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
Historic Michigan Road
Indiana’s First State Highway
An extended route into the far western reaches of the region, this 107-mile journey takes you on US 50, an early coast-tocoast highway and then oﬀ onto the winding Chief White Eye Valley Trail all before arriving at the Historic Michigan Road. The state’s early leaders decided to build a north-south road to complement the east-west National Road. The 270-mile Michigan Road begins in Madison then heads to Greensburg before turning northwest toward Indianapolis and onto Michigan City. Over the years, highways have altered its original route, so take this trip and travel the early route or stay on US 421 to Versailles and Osgood then rejoin the road in Napoleon. Base Map Image #om Google Maps
Getting to The Historic Michigan Road
Take US 50 west to Dillsboro and then onto SR 262 then right onto SR 62. Take this scenic highway 27.7m to its split with SR 250. Take SR 250 2.3m to Michigan Road.
Base Map Image #om Google Maps 3 4
- - - - US 421 Route
•••• Byway-Michigan Road Connector
Big Oaks Wildlife Refuge The 50,000-acre refuge, the largest in Indiana, includes parts of three counties. as In its original use as the Jeﬀerson Proving Ground from the 1940s to 1995, it served as a munitions testing facility for the US military. The Indiana Air National Guard still uses 1,000 acres at the site. The wildlife refuge property is available for hunting, fishing, wildlife observation, and photography. Admission charged.
Turn left (s) on US 421 and go 0.3m to Big Oaks entrance. Follow brown visitors signs to the Park Office.
Two ways to go... From Big Oaks, go north on US 421 6.3m to its intersection with South Old Michigan Road. The original road runs north to Napoleon. An alternate route goes off-the-trail and follows US 421 into Versailles and onto Osgood before reconnecting with Michigan Road in Napoleon. !
Directions 2 From US 421 proceed north 6.0m on Old Michigan Road through New Marion and the pillar is on the right side of the road.
Continue north on Old Michigan Road for 4.5m to intersection with US 50. Marker is on southeast corner.
Michigan Road Historic Marker Begun in 1832, as Indiana’s north-south complement to the National Road, it ran from Madison to Michigan City and opened up central and northern Indiana to future settlement.
Continue north on Old Michigan Road for 9.2m to Napoleon.
First Ripley County Circuit Court This stone pillar marks the site of the county’s first court was convened in 1818 at Benjamin Brown’s house. This stone pillar was placed by the Ripley County Historical Society in 1922. A county historical marker in located in New Marion.
US 421 Route
From the US 421 intersection with Old Michigan Road, proceed north on US 421 7.0m to the village of Correct. the
US Coast & Geodetic Survey Marker A national survey initiated by President Jeﬀerson, placed markers throughout the country creating a national coordinate system to assist in communication, transportation, mapping, and scientific applications.
Pine Hills Golf Course The 9-hole course near Holton, Indiana features all the hallmarks of Indiana golf. Designed by Robert Kimball, the Pine Hills golf course opened in 1991.
PH Recreation 3206 W US Highway 50 Holton, IN 47023-9206 United States P: (812) 689-3533 http://www.pinehillsholton.com
marker is on the southeast corner of the CR 450 S crossroads.
Versailles Laid out in 1818, it was named for the famous French city and its palace. It sits at the intersection of the east-west Cincinnati-St. Louis highway (U.S. 50) and the north-south Michigan Road (U.S. 421). Morganâ€™s confederate troops sped through here on its famous Civil War raid. Visit Versailles State Park, drive by Tyson Auditorium and learn of the Tyson family ties to Walgreenâ€™s Drug Stores.
Outdoor Transportation Food and Wine Recreation History
7 10 8
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
US 421 Route 1387 E US Highway 50 Versai%es Turn right on US 50 and go east 6.7m to the Park entrance.
Versailles State Park Take a drive through the beautiful rolling hills of southeastern Indiana to Indiana’s second-largest state park. Morgan’s Raiders made its Civil War journey through these lands. You can hike, ride horseback, or enjoy its mountain bike trails. Or, just laze around the 230-acre lake created by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Visit the Busching Covered Bridge over Laughery Creek. Admission charged.
Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) Memorial At the entrance to Versailles State Park is a memorial honoring the young men of the CCC from 1933 to 1942. The National Park Service purchased the land and hired the CCC to convert it into a Recreational Demonstration Area. The CCC built roads, bridges, buildings, planted trees and more. The property joined the state park system in 1943.
Did you know? Ripley County Courthouse Constructed during the Civil War, a remodeled twice, the building’s clock tower was a memorial to local leader Charles Grether. The courthouse lawn has several markers explaining the town’s occupation by General John Morgan and his Confederate Raiders in July, 1863. 7
The National Muzzle Loading Rifle Association hosts its annual Spring National in June and the National Championship in September in Friendship, Indiana just south of Versailles. Shooters from around the world compete in muzzleloading rifle, pistol, shotgun, musket, bench and slug guns, as well as tomahawk and knife throwing.
US 421 Route 115 N Main St
Return to Versailles on US 50. Turn right onto Main Street and go the courthouse square.
