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
OldenburgBatesville Loop Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway Loop 2 This 35-mile loop will take you through the hills and valleys that look much like they did when the white settlers arrived. Youâ€™ll see charming towns linked to their religious and German heritage. Itâ€™s a great opportunity to roll down the windows, slow down, and explore the natural Valley.
atesville Loo p
Oldenburg Inset 11
Batesvi$e Inset LF EW
14 9 IL
Directions 3127 State Road 229
From Whitewater Valley Gateway Park in Metamora, take US 52 west 2.3m to SR 229, turn left(s) and go 7.9m to Michaela Farm.
Base Map Image %om Google Maps
Sisters Cow Barn and Michaela Farm Michaela Farm is a farm renewal eďŹ€ort of the Oldenburg Franciscans, serving as a center for natural farming practices, environmental education, and spiritual renewal. The farm has gone through many changes since its founding in 1854. The landmark brick barn was built in 1907-1909. Shop open public, tours by appointment. 7
Oldenburg Settled by Irish in 1817, the town was oﬃcially platted in 1837 by German speculators who named it for the northern Germany province. Taking on its German flavor with the inmigration of German Catholics from Cincinnati, the town preserves its religious, cultural, and architectural heritage. Oldenburg is called the “Village of the Spires” because of its churches and religious institutions. Drive along the “strasses” (streets), visit the Franciscan sisters’ farm, the church building, and eat at the local restaurants. Come back the third week of July and celebrate FreudenFest.
Food and Wine
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Base Map Image %om Google Maps !
Immaculate Conception Convent The present motherhouse of the Sisters of the Third Order of St. Francis was built in 1901 and the Chapel of the Immaculate Conception, next door, dates from 1891. Their Oldenburg Academy for girls was founded in 1885. Tours by appointment.
Directions 22143 Main Street
Continue winding south and west 1.0m on SR 229. The convent is on the right.
Directions 3027 Pearl Street
Head west on Main Street then turn right onto Pearl Street. Church is on the right.
Reverse direction. Go to the north end of Pearl Street.
Holy Family Church The parish was founded in 1837. This is the third structure to serve this parish, this beautiful brick church was constructed in 1861 with a steeple rising 187 feet above the surrounding valley.
Holy Family Cemetery/ Immaculate Conception Convent Cemetery The convent cemetery on the east side is distinguished by its rows of simple white stone crosses and fieldstone chapel. The parish cemetery on the west side is noted for its unusual iron grave markers.
Directions South Pearl Street Return from the Cemetery on Pearl Street to SR 229/Main Street. Continue 1/2 block, building and marker are on the right.
Oldenburg Town hall A historical marker in front of the town hall tells of many milestones in the townâ€™s history. While platted in 1837, the town was incorporated in 1869. The cornerstone of the town hall was laid in 1878 on George Washingtonâ€™s birthday, February 22.
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. Both trails begin in Oldenburg. Trail 1 showcases Oldenburg, Enochsburg, and Hamburg. Trail 2 sends bikers to churches in Oldenburg, St. Peter’s, Cedar Grove, Brookville, and two country churches. Click here for an online map of the two bike trails.
Batesville When the Indianapolis-Lawrenceburg railroad cut through northern Ripley County, the town of Batesville was born. The enormous stock of timber in the area attracted buyers and craftsmen, mostly Germans from Cincinnati, and they began Batesville’s primary industry of woodworking. Around 1900, there were six furniture factories, two coﬃn and casket plants, two sawmills, a door and sash company, and a novelty works. Today, Batesville is home to Hillenbrand Industries’ Batesville Casket Company, Hill-Rom (medical technologies), and Sherman House, a legendary Indiana restaurant since 1852.
22087 Pocket Road Batesville, IN 47006 (812) 934-6348 www.cricketridge.com
Food and Wine
Cricket Ridge Golf Course The 9-hole course features 2,789 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 35. Cricket Ridge Golf Course opened in 1990.
Base Map Image %om Google Maps
Sherman House Restaurant and Inn One of the stateâ€™s oldest dining establishments, it has been a restaurant and lodging destination since 1852. Ideal for a weekend getaway, the Sherman House continues to be a crossroads meeting place for friends and families. 7
Continue south on SR 229, cross I-74 and continue 0.7m on Walnut Street/SR 229 to Boehringer Street, turn left, then right on Main Street. Two blocks on left.
