Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ripley County Driving Trail

http://mossyfeetbooks.blogspot.com/2016/01/exploring-indianas-historic-sites.html
Exploring Indiana's Historic Sites,
Markers & Museums -
South East Edition
The Ripley County Driving Trail takes the visitor past most of the important historical sites in Ripley County, Versailles State Park, two covered bridges and some spots on Morgans Raid. There are plenty of places to stop for a bite to eat and rest, as Versailles, Osgood, Napoleon and Batesville all have some fantastic local restaurants. Have fun and enjoy the tour.
Ripley County Court House - Versailles, IN
Ripley County Court House - Versailles, IN

Begin at the Ripley County Court House across the street from the Ripley County Historical Society and set your trip odometer at zero. The beginning point is on Washington Street. Facing the court house turn left (north) and proceed towards the next street which is First North Street, turn right on First North Street. The street enters Cliff Hill Cemetery after passing the County Jail.
Cliff Hill Cemetery - Gordon's Leap
Cliff Hill Cemetery - 
Gordon's Leap
Gordon's Leap
 This is the site of Gordon’s Leap. There is a marker as you pass through the stone arch on the asphalt drive. Turn left onto the gravel drive. If you walk towards the fence, you will see the cliff from which Glass leaped. There is also a great view of Versailles Lake and Versailles State Park below.









Continue around, you will exit on 2nd North Street. Turn right on 2nd North Street.
Continue on, crossing Monroe Street, Main Street. The next street is Washington Street. Turn Left.
You will cross First North Street, Tyson and Water. The next street is Perry. Turn left.
Perry Street becomes County Road 25 South.
Bushing Covered Bridge
Bushing Covered Bridge
MM 1.8 This road crosses the Bushing Covered Bridge. When you exit the bridge, Versailles State Park is on your left.
Turn right as you exit the bridge.
You will come to US Route 50. Turn left, and then a quick right onto Cave Hill Road.
Cave Hill Road will make a sharp right hand turn and a sharp left hand turn. On this section of Cave Hill Road you are driving through Versailles State Park on both sides of the road until you turn east at the second elbow. About two miles from US Route 50 Cave Hill Road turns right and County Road 200 S goes straight. Stay on Cave Hill Road.
Laughery Creek - Cave Hill Road - Friendship, IN
Laughery Creek - Cave Hill Road - Friendship, IN
Continue south on Cave Hill Road. Please note that this is a narrow, winding county road. It is paved. If there have been heavy rains, the road may be flooded in portions as it follows very close to Laughery Creek. It is a very pretty drive through the hills and hollows of the Laughery Valley, so it is worth the trip.
MM 8.5 Cave Hill turns right. You will want to cross the one lane concrete bridge.
Concrete Bridge - Cave Hill Road
Concrete Bridge - Cave Hill Road


MM 8.7 you will cross Laughery Creek again on a steel truss bridge.
MM 12.3 Cave Hill Road ends at Indiana State Road 62 just west of Friendship, Indiana.
Turn left on State Road 62 and drive through Friendship.
Friendship, IN
Friendship, IN
 Main Street/Indiana State Road 62 intersects Lincoln Street at a “T”. To continue tour, turn left.
*Note – The national headquarters of the National Muzzle Loaders Association is to the right and is visible from SR 62 about a half mile to the east. If you deviate, note your mileage so you can correct it.
From Lincoln Street, turn left on Hamlin Street that is the next street.
From Hamlin Street turn right on Main Street and continue west on Main Street/Indiana State Road 62.
MM 17.0 You will next intersect Indiana State Road 129.
To return to Versailles turn right. To continue the tour, continue straight ahead on County Road 800S.
County Road 800 S is straight, but it passes through hilly terrain.
MM 23.7 Intersect US Route 421.
If you wish to return to Versailles, turn right. To continue the tour turn left on US 421.
MM 26.3 Continue on US Route 421 until you reach Michigan Road. Turn right on Michigan Road.
Morgan's Raid, Ripley County
Morgan's Raid, Ripley County