Underground RR Trails Spend a day,or two, traveling the countryside and learning about the history of the Underground Railroad through Ripley County. Five driving tours are outlined in a free booklet that you can follow, mile by mile. 9
US 421 Route
Go south on Main Street 1 block to Tyson Street, turn right (west) and go 2 blocks to the church on the right. For other structures, visit the tourism office.
Did you know? Infamous Confederate General John Hunt Morgan was a Freemason. During his raid through Versailles, Indiana, his troops stole several oﬃcers’ jewels items from the Masonic Lodge. Morgan required his men to return the property. A historic marker on the courthouse square gives more details.
US 421 Route
Information is available at the Ripley County Tourism Bureau and Ripley County Historical Society, both on the Courthouse Square in Versailles.
Downtown Versailles – Tyson Legacy “Uncle Jim” Tyson, born in Versailles, was a co-founder of Walgreen’s drug stores chain and he gifted the town with a large block of stock. He endowed the Methodist Church, library, the waterworks, the gymnasium/ auditorium, and a school, all with a distinctive architectural style that sets them apart from comparable towns.
US 421 Route
Reverse direction on Tyson Street and take it back to its intersection with Main Street. It’s on the southeast corner of the Courthouse square.
Historic Yellow Dog Tavern Built circa 1820, two years after the town was founded. Locally-made, wood-mold bricks were used to create its 12" thick support walls. The two-story building has always served as a hotel and tavern (rest stop) for travelers and local folks alike. Today, it operates as a local restaurant. 11
From Versailles to Napoleon 16 15 14
13 12 11
- - - - US 421 Route
Base Map Image #om Google Maps
By Hoosier Hands Indiana Artisan Trail Self-directed art trails through the rolling hills and river towns in seven counties in southeastern Indiana. Choose between the CliďŹ€s and Valley Trail, Canal and Rivers Trail, Towers and Spires Trail, and Forests and Farms Trail.
US 421 Route Osgood North of Versailles on the Michigan Road, Osgood gained favor when the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad cut an eastwest route through the town. Donâ€™t miss Damm Theatre and other landmarks.
US 421 Route
From US 421 turn left at Ripley Street, pass the library turn right at Walnut Street. The marker is just south of the RR tracks.
Return to US 50 and go west to US 421 North and proceed 4.2m into Osgood.
Ohio and Mississippi RR Marker Completed from Cincinnati to St. Louis in 1857, The railroad was supported locally by the town and was home to a depot, freight house, engine house, turntable, stock pens and sidings. The marker tells more. 12
King Steam Car Origins
In 1897, Henry King, owner of the Osgood Foundry and Machine Shop, and his assistant built the King Steam Car featuring rear drum brakes and pinion steering. Kingâ€™s home with the mansard roof still stands and a historical marker in the yard tells more. Private residence. US 421 Route
117 North Buckeye Street Retrace route to US 421 and turn left (north) and go one-half block. Theatre on the left, Damm Building on right.
US 421 Route
Cross the tracks, turn left onto Railroad Avenue. Go two blocks then turn right onto Sycamore Street. House is in the first block on the left.
Damm Building & Damm Theatre Louis Damm Building - Originally a bakery, the family opened a movie theatre in 1914. The 400-seat Damm Theatre was built across the street in 1921 and still operates today.
Town of Napoleon
Platted in 1820, Napoleon became a key stop on an early stagecoach route connecting Cincinnati to Indianapolis. There are several historic buildings including an old flour mill, an early bank building and brick homes.
Ye Olde Central House
A local preservation group seeks to preserve, maintain and operate the building for performing arts and arts education in the region. The 1838 Federal style structure once served as the Drover’s Inn and tavern on an early stagecoach route.
Railroad House Hotel
8961 N Us 421, Napoleon
A marker on the side of the presentday restaurant, Bonaparte’s Retreat, tells of this building’s significance to the Underground Railroad and of the town’s role of hosting the Free Soil Party convention in 1851.
Continue north on US 421 for 5.7m to Napoleon. The building is located on the left side of US 421 just north of Main Street/ SR 229.
Berry Trace Historic Marker An early pioneer road that started in Napoleon and ran west to the Flat Rock River north into central Indiana. Napoleon is the last stop on the Michigan Road before it turns toward Greensburg and Indianapolis.
Directions Corner of US 421 and Wilson Street, Napoleon Proceed one block north and the marker is on the northeast corner.
Directions 8961 N Us 421, Napoleon
Continue north on US 421 for 5.7m to Napoleon. The building is located on the left side of US 421 just north of Main Street/ SR 229.
Back to the Byway or Follow the Michigan Road You have completed our section of the Historic Michigan Road. Head back to Batesville or Lawrenceburg to hop back on the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway or continue on US 421 (Michigan Road) to Greensburg and follow its journey through Indiana. To return to the Byway, take SR 48 east to SR 229 north to Batesville or remain on SR 48 to Lawrenceburg. Or, head northwest on Old Michigan Road for a scenic trip into central Indiana.
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 17
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 18
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 20
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 21
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.
Whitewater Canal Byway Association P.O. Box 75 Metamora, IN 47030 www.whitewatercanalscenicbyway.org
Published on May 18, 2012
A turn-by-turn four-color driving guide to the Historic Michigan Road through Ripley County, Indiana. Michigan Road is one of three scenic...