Directions 3 West George Street
Go south on Main Street to end of block and PO is on the corner.
Directions 35 S. Main Street
Batesville Post Office Mural The mural, Building the Industrial Foundation of Batesvi$e, was painted by Orville Carroll in 1938 as part of the Public Works of Art Project during the Great Depression.
Directions 15 West George St.
To Historical Society, turn right onto George Street and go one block. Building is on the left.
3794 E. CR 1100 North Batesville, IN 47006 812-933-1500
Batesville Historic Downtown Take a drive through Batesville’s charming downtown. Stop at the Batesville Area Historical Society to learn more about the area’s German history and industrial heritage.
Ertel Cellars Winery A family winery, located on 200 acres in the rolling hillsides of Ripley County, began growing grapes in 1999 and then opened for itself in 2006. The winery produces seven varieties of grapes and its oﬀerings include a tasting bar, lounge, restaurant and wine market.
Stagecoach Inn This Greek Revival brick home just east of the village of Morris provided food and lodging to weary travelers. It was also a safe house for travelers on the Underground Railroad. See the historical marker in the front yard. Private residence. IL
13137 North Spades Road Sunman, IN 47041-9167 (812) 623-4653
Directions East SR 46, Morris
Return to intersection of SR 229 and SR 46. Turn east onto SR 46 and proceed 4.3m, through Morris, and the home is on the left.
Indian Lakes Golf Course The 9-hole course at the Indian Lakes in Sunman, Indiana features 3,051 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 36. Designed by Robert Renault, the Indian Lakes golf course opened in 1986. 12
Penntown Historic Marker Originally platted in 1837 as Pennsylvaniaburg and later changed to Penntown. A marker at one of the settlement’s churches tells the community’s history.
Oﬀ-the-Trail (north) 17440 St. Mary’s Road Batesvi$e
Turn left at SR 101, cross I-74 and then veer left onto St. Mary’s Road for 4.9m. The road becomes Sunman Road then St. Mary’s Road again to the church.
Continue on St. Mary’s Road for 2.7m to its intersection with Castle Road. Marker is on the right. Continue 3.2m to Brookville or return to SR 46.
Penntown Continue east on SR 46 for 3.0m to SR 101. Turn right and go 0.1m then angle left onto CR 1300 N. Go to next intersection, church, cemetery and sign are on the northeast corner.
St. Mary-of-the-Rock Church Established in 1844 in this cradle of German Catholics, the church is one of the stops on the Vatican Ride bicycle route created by the Franklin County Convention, Recreation, and Visitors Commission.
SS Philomena and Cecilia Church Established in 1844, along with the tiny village of Oak Forest. This church is also a stop on Franklin County Tourism’s Vatican Bike Ride.
Oﬀ-the-Trail (north) 16194 St. Mary’s Road Brookvi$e
Continue north on St. Mary’s Road as it winds 3.4 miles to the church.
Intersection of Treaty Lines Marker A historical marker denotes the intersection of boundary lines of two major treaties – Treaty of Greenville and the Treaty of Grouseland – between the U.S. Government and the Native American tribes leading further settlement in Indiana.
St. Leon Pole Raising Marker A historical marker marks the site and tells the story of the political “pole-raising” performed during every presidential election since 1892.
Continue on SR 46 from SR 101 to SR 1 (7.7m) turn left on SR 1 and go 0.5m to St. Leon.
Lobenstein’s Farm Home to one of Southeastern Indiana’s largest pumpkin festivals, the annual event is held the first three weekends in October and draws about 30,000 people. Visitors are able to pick their own pumpkins from the field, enjoy hayrides, craft booths, and a petting zoo. For more information, call 812-576-3177.
29703 Post Road St. Leon, IN 47032 (812) 576-3177 Learn more...
Country View Golf Course The 18-hole course features 5,625 yards of golf from the longest tees for a par of 72 . Designed by Terry Zimmer, the Country View golf course opened in 1999.
7211 Hyland Rd Guilford, IN 47022-9709 (812) 576-5000
Almost finished... Continue north on SR 1 for 5.1m to its intersection with US 52. This completes the Oldenburg-Batesville Loop. You are now rejoining the Whitewater Canal Scenic Byway’s Canal Route. From here you can turn left and return to Brookville or turn right and head south to Lawrenceburg.
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