There is an informational area here on the left pertaining to Morgan's Raid in Indiana and there is an informational kiosk about Big Oak Nature Preserve.
Continue north on Michigan Road. This is one of the oldest roads in Indiana, built in the early 1800's to connect Madison, Indiana with Michigan City. US Route 421 follows some of the route of this early highway, but this section along Big Oaks National Wildlife Refuge follows the original route of this early, historic road.
MM 32.6. There is a historical marker about the Circuit Court here
Intersect US Route 50. MM 36.8 if you wish to return to Versailles, turn right. To continue the tour, turn left.
MM 38.3. When you enter Holton, Indiana US Route 50 bends slightly to the left at Versailles Street. Turn right onto Versailles Street.
MM 38.8 Holton Historical Marker at the railroad tracks.
MM 39.3 Turn right on Derrick Street. This road becomes 700 W.

Otter Creek Bridge - Holton, Indiana
Otter Creek Bridge - Holton, Indiana
MM 40.6 700 W passes the Otter Creek Covered Bridge.
There is also a marker here for the Underground Railroad, Flat Rock Route, stop 2. This bridge and road was the road fugitive slaves traveled along this route aided by Ripley County residents as they fled slavery.
MM - 42.2 Intersect Hopewell Road.
Turn right onto Hopewell Road.
MM - 46.1 You will cross Michigan Road.
This is a somewhat confusing intersection. It branches at the railroad tracks and has two intersections with Michigan Road just a few feet apart. You will want to bear right and cross the railroad tracks. Turn right on Michigan Road, then a very quick left turn onto Hopewell Road. Hopewell has no marker.
MM - 50.2 Continue on until you intersect US Route 421
Turn left on US 421.
The next town is Osgood Indiana and there are a few interesting points here.
As you pass through the center of town, the historic Damm Theatre is on the left.
MM - 54.1 When you cross the railroad tracks you will reach the intersection with Indiana State Road 350.
Turn right.
MM - 54.3 When the highway curves to the left you will have reached the intersection with Fairgrounds Road.
Turn right onto Fairground Road. Just before the railroad bridge are two historical markers on the left about the Underground Railroad.
As you pass through the bridge the remaining section of the Fugitive Road is still visible to the right on the east side of the bridge.
Fugitive Road - Osgood, IN
Fugitive Road - Osgood, IN

MM - 54.5 John Harrison Craven House on right.
The house is on Harlan Street and it is a private residence not open to the public.
MM - 56.3 Proceed east on Fairground Road until you cross the intersection with CR Road 25E.
Left turn.
MM - 57.5 Next is the intersection with Indiana State Road 350.
To the right just before the bridge is the approximate location of one of the points on the Morgan's Raiders tour. Just about one quarter mile further east on State Road 350 is where the little town called Laughery Switch was located. Morgan stopped here and after a very brief encounter with local militia, made some of the local men push some of the railroad cars off the tracks and into a ravine. There was also an attempt to destroy the railroad tracks. Morgan moved on after the episode. There is a small pull off at the spot just before the bridge, but no marker. This is a dangerous spot to pull over, as the highway is busy and there is no safe way to turn around and continue the tour. It is best to turn left and continue the tour back towards Osgood on Indiana State Road 350.
MM - 59.7 Indiana State Road 350 intersects US Route 421.
Turn right.
It is about five miles to the next town, Napoleon.
MM - 65.1 Proceed into Napoleon on US 421. Just past the firehouse, you will see Jackson Street.
Turn right.
MM - 65.2 Proceed to Versailles Street.
Turn left.
Cross Indiana State Road 229. (Main Street)
MM - 65.3 Turn left on Wilson Street.
On the right as you approach US 421 you will note a large brick home on the right. There is a historical marker on the left for this home and another for Berry's Trace.
 This home was an instrumental part of the Underground Railroad, connected to other buildings in the town by an underground tunnel system. This is a private residence, so please do not trespass.
MM - 65.4 At the intersection with US Route 421, turn left.

Bonaparte's Retreat - Napoleon, IN
Bonaparte's Retreat - Napoleon, IN
On the right is Bonaparte's Retreat. The name in the early 1800's was the Railroad Inn, an obvious reference to its illegal activity, as there was no railroad in Napoleon. This old building was a part of the Underground Railroad. The cellar had hidden rooms and was connected to the house on the corner of Wilson Street and US 421 (Michigan Road in those times) by a tunnel running under the road. The restored old house is still standing. Note - It is a private home, not open to the public. Bonaparte's is open and is a great place to stop for lunch. Members of the staff may give impromptu tours of the basement where the secreted slaves hid during their long flight upon request.
65.5 From Bonapartes, turn left onto Indiana State Road 229. MM -
At the intersection of Indiana State Road 229 and Indiana State Road, take Indiana State Road 48. This is actually going straight at this intersection. MM -
MM - 72.3 Indiana State Road 48 intersects Indiana State Road 129.
Turn left on Indiana State Road 129. The next town, Batesville, is about eight miles north.
MM - 75.2 At County Road 1200 North you will see a sign pointing to Ripley County's only active winery, Ertles. It is about two miles east from the highway.
Ertles Winery - Batesville, IN
Ertles Winery - Batesville, IN

MM - 79.0 Indiana State Road 129 intersects Indiana State Road 46
Turn left at the stop light.
79.3 The next stop light is at East Pearl Street. MM -
Turn left on Pearl
MM – 80 At the corner of Eastern and East Pearl is Ripley County's only brewpub, Little Charlies.
Just across the street is Romweber’s Market.
MM - 80.1 Continue on to the intersection of East Pearl and Park Avenue.
Turn left.
MM - 80.2 The next intersection is George Street. Turn right on George.
Cross Main Street and then cross Walnut.

Batesville Area Historical Society
Batesville Area Historical Society
MM - 80.4 The Batesville Area Historical Society Museum is on the left.
MM - 80.5 Continue on to the intersection with Mulberry Street.
Turn left.
Proceed across RR tracks. This is the intersection of State Road 229, which becomes Main Street, and Mulberry Street. Across the tracks State Road 229 turns right, Central Avenue turns left. Go straight and you will be on Mulberry Street. Parking for Brum Woods is immediately on the right.
MM - 81.3 From the parking area, turn around and turn right on Central Ave and drive to the intersection with Park Ave.
Liberty Park is on the right.

Liberty Park - Batesville, IN
Liberty Park - Batesville, IN
Turn left on Park Ave.
MM - 81.7 Continue on Park until you reach the intersection of Boehringer Street.
Turn left.
MM - 81.9 At the corner of Boehringer and Main the historic Gibson Theatre is on the right. Go one more block to Walnut Street.
Turn right.
MM - 82.4 Continue on Walnut/Indiana State Road 229 until you reach Indiana State Road 46, at the traffic light.
Turn right on Indiana State Road 46.
MM - 89.5 Continue east on Indiana State Road 46 until you reach the intersection of Indiana State Road 101.
Turn Right on Indiana State Road 101.
Pass through the town of Sunman
MM - 94.3 About .8 miles south of Sunman you will see St. Paul's Church on the right. The Cemetery is on the left.
St. Paul's Cemetery - Morgan's Raid - Ripley County
St. Paul's Cemetery - Morgan's Raid - Ripley County

County Rd 900 N Morgan's Camp in St Paul's Cemetery
This is a stop on the Morgan's Raiders tour. Morgan's Raiders camped in the field, now occupied by the cemetery.
Morgan set up headquarters in the house just across County Road 900N at its intersection with Indiana State Road 101.
MM - 95.3 Continue on to the Intersection with Indiana State Road 48.
Cross Indiana State Road 48 on Indiana State Road 101
Pilgrim Old Regular Church
Pilgrim Old Regular Church
 MM - 96.6 Pilgrim Old Regular Church
In the early 1800's this church was the Franklin Freewill Baptist Church whose members were active in the Underground Railroad in Ripley County.
MM - 99.8 Intersect Old Milan Road, turn right on the Old Milan Road.
MM – Underground Railroad Stop 5 is at the intersection of Chapel Street in Old Milan. Tour stