride on the Ben Franklin III, a horsedrawn canal boat, through the Duck Creek Aqueduct. The State Historic Site is operated by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Admission charged. Metamora Grist Mill Originally built as a cotton mill in 1845, it was converted to a grist mill in 1857, and then burned in 1899. When rebuilt the following year, it was converted to the brick mill we see today. Now part of the state historic site, visitors can stroll through the first floor of the mill and see corn meal, flour, and grits being ground much as it was years ago. Products produced at the mill are available for purchase. Free admission.
Take Main Street back to town and purchase a ticket for the canal boat ride.
Continue on Main Street to the Mill at the west end of town.
Whitewater Valley Railroad The Whitewater Valley RR began in 1867 on the canal’s towpath and later became part of the Big Four Railroad. Today’s Whitewater Valley Railroad runs a 19-mile excursion train from Connersville to Metamora, on tracks it purchased in 1983. !
Take a Ride
Board the train in Connersville for the scenic trip to Metamora and back.
Metamora Historic Walking Tour Throughout the town, there are brass plaques sharing the stories of the historically significant buildings. So take a walk and enjoy the town.
Take a Walk
Whitewater Valley Gateway Park Serving as a regional visitors center for the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway, the park has a fully-functioning campground with utility hookups and a bathhouse, and a conference center/banquet hall in the historic Brookville Depot. The Whitewater Canal Byway Association which promotes the history, culture, and artists of the Whitewater Valley is headquartered in the park. Future plans include an interactive history pavilion, a visitor’s center, and an artisan showcase, educational center, and outdoor amphitheater.
Cross back over the canal on Columbia Street and return to US 52 and a Park entrance is directly across the highway.
Oldenburg-Batesville Loop - Loop 2 This scenic 35-mile loop explores the region’s German and religious heritage in Oldenburg, the “village of spires,” and Batesville, and rural areas of Ripley, Franklin, and Dearborn counties ending near Brookville. Heading oﬀ the trail takes you through beautiful hills and valleys.
Take A Loop • Proceed west on US 52. Cross the bridge and turn onto SR 229. ville
Did you know?
Salt Creek Ranch
An 1870s Italianate structure, the Metamora Masonic Lodge it is thought to be the only lodge in the state with its cobalt-blue windowpanes intact.
(Horseback Riding) Salt Creek Ranch oﬀers 600+ acres of wooded trails near beautiful Metamora. Enjoy the scenic beauty as you ride the trails though the hills and water. Rent a rustic cabin or plan a hayride.
21040 US Highway 52 Laurel, IN 47024-9708 (765) 698-2044 http://visitsaltcreek.com
Laurel The Whetzel Trace, an important east-west pioneer trail across southern Indiana (completed in 1819) began in Laurel and ended at the White River Bluﬀs near Waverly in Morgan County. The trace drew attention to the little hamlet, until the Whitewater Canal passed through and the town prospered as a major shipping point. Just east of town is the Laurel Feeder Dam that provides water to the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site in neighboring Metamora. Visit the town’s historic buildings, a noted cemetery, a bandstand and travel the winding Dam Road to the feeder dam.
Continue west on US 52 1.6m to SR 121. Turn north on SR 121 and proceed 4.2m to Laurel. Marker is on the left side.
Whetzel Trace Starting Point A historic marker tells of Jacob Whetzel and his men blazing a 60-mile trail from Laurel to the White River. The Trace was a significant achievement and led to the settling of central Indiana.
Old Jail Built of Laurel limestone 50 in 1891, the Laurel Jail is Directions located on Commerce Continue on SR 121 for 0.2m to Commerce Street. Turn right and Street which was once the jail is on the right. Laurel Canal Basin. The Jail has two small cells and was used as a calaboose where a customer could be held until they recovered Did you know? or until the County Sheriﬀ The Whitewater River is the fastest flowing river in sent someone to pick Indiana with a 491-foot drop in only 76 miles. This steep fall is the them up. reason it took 56 locks on the Whitewater Canal to move boats up and down the canal from Lawrenceburg to Hagerstown.
61 51 50 49
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Directions 200 East Pearl St
Laurel Hotel A canal era structure at the corner of Pearl and Franklin Streets, formerly known as Hunsinger’s Tavern. It is located immediately west of the Whitewater Valley Railroad tracks and is the destination of the “Train to Dinner” excursion. Open for business. !
Continue on Commerce Street as it becomes Hill Alley Street and go two blocks to Pearl Street. Hotel is on the left.
Oﬀ-the-trail (must see)
Take Pearl Street SW and cross the river, turn right onto Dam Road and proceed 1.2m. Parking is on the right side. Caution: You will walk across the railroad track to get to the dam.
Haspin Acres With 750 acres of rolling woodlands, there’s plenty of racing, riding, camping, and fishing for everyone. For oﬀ-road enthusiasts there is dirt-drag racing, two motocross tracks, and trail riding, including the challenging “Devil’s Backbone.”
21208 Laurel Road Laurel, IN 47024 (765) 698-2420 www.haspinacres.com
Laurel Historic Walking Tour See the historic White Hall Tavern, the Murray House, the Conwell House, and other structures.
220 West Pearl Street
West of the Laurel Hotel 0.2m on Pearl Street.
Laurel Feeder Dam #4 Restored in the 1940s as part of the Whitewater Canal State Historic Site. Also located here is the Regulator, used to control the amount of water than enters the canal, and Jinks Lock #29. This feeder dam supplies water to the canal from Laurel to Yellow Bank Creek. Public access.
Take a walk...
Seminary/Collegiate High School This three story brick building at the corner of Pearl and Lafayette streets was erected in 1852 as the Laurel Collegiate High School. The building is presently owned by the Laurel Masonic Lodge. Private
Indian Mound/Old Wooden Bandstand The Laurel Bandstand is located on SR 121 at the highest point in Laurel, the intersection of High and Washington Streets. Author Meredith Nicholson described this as one of the loveliest spots in Indiana. The site, once known as Monument Square for the Adena Indian mound at the summit, was donated to the town for a park by James Conwell in 1836. Public access.
Return to SR 121/ Washington Street and turn north and it is straight ahead.
Stay on SR 121 as it turns left onto High Street and go one block to Lafayette Street. Marker is on NW corner.
Francis Shoup Historic Marker Born in Laurel in 1834, he served as a brigadier general in the Confederate States of America army. A marker in the corner of the cemetery tells of his career.
Laurel Cemetery The gravestone tells of Aunt Nel, a slave liberated by James Conwell in 1812 at age 75, she passed away in July 1852 when she was 115 years old. Writers Elizabeth Conwell Smith Willson and her husband Byron Forceythe Willson are also buried here. He wrote The Old Sergeant in 1863.
Mahan Park Part of the Fayette County Parks system, this is one place where S.R.121, the canal, railroad, and the Whitewater River are within a few feet of each other. The ruins of Canal Lock #38 is nearby. Public access with parking. 57
Turn left(n) and go 0.6m. Mahan Park sign is on the right.
Continue NW on SR 121 one block and go a little farther for cemetery parking.
Mary Gray Bird Sanctuary The 600-acre site is an eďŹ€ort to preserve and maintain forests and meadows as a wildlife refuge for birds and other native organisms, and serves as a laboratory for its owner, the Indiana Audubon Society. Open to public, donations accepted.
3499 S. Bird Sanctuary Rd. Connersville, IN 47331 765-827-5109
Whitewater River Campground OďŹ€ering 100 sites on the Whitewater River and next to the Whitewater Valley Railroad. Beautiful river beach with trophy small mouth bass and bird watching guides. Coin operated laundry, heated showers, fishing ponds, canoe & river tube rental. Full hook-up and primitive WC Recreation camping. Weekend activities and music on the 1618 SR 121 South Connersville, IN 47331 river stage. (765) 825-4885 www.campindiana.com/Campgrounds/Whitewater.html
From Laurel to Cambridge City
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Cambridge City Inset ____Canal Route
_____East Fork Loop
A bit of history...
Post Office Murals
In 1933, in the depths of the Great Depression, the Treasury Department’s Advisory Committee on Fine Arts met and created The Public Works of Art Project. “Designed to “extend relief to the professional class, its object being to employ artists who were unemployed in the decoration of public buildings and parks.” One the major construction projects funded by the New Deal Congress include the erection of new post oﬃce buildings in many communities throughout the country. The post oﬃce served as the most public of all public buildings, and this program of painting murals in post oﬃces would allow the people all over the country to view at least one thing of beauty.“ There were thirty-seven murals painted in Indiana post oﬃces. Of these, four can be found in the Whitewater Valley–Aurora, Batesville, Cambridge City, and Liberty–each listed in the driving guide. So stop by and take a look. Don’t be surprised if the locals wonder what you’re doing. Excerpts are from A Simple and Vital Design:The Story of Indiana Post Oﬃce Murals, John C. Carlisle. Photography by Darryl Jones, Indiana Historical Society, 1995 !
Connersville The village began as a settlement around John Conner’s trading post on the west bank of the Whitewater River. In the first half century of its existence Connersville grew from a log trading post to a flourishing town and county seat of Fayette County. With the completion of ! the Whitewater Canal it became an agricultural center, followed by furniture making. There were 13 turnpikes in operation in the county by 1856, and two newspapers were published. John J. McFarlan arrived in 1856 and established the McFarlan Buggy Company and the Roots Brothers began the manufacture of rotary positive blowers in 1859. Once headquarters to the Canal, the city welcomed the Whitewater Valley Railroad in 1867. The canal continued to supply hydraulic power well into the 1950s. In the late 1890s, buggy makers and subsequently automobile companies dominated the city. Known as “Little Detroit,” the city was once home to twelve makes of cars, including Lexington, McFarlan, Cord, and Auburn. In WWII, the city became a major supplier of jeeps and airplane parts. In the post-war years Connersville was the nation’s leading dishwasher maker and it continues to supply auto parts and rotary blowers today.
Outdoor Transportation Food and Recreation History Wine
Did you know? The Whitewater Valley is composed of two distinct land forms defined by glacial boundaries–Tipton Till Plain’s nearly flat to gently rolling farmlands in the northern part and the Dearborn Uplands characterized by slopes and thin soils overlaying ancient bedrock. Both are found in the area around Connersville.
Dearborn Crossing Tower and Rushville Depot– Whitewater Valley Railroad The Whitewater Valley Railroad purchased, moved, and restored two historic structures on this site–Dearborn Crossing Tower from Lawrenceburg and the Rushville Depot. Future park plans include a working turntable and roundhouse. Admission charged
Continue north 0.4m on SR 121. The house is on the left.
Whitewater Valley Railroad Railyard The railyard houses many operating engines and cars, as well as many in a state of restoration and salvage. The non-profit organization also stores and maintains railroad equipment here. The excursion train leaves from its Connersville Depot.
Indiana 121 and South Grand Avenue Across the highway from Elmhurst Mansion.
1982 West Country Club Road Connersville, IN 47331 (765) 825-2216 www.willowbrookconnersville.com
Continue north on SR 121 2.1m to its intersection with Veterans Parkway. Structures are on the NE corner.
Elmhurst Mansion The center section of the home was built in 1831 as the residence of Oliver H. Smith. By 1850, it was the home of Samuel W. Parker, President of the Whitewater Valley Canal Company. Parker died in 1859 and is buried on the property. Through the years it’s been a school, a military institute, and currently operates as a Masonic Lodge. Private
600 Indiana State Road 121
Country Club The 18-hole course at the Willowbrook Country Club facility in Connersville features 6,277 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72. The course opened in 1963. 36
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Transportation History 63 62
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Food and Wine 67
General History 59
Connersville Depot/Whitewater Valley Railroad Headquarters Leaving from this historic station, the railroad oﬀers a 19mile excursion train from Connersville to Metamora, providing a glimpse of the importance of railroads to the Valley. It is unique as its tracks were laid on the historic canal’s towpath. The organization restores engines, cars and railroad structures and is developing a railroad park south of town. It also oﬀers training for people interested in operating trains and other railroading jobs. Open to public, admission charged. 62
Directions 455 Market Street
Go north on SR 121/Grand Avenue 0.8m to 5th Street. Turn right on 5th Street and then immediately right onto Market Street to the depot’s parking lot.
201 West 6th Street Return to Grand Avenue, turn right and proceed one block. Building is on the left.
NW corner of 6th Street and Grand Avenue Across from McCombs and Son Company.
Interurban/Whitewater Canal Intersection McCombs and Son Co. has been located at the former intersection of the Whitewater Canal and the Indiana and Cincinnati Traction Co. for over 100 years. The building’s lower windows facing Grand Avenue opened directly onto the canal to oﬀ load shipments. The interurbans provided same-day shipping to and from Indianapolis and were delivered to the business’ front door on 6th Street. Private business.
Roots Blower Plant Historic Marker A historic marker in front of the fire station indicates the site of the Roots Woolen Mill and the birthplace of the Roots Blower. The current manufacturing plant, owned by Dresser Industries, is located in the Connersville Industrial Park.
Did you know? Auburn Central Manufacturing of Connersville manufactured over 28,000 Willys-Overland Jeep bodies for the military in World War II.
Fayette County Courthouse The plans for the first courthouse were approved in 1819. The second structure was built in 1849 and some elements survived two extensive remodelings, including an 1890 eﬀort that removed a spire and columned porch and replaced it with the current dome. Renovations in 2005 revealed ornate murals that had been painted over. They are now visible on the 2nd floor.
111 East 4th Street Continue south on Central Avenue to 4th Street. Turn left and building is on the right.
Directions 412 North Central Avenue
Turn left onto 6th Street then turn left again onto Washington Street and then left again onto 5th Street. Go two blocks to Central Avenue and turn right.
Canal House Built in 1842 as the headquarters of the Whitewater Valley Canal Company, the beautiful building has also been a bank, private residence, a VFW post, and is now owned by Historic Connersville, Inc. Open to public, limited hours.
Fayette County Museum Explore Connersville through time––a log cabin and country store, American Kitchen and old school house, Lexington and McFarlan automobiles, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb Trophy won by an early Lexington and more. Open to the public, limited hours. Ca* ahead (765) 825-0946. Connersville’s “Firsts” Marker From an early Whitewater Valley Indian trail to trading posts, schools, and now a restaurant, this site played a significant role in Connersville’s history. A historical marker tells the timeline of development. 66
Oﬀ-the-trail 103 Vine Street
Turn right onto 5th Street/SR44/ SR1. Cross the Whitewater River and turn right on SR 1, building is on right.
Directions Corner of North Eastern Avenue and East 4th Street (in the Wendy’s parking lot)
Continue east on 4th Street to Eastern Avenue, turn left, go two blocks, on the right side.
John Conner Trading Post Marker This historic marker tells the story of John Conner building a Trading Post on the Whitewater River in 1808 leading to Connersville’s founding. For years, East Connersville was a separate settlement until a bridge connected the two sides.
Directions 832 N. Eastern Avenue
Return to Eastern Avenue on 5th Street and turn right, go 3 blocks to 8th Street. Marker in front of Moose Lodge on the right side.
A bit of history...
McFarlan’s Connersville Industrial Park Bounded on the east by Western Avenue and the Whitewater Canal, the park extended #om Mount Street to 21st Street.
Historic Homes As an early industrial powerhouse, Connersville was the home to many successful business families–McFarlan Anstead, Rex, Roots, Stant–and they built many beautiful homes along Grand and Central Avenues. Private residence. 69
John B. McFarlan purchased a Connersville carriage (buggy) business and then bought others and consolidated them into McFarlan Carriage Company. The company later became an automobile manufacturer in Connersville. In 1887, the company needed more space so McFarlan established the 82acre site called “John McFarlan’s Corn Patch.” Hoping to reduce his costs by drawing other companies to the site, it became the nation’s first industrial park in 1887. Twenty-two automotive-related companies eventually had buildings here with access to the canal, railroads, and cheap natural gas. The industrial park is still home to many diversified manufacturers.
Continue north on Eastern Avenue to 11th Street. Turn left, go one block to Central Avenue. Turn right and go to 15th Street then go left to Grand Avenue. Continue to 9th Street.
Connersville Furniture Factory The old Connersville Furniture Factory was once powered by water from the Connersville Hydraulic Co. The head race and turbine were located on the north side of the building and the tail race ran underneath the building and out the south side where it rejoined the canal. The remnants are still visible on the north side and the outlet arches are visible on the south side. The six-story structure is the tallest building in southeastern Indiana. Private
1485 Western Avenue Continue north two blocks north on the right side.
Spartan Bowl 1981 North Grand Avenue
Home to two Boys State Basketball Champions, 1972 and 1983, the sunken gymnasium has been the Connersville Spartans’ home since 1958. It seats 5,847, making it the nineteenth largest high school gym in Indiana. The attached building is now the middle school. Phil Cox, Indiana’s 1972 Mr. Basketball and Matt Howard, Butler University star, both played here.
Directions 1220 Illinois Avenue
Turn right onto 9th Street pass St. Gabriel Church/School on right. Turn right onto Western Avenue and go 3 blocks, building is on the left. On the way you’ll pass under a railroad viaduct marking the south end of the industrial park.
City Cemetery This is the final resting place for most of the city’s earliest settlers dating back to the mid-1800s. See many unique and ornate monuments including Vivian Allison’s doll house built by her parents in 1900.
A Bit of Hoosier Hysteria...
Stant Manufacturing Co. The world's leading manufacturer of automotive fuel, radiator and oil filler caps and other parts, Stant made its early mark by automating the manufacture of piano tuning pins. For over 110 years, Stant has been an innovative parts supplier to the automotive industry and its world headquarters is in the Connersville Industrial Park.
Directions 1620 Columbia Avenue
Located in the industrial park on the west side of the railroad tracks along Western Avenue. • Continue on Western Avenue to 20th Street, turn right and go four blocks to the Spartan Bowl.
Kunkel’s Drive-In Stop by this 1950’s era drive-in and order from your car and have the tray delivered by a car hop or step inside and enjoy the great burgers, shakes, and flavored cokes. Open for business
Roberts Park A gift to the city from General James Roberts in 1902, it’s home to the Longwood covered bridge (relocated here in 1984), and the Miller Community Building. There are also shelter houses, playgrounds, an aquatic center, and an amphitheater. The park is adjacent to the Fayette County Fairgrounds.
Directions 4747 Western Avenue
2402 North Park Road
Continue east on 20th Street to Park Road. Turn left and go four blocks north. Drive-in is on the right.
Did you know? 75
Directions 2900 Park Road
Proceed north on Park Road. There are entrances after 27th Street, at 28th Street and 30th Street.
Go west on 30th Street/SR 1 seven blocks to Western Avenue. Turn right and follow SR 1 north for 1.1m. Waterworks are on the left.
Water Works at Carbon Motors Located on the old Whitewater Canal along S.R. 1, these industrial ruins belonged to the Connersville Hydraulic Company which used the canal to provide hydropower to the city until the 1950s.
Lockport Feeder Dam #6 was rebuilt by the Connersville Hydraulic Company and was used to feed the canal to the south end of Connersville. Today, only remnants remain on private property. Lockport was a paper town along the canal that never materialized. It was the site of a boat yard and three canal locks. Other feeder dams serving the canal were located at Cambridge City, south of Connersville, Laurel, Brookville, New Trenton, and Harrison.
5579 W. County Road 300 N Connersville, IN 47331 (765) 679-1655 www.cornyfun.com
Eklund’s Crazy Acres Oﬀering a corn maze, a haunted maze, games, rides and more for the whole family. They even oﬀer professional pumpkin carving lessons. Come get a little “crazy” at Crazy Acres.
ShraderWeaver Nature Preserve This 96-acre property is a national Natural Landmark and contains open fields, a woods, and a pioneer homestead. There are two self-guided trails through the preserve lauded for its springtime wildflowers. Public access and parking.
Did you know? The Milton Quaker Church split in the 1800s. When the north side congregation dissolved, its building was purchased by a private business which built around the structure that is still inside the factory. The newer church on the south side later burned down, but cemeteries remain at both locations.
2290 S Germantown Rd Cambridge City, IN 47327 (765) 478-5638
Co. Rd. 450 W. & 600 N. Go north 0.2m and turn left on Bentonville Road/CR 700 N. Proceed 4.4m, turn left onto 600 N and go 1.0m to entrance.
Town of Milton The Whitewater Canal as well as two later railroads went through this little town. The old Masonic Lodge downtown was built in the 1840s as a warehouse for the canal. Looking east from the lodge beyond River Street you can see the canal basin and its route through the town.
Return to SR 1 and turn left(n) for 3.2m to its intersection with Canal St. Turn right onto Canal Street, lodge is on the right.
Winding Branch Golf Course The 18-hole course features 5,752 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 71. Designed by Kermit LaGrange, the Winding Branch golf course opened in 1971.
Boyd Road Canal Prism A remnant of the canal channel, towpath and berm bank between Milton and Cambridge City can be seen on the left/west side of the road which is also old State Road 1.
A Bit of History...
From Milton, go north on SR 1 to the first road on the left and turn onto Boyd Road.
Railroad Viaduct Chartered in 1847, the Indiana Central Railway was the forerunner of the main line of the Pennsylvania system. In 1910 the tracks were elevated through town to ease the steep grade across western Wayne County.
”The Dinky” Interurban
Upon entering Cambridge City on Boyd Road/Center Street, pass under the dormant railroad viaduct.
By 1914 there were 1,825 miles of interurban tracks in Indiana. One of the shortest lines in the state was an electric trolley which ran two miles between Milton and Cambridge City. George Callaway, who lived in Milton, was a member of the railroad board for the line that connected Richmond and Indianapolis. It is said that he insisted on the Milton spur so he could get to work in Indianapolis.
In 1827, the National Road crossed the Whitewater River and gave rise to Cambridge City. In 1835, the post oﬃce was established and the town platted the following year. The town grew rapidly with the completion of the Whitewater Canal in 1846 connecting the region with the Ohio River. At one time, four separate railroads intersected here. Drive around and see historic National Road structures, canal buildings, the old canal bed, railroad bridges, and drive-in restaurants. Stop by and visit the Indiana National Road Interpretive Center just west in Mount Auburn and learn more about America’s first great road.
Transportation Food and History Wine !
General History 44
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Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Vinton HouseAntiques & Museum
Former Canal 80 Directions Warehouse 1 East Church Street Originally a Whitewater Canal warehouse built in 1853, After passing under brothers John and Charles the Railroad Viaduct Bertsch purchased the brick continue two blocks and building is on the building in 1879 and it became the pattern shop of Bertsch & northeast corner. Company, a steel rolling machine business. Dr. James Bertsch renovated the building into a health clinic. !
Built in 1847 at the intersection of the National Road and the Whitewater Canal, the Vinton House Hotel accommodated travelers by boat or wagon and also served as a stage coach stop, a telegraph oďŹƒce, and post oďŹƒce. The canal basin was just a few feet from the rear door of the building.
Western Wayne Museum Western Wayne Heritage Inc. maintains a museum with displays and artifacts about the Whitewater Valley on the 3rd floor of Vinton House. 81
Directions 20 West Main Street Proceed to US 40/National Road/Main Street and turn left. Vinton House is on the left.
Single G Horse Mural In 1912, a Cambridge City-bred pacer named Single G was sold at local auction for $275. Between 1913 and 1927 the stallion ran in 434 heats, set numerous records and earned over $120,000. Voted by horsemen as the “greatest pacer in the first half of the twentieth century.” The mural was painted by Pamela Bliss in 2010.
Directions 113 West Main Street
Across the street(n) from the bank in the middle of the block.
Directions 100 West Main Street
Go one-half block west on US 40. Mural is on the bank building on the southwest corner.
Opera House The grand Italianate three-story commercial building built in 1868, hosted all types of community events. The first floor is still in use, but the Opera House has been silent since 1923 when a new high school included a modern auditorium.
Cambridge City Post Office Mural The mural, Pride of Cambridge City, was painted by Samuel F. Hershey in 1941-42 as part of the Public Works of Art Project during the Great Depression.
Overbeck Pottery Inside the new Cambridge City Public Library, the museum preserves the creative pottery produced in Cambridge City by the six Overbeck sisters from 1911 to 1955. Their work is considered important in our nation’s art history. The collection includes pottery, oil paintings and watercolors. Open to public. A historic marker telling of the Overbeck House and Studio is located on East Main Street/U.S. 40 just east of the Whitewater River.
Directions 227 West Main St
Continue west one block on the north side.
Directions 600 West Main Street
To museum, continue west on Main Street/US 40 to the library on the left. Historical marker is east of the river on Main Street.
A bit of history...
National Road/US 40
Conceived by George Washington, the Historic National Road, the nation’s first federally funded interstate highway, connected the eastern seaboard in Maryland to the western interior in Illinois. It was created by Congress in 1806 and reached Indiana in 1827. The 156-mile stretch across the state from Richmond to Terre Haute was completed in 1834. It is commonly called “The Road that Built the Nation.” It was paralleled by railroads, became US 40 as part of the federal highway system, and later bypassed by Interstate 70. It is now an All-American Road, the highest national scenic byway designation.
Huddleston Farmhouse Inn Museum Weary travelers making the diﬃcult journey westward on the National Road in the mid 19th century stopped at the Huddleston farm for meals, provisions, shelter, and feed and rest for their horses. Completed in 1841, this 22-acre farmstead has been beautifully restored by Indiana Landmarks and the house’s first floor serves as the National Interpretive Center for the Historic National Road. Open to public. 86
Directions 838 National Road, Mount Auburn Continue west 0.2m to farm and museum on the left.
Dublin Historic Marker A group of reformminded Congregational Friends held a convention here in this National Road community in 1851 and approved a platform calling for women’s rights as well as supporting temperance and abolition.
National Road/US 40
Continue west on US 40 for 1.2m to downtown Dublin. The marker is on the north side of the highway.
Turn around and go east 0.8m back into Cambridge City or go off the trail for a quick trip to Dublin.
Vintage Post Card Mural Modes of Transportation painted by Carly Mattingly and is a reproduction of a post card showing the city’s transportation history. The building is the former Danner’s 5 & 10 store that a local family started. The Indiana discount chain once had as many as 70 stores.
Directions 35 West Main St
Reverse direction and return to Cambridge City 2.0m to the northeast corner of Foote Street at Main Street. Mural is on side of building.
Take a Walk
Cambridge City Historic Tour A walking tour of Cambridge City’s many historic structures including homes, business buildings, parks, and public buildings.
Major General Solomon Meredith Marker A historic marker on US 40 tells of Meredith, the commander of the famous Iron Brigade, the only brigade of troops solely from the midwest (IN, WI, MI), at the Civil War’s Battle of Gettysburg. He returned here after the war to his farm.
Continue east on US 40, cross the Whitewater River and go two blocks to the marker on the southwest corner of Gay Street.
Oakland Farm Meredith Family The 22-room mansion, built by the town’s founder Ira Lackey in 1836 and purchased by Solomon Meredith in 1851, is the centerpiece of the farm operated by Meredith, his son and daughter-in-law, Virginia Claypool Meredith. She ran the award-winning livestock farm, was called the “Queen of Agriculture,” wrote a column for the Breeder’s Gazette, founded the University of Minnesota’s home economics department and was Purdue University’s first female trustee. Private residence.
Directions South Meredith Street
Turn right on Gay Street go one block, then left on Church Street and then right on Meredith Street. Home/farm is at the end of the street on the right.
Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway East Fork Loop - loop 1 Beginning at SR1 and U.S. 40, this 46-mile loop winds through the eastern Whitewater Valley. Travel the Old National Road east to visit Centerville then onto Richmond’s many historic districts and sights.head south on US 27 to Liberty and south on SR 101 to Brookville. This route will take you to Whitewater Memorial State Park or Brookville Lake. Whitewater
East Fork L
201 N. Woodpecker Rd., Hagerstown, IN 47346 (765) 489-4373 www.hartleyhillsgolf.com
Hartley Hills Country Club Golf Course The 9-hole course features 3,007 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 36. Designed by William H. Diddel, ASGCA, the Hartley Hills golf course opened in 1930.
Hagerstown The town of Hagerstown was platted in 1832 and early religious groups spurred the community’s growth. In 1847, the Whitewater Canal was completed from Hagerstown to Cambridge City. Later, the Big Four Railroad built on the canal’s towpath connecting the town by rail. Passenger service was discontinued in the 1920’s but freight service on the Big Four continued until 1931. The Pennsylvania railroad line from Chicago to Cincinnati also came through Hagerstown and that active line belongs to Norfolk Southern Railway. In 1895 a new Hagerstown business was organized, the Railway Cycle Manufacturing Company. Charles N. Teetor invented a “railway cycle” which became the Light Inspection Car for inspecting railroad tracks. Later the company (Teetor-Hartley Motor Company, 1914) manufactured automobile motors. It produced many engines for Indiana car makers and the Auburn was their largest customer. The company sold the motor division, but kept the growing business making piston rings. In October 1926, the name was changed to the Perfect Circle Company. It became one of the largest piston ring manufacturers in the world, eventually owned by Dana Corporation who closed the local facility in 1995. Charles N. Teetor and his brothers were leaders in the early automotive industry. C.N. Teetor’s nephew, Ralph, continued to invent new products for the company such as the Speedostat, known today as cruise control.
104 105 106
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Hagerstown Whitewater Canal Terminus Marker A stone marker, placed in 1947, designates the northern terminus of the canal. Looking south on the waterway, the feeder canal for the basin is at the foot of South Perry Street, now a factory parking lot. The feeder came oďŹ€ the Whitewater River at a southwest angle about Â˝-mile above Main Street.
Directions 407 East Main Street
Proceed north on SR 1 to SR 38. Turn left and go 0.8m west to marker on left just before the bridge.
Directions 96 1/2 East Main Street
Continue west on SR 38/Main Street for 2 blocks. Museum building is on the right.
48 East Walnut Street Go one block west and then turn left on Plum Street. Turn left onto Walnut Street and shop is on the left.
Abbott’s Candy Shop A budding hometown restaurateur, W.C. Abbott turned to butterscotch candy and launched Abbott Candy in 1890. The family continues to operate the business in a church building dated to 1851. Stop by for a sweet treat.
Perfect Circle Corporation Memorial A memorial to the founders and workers of Perfect Circle, a local automotive company with a successful 100 year run includes two pillars telling the Teetor family story beginning with bicycles and evolving to pistons and cruise control.
Hagerstown Museum and Arts Place The Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) building (c.1880) is a three-story, iron front structure, with retail on the first floor and the museum on the second floor. Originally it was an auditorium for opera, dramas, skating, dancing, and basketball. The walls of the museum are decorated with murals painted in 1913 by local artist Charles Lucien Newcomb. It also features a collection of historical artifacts related to the Perfect Circle Corporation, including a railroad pedal car and items pertaining to the Whitewater Canal. Open to public.
Did you know? Two out of Indiana’s three Historic Civil Engineering Landmarks are located in the Valley––National Road from Richmond to Dublin and the Duck Creek Aqueduct on the Whitewater Canal in Metamora.
552 South Washington St.
Reverse direction and go 2 blocks west and then turn left on Washington Street. Go 0.5m south to marker.
Continue south to Hagerstown Airport then turn left onto Scout Lake Road to see the south end of the lake.
Hagerstown Airport Built in 1957-58, the airport has one of the longest grass airstrips in use in the U.S. A local chapter of the national Experimental Aircraft Association operates here.
Scout Lake Once a canal basin, the lake was widened after its purchase in 1929 by Ralph and Nellie Teetor as a gift to the Girl Scouts. It operated as Camp Wapi-Kamigi until its closing in 1995. 96
Return to Washington Street and follow it south along the airport’s western edge or return to downtown.
Lightcroft - Teetor Home The home was built by Charles N. Teetor and included formal gardens including two ponds, a Japanese pavilion and bridge. He was an entrepreneur who rose from abject poverty, invented the inspection cycle-car for railroads and started the Perfect Circle Co. that became a Fortune 500 Company. Private residence.
Turn left onto Main Street and head west 0.2m then veer left onto Turnpike Rd. Continue west for 0.2m and the home is on the northeast corner of the intersection with Tidewater Drive. Continue on Tidewater Drive to SR 38. Turn right to see Lightcroft from the highway.
16447 SR 38 Hagerstown, IN 47346 (765)489-5753 www.eatmorestrawberries.com
Bell’s Strawberry Farm (Seasonal) Park next to the fields and grab containers from the farm. Bells will even teach novices how to get started. So come for the day to pick several flats or a single quart. You can even stop in to purchase a box of berries that are already picked.
Congratulations! You have reached the northern end of the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway’s Canal Route. We hope you enjoyed your time traveling through the Whitewater Valley. Plan to take one of the Byway’s three Loops, travel the Presidential Pathways Scenic Byway, the Historic Michigan Road Corridor or one of the three national byways. There is a lot to do in one trip, so come back again and again to experience all the Valley oﬀers. !
Food, Wine and Lodging ! ! ! ! ! ! ! along the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway Here are just some of the many places to eat in the Whitewater Valley. Find out more options at WhitewaterCanalScenicByway.org. Restaurants are listed here by town in the order the town appears on the byway and its loops. Restaurants There are numerous culinary delights throughout the Valley. From brewpubs to casual dining spots, to chocolatiers. So the choice is yours. Check on the location on your route and visit the appropriate tourism site for a complete dining guide. J’s Dairy Inn Liberty
Dearborn County (Indiana) Aurora • Lawrenceburg • Greendale Hamilton County (Ohio) North Bend • Cleves • Harrison Franklin County (Indiana) Brookvi*e • Metamora • Laurel
Fayette County (Indiana) Connersvi*e Kunkel’s Drive-In Connersville
Wayne County (Indiana) Cambridge City • Hagerstown • Centervi*e • Richmond Union County (Indiana) Liberty Butler County (Ohio) Oxford Ripley County (Indiana)
Great Crescent Brewery Aurora
Batesvi*e • Milan • Versai*es • Osgood
Wagner’s Village Inn Oldenburg
The Hearthstone Metamora
Bed and Breakfasts Philip W. Smith B&B Richmond
Herman Leive House - Aurora The Brookville Inn - Brookville The Metamora Inn - Metamora Stonebridge Inn and Spa - Batesville The Hermitage B&B - Brookville Huntington B&B - Milan Newman-Vollmar House B&B - Osgood Brookville Inn Brookville
Victorian Garden B&B Osgood Schaefer’s B&B - Sunman Thorpe House Country Inn - Metamora Lantz House Inn - Centerville Philip W. Smith B&B - Richmond
Stonebridge Inn & Spa Batesville
Martha E. Parry B&B - Richmond Girls Night Inn - Richmond Carriage Lamp B&B - Liberty Potters Wheel B&B - Richmond The Doctor’s Inn - West College Corner Maplevale Farm B&B - Oxford (OH) Metamora Inn Metamora
White Garden Inn - Oxford (OH)
Hotels and Motels There are additional hotels, motels and other lodging options so visit the counties’ tourism websites.
Timeline The Whitewater Valley’s Layers of Transportation
Canals, Early Roads, and Early Rail
Native American, Trailblazers and Pioneers Native Americans living in the Ohio Valley and Great Lakes region traversed its streams by canoe and connected their villages on well-worn paths over land. One in particular followed the Whitewater River up the valley then from the east fork to the west fork at Connersville and then cross country to major settlements in Munseetown (Muncie) or Andersontown (Anderson) both on the White River. In 1787, the U.S. Congress established the Northwest Territory in the Great Lakes region including Ohio and Indiana. William Henry Harrison, with ties to Indiana and Ohio, was named Territorial Governor, led a successful military campaign which vaulted him to the US presidency. Pioneers made their way down the Ohio River and then headed into the interior along streams such as the Whitewater River. As new settlers flooded into the territory, the Native Americans resisted ! the incursions. Little ! Turtle, the Miami ! Chief and General Anthony Wayne led their sides in battle. After several setbacks, Wayne !
and the US government prevailed resulting in the Treaty of Greenville in 1795 that opened up Ohio and a wedge of southeastern Indiana called The Gore. From there a few adventuresome souls began blazing trails over land connecting river settlements across Indiana, often following historic Indian routes. Many early Indiana trails began in the Whitewater Valley, including Whetzel’s Trace, Berry Trace, Kibbey’s Road, Quaker Trace and the Brookville-Brownstown Road. In 1811, construction on the National Road began in Cumberland, Maryland and it was completed to Vandalia, Illinois in 1838. The road reached Indiana in 1827 at Richmond and construction continued westward reaching Terre Haute in 1834. The road spurred rapid emigration to the Midwest and laid the foundation for other road-building eﬀorts.
Farm to Market and Western Migration Following the opening of the Erie Canal, canal fever
swept across the nation. In 1836, Indiana’s legislature passed the ambitious Internal Improvement Act calling for the construction of two railroads, three main roads and three canals, including the Whitewater. The Whitewater Canal’s surveys showed that to accommodate the 491 feet fall over 76-miles would require fifty-six locks, seven dams and 55
Rise of Railroads 1830s –present twelve aqueducts. Canal construction with public financing began in 1836, connecting Lawrenceburg to Brookville. Private funding constructed the canal to Connersville by 1845 and Cambridge City later that same year. Private business interests funded the canal’s extension to Hagerstown by 1847. Extensive flooding in 1847 and again in 1848 led to runaway repair expenses and ultimately the canal’s demise. Early plans called for it to connect to the White River at Muncie or Anderson, but time and money ran out on Indiana’s canals. In 1865, the president of the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad purchased the White Water Valley Canal Company and soon laid the White Water Railroad on the canal’s towpath. The Canal continued providing hydraulic power to several towns and Connersville continued using it into the early 1950s. In the 1940s, the Whitewater Canal Association was formed to save the canal around Metamora. In 1945, the state of Indiana created a state memorial which included the restoration of the Laurel
! ! Feeder Dam, and the Grist Mill, Duck Creek Aqueduct and Gordon’s Lock (#24). Many other sites and canal remnants can be found along the Byway.
Also included in the infrastructure plan was the Michigan Road. Created to connect the Ohio River and Lake Michigan, it was the state’s north-south response to the east-west National Road. The road began at Madison and headed northeast to Napoleon and the northwest to Greensburg and Indianapolis. The northern segment required negotiations with the Potawatomi Indians to get access through their lands. The road connected the future state capital city with Logansport, Rochester, Plymouth and South Bend before heading due west to Michigan City. A more direct route was not possible because it impossible to cross the Grand Kankakee Marsh in northwest Indiana. The Act also called for construction of two railroads one of which–Lawrenceburg and Indianapolis Railroad–became the state’s first chartered railroad. Completed in 1853, the line changed its name to the Indianapolis and Cincinnati Railroad and later became part of the Big Four system.
Creating and Connecting National Markets In 1832 the state of Indiana chartered the Lawrenceburg and Indiana Railroad, the state’s first railroad. By the 1850s, rail lines were springing up everywhere. President Lincoln’s inauguration and funeral trains both made stops in the Whitewater Valley and are designated by historical markers along ! the Byway. From 1860-1900, railroads expanded and consolidated into huge rail networks. Located between Cincinnati, St. Louis, Indianapolis, and Chicago, the valley was crisscrossed by the Big Four RR, Ohio and Mississippi RR, Nickel Plate, and the Panhandle. Railroads 56
Bicycles and the Good Roads Movement 1880s-1920s continued to dominate transportation until automobiles, trucks and highways pushed them aside. Railroad depots were symbols of a community’s importance. By 1920, over 1,500 depots were spread across Indiana’s landscape. Early depots were functional buildings, while laterbuilt, larger depots were more deliberately architecturally marvels, such as Richmond’s depot and Union Station terminals in Indianapolis and Cincinnati. As rail companies abandoned underperforming lines and consolidated routes, things were bound to change. In 1980, the federal Staggers Act deregulated the railroads and created opportunities for short-line railroads to step in and continue service for key industrial customers oﬀ the main lines. Short lines still operate key railroads in the region. In the mid-1970s, the non-profit Whitewater Valley Railroad was formed and began a excursion train from Connersville to Brookville on the Penn Central line. In 1983, the group purchased 18-miles of track from Connersville to Metamora and now provides regularly scheduled rides from May through October and special events including the oﬃcial “Polar Express.” In addition to its collection of engines and cars in its museum, the group has also restored the Dearborn Crossing tower and the Rushville Depot in its new park south of Connersville. Step back in time and ride the train along the old Whitewater Canal. All Aboard! !
As railroads abandoned tracks, bicycle groups jumped on an opportunity to turn rails-to-trails. One of the earliest eﬀort in Indiana was the Cardinal Greenway, reusing parts of the C&O railway from Richmond to Sweetser.
Pedaling to Prosperity In the 1880s, well before the advent of automobiles, bicycling turned people’s focus toward independent, long distance travel resulting in a desire for “good roads.” This well-organized movement pushed for public paving of roads connecting cities and towns. The goal was to aﬀord bicyclists the same privileges as those of horse-drawn vehicles. As automobiles moved to the forefront of transportation, business and user groups began promoting the building of the famous Lincoln-Highway (east-west) and Dixie Highway (north-south) In the Whitewater Valley, there were at least three bicycle companies and one bicycling club. The most famous bicycle was constructed by Charles Teetor of Hagerstown. In 1894, Teetor worked in a bicycle shop in nearby New Castle. At the request of his cousin, Charles Hartley, superintendent of the Chicago and Northwestern Railroad, he built a four-wheeled bicycle that could be used to inspect railroad tracks. Thus, the Railway Cycle Manufacturing Company was born and soon its was shipping inspection cycles all over the world. This was one of many first for the Teetor family. Come to Hagerstown and learn more about the Teetors, Teetor-Hartley Corporation and Perfect Circle Corporation.
Interurbans (electric rail)
The Automobile’s New Freedom
Automobile:Roads and Highways Part 2
Creating the First Wave of Commuters At the turn of the 20th century, electric trains , called interurbans, swept across the midwest connecting small towns and big cities alike. By 1914, Indiana’s mass transit system spanned 1,425 miles, second only to Ohio.
from horses to automobiles signaled a big change with twelve diﬀerent cars manufactured in Connersville, fourteen in Richmond, and two in Lawrenceburg. While some cars were well-known, Auburn, Cord, Lexington, McFarlan and Davis, the region was prominent in auto parts making bodies, lamps, radiators, jeeps for the military and even inventing cruise control. The region still plays a major role in the automotive industry and the legacy lives on. The automobile changed more than the mode of transportation, it changed the American landscape. People began traveling for leisure, giving rise to auto camps, parks, drive-in restaurants, auto dealers, service stations and more.
Interurbans connected Richmond east and west, and Connersville to Indianapolis. Even small-town Milton was connected to Cambridge City with a smaller passenger car called “The Dinky.” In the lower part of the Valley, trains connected Lawrenceburg and Harrison to Cincinnati through Valley Junction, a major railroad interchange. With the advent of the automobile and the freedom to go wherever and whenever, the last interurban in Indiana ceased in 1941. Today’s discussions of light rail have brought the spotlight back to a transportation legacy left behind.
Freedom to Move As the industrial revolution hit full stride, companies in Whitewater valley were making horse-drawn buggies and mechanized farm equipment. With the advent of the combustion engine, the move
Connecting, then Bypassing Following in the footsteps of bicyclists, National Auto
Trails began in 1910 as an outgrowth of the Good Roads Movement. Trails were the forerunners of today’s interstate highways connecting cities all across the country. As the Crossroads of America, eleven diﬀerent trails traveled through Indiana, including the Lincoln Highway, and the Dixie Highway, two of the earliest auto trails. Inconsistencies in building, maintenance, and support led to the creation of the U.S. Highway System in 1926. Indiana developed its own auto trails with seven trails through the Whitewater Valley with interesting names––Minute Man Highway, National Old Trails Road, French Lick Route, and the AtlanticPacific Highway. Prior to 1920, Indiana began numbering its main highways, starting with five Main Market Highways in 1917. Many of these roads became 58
New Trails 1950s-present U.S. Highways with the arrival of the national system in 1926.
The next big change came after World War II with the introduction of Interstate Highways, championed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who crossed the country with the 1919 US Army Convoy on the Lincoln Highway. Interstate highways paralleled U.S. highways and skirted cities and towns––Interstate 70 traced U.S. 40 and I-74 shadowed U.S. 52––shifting commerce and development all across the nation.
Seeking Spaces and Places With the creation of state and national parks to protect natural areas, people began to travel from place to place seeking new experiences. These parks created trail systems to let visitors explore the wonders of these natural spaces. The first park in the region, Versailles State Park, began as a federal project during the Great Depression and was built by the Civilian Conservation Corps. The Whitewater Memorial State Park, near Liberty, was established as a living memorial to to the men and !
women who served in World War II. In the 1970s, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers dammed up the East Fork of the Whitewater River as a flood control project resulting in Brookville Lake and its undeveloped shorelines. Beyond the parks, trails advocates have created other systems in the region––Whitewater Gorge Trail, Richmond; Smalley Lake, Connersville; Whitewater Canal Trail, Metamora/Brookville; and the AuroraLawrenceburg Trail. Other nature sites have shorter trails as well. Cycling groups have been developing trails on abandoned railroads-Cardinal Greenway–– and creating designated bike routes on highways and back roads in the valley, such as the Vatican Ride through Franklin County. Canoeing, and subsequently kayaking, has been a part of the valley since the Native Americans lived here. Running the river is still a very popular activity on the Whitewater River. Unoﬃcial driving trails, such as the Vatican Ride (bike trail) and the Chicken Trail, respectively, are the latest addition to the Whitewater Valley’s extensive trail system.
Reconnecting Communities––Creating Experiences Established by Congress in 1991 to preserve and protect the nation's scenic roads and promote tourism and economic development, the National Scenic 59
Scenic Byways 1991-present Byway program recognizes roads for their archeological, cultural, historic, natural, recreational, and/or scenic qualities. The program is administered by the Federal Highway Administration along with state transportation departments. There are five state or national byways in parts of the Whitewater Valley. At a glance... The Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway with its 78-mile Canal Route and three Byway Loops. The National Road Scenic Byway which roughly follows U.S. 40 from Maryland to Illinois, entering Indiana at Richmond. It is an AllAmerican Road, the nation’s highest designation. The Ohio River Scenic Byway is a national scenic byway following the river through Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. Indiana’s Historic Pathways Scenic Byway is a national scenic byway that traverses southern Indiana following US 50 and US 150 from the Ohio River to historic Vincennes on the Wabash River. The Presidential Pathways Scenic Byway is a state byway that parallels the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway in southwestern Ohio and celebrates the the legacy of two U.S. presidents. The historic Michigan Road, Indiana’s first north-south “highway” from Madison to Michigan City, is initiating byway designation. It travels through Ripley County––part of the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway Association–– and is spotlighted in this guide. !
Photograph and History Acknowledgements Phillip Anderson Paul Baudendistel Big Oaks Wildlife Refuge Brookville Inn Cardinal Greenway Coachbuilt.com Connersville Parks and Recreation Cope Environmental Center Dearborn County Convention and Visitors Bureau Lawrenceburg Public Library District Dougherty Orchards Eklund’s Crazy Acres Ertel Cellars Winery Fayette County Government Franklin County Convention, Recreation & Visitors Commission Franklin County Government Gennett Mansion Ghyslain Chocolate Cafe Great Crescent Brewery Jim Grey Town of Hagerstown Bob Hansen Haspin Acres Hayes Arboretum Hermitage B&B Hillforest Mansion Historical Marker Database (www.hmdb.org) Indiana Audubon Society Indiana Department of Natural Resources Indiana Historical Bureau Indiana Landmarks J’s Dairy Inn Kent’s Harbor Lee Lewellen Sharon Lutz MacDuﬀe Family Phyllis and Jerry Mattheis Metamora Inn Milan ’54 Museum Oxbow, Inc. Philip W. Smith B&B Presidential Pathways Scenic Byway James Resh Richmond/Wayne County Convention and Tourism Bureau Ripley County Government Ripley County Tourism Bureau Inezeta Stiver Stonebridge Inn and Spa Dan Tate (http://dantate.featuredblog.com/) Wayne County Historical Society Emmett Vaughan Wagner’s Village Inn Whitewater Canal Byway Association Whitewater Valley Railroad Ron Yurcak
Thanks This guide book was prepared by Phillip Anderson, ReThink! as a consultant to the Whitewater Canal Byway Association. The project was funded by a Historic Preservation Education Grant from Indiana Humanities and Indiana Landmarks. We would like to thank all those who provided photographs, site entries, and historical information. Also thanks to the community leaders who reviewed the document: Charles Whiting, Dearborn County; Bob Hansen, Fayette County; Candy Yurcak, Paul Baudendistel, Terry DuďŹ€y, and Gail Ginther, Franklin County; Duane Nickels, Union County; Mary Walker, Phyllis and Jerry Mattheis, and Bob Hansen, Wayne County; Sharon Lutz, Hamilton County; and Bonita Porter, Butler County.
We hope this guide provided the road map to an exciting adventure for all those who visited the Whitewater Valley. We invite you to come again to experience the changing seasons and the vibrant culture in this beautiful are of southeastern Indiana and southwestern Ohio.
The Whitewater Canal Byway Association is a nonprofit organization working in collaboration with all stakeholders to promote the Whitewater region and its history as a unique and valuable asset, the development of which will serve to enhance the economic vitality of the region and the quality of life for current and future generations.
Published on May 22, 2012
A turn-by-turn four-color driving guide to the Canal Route which traces the historic canal, railroad, and highways through the picturesque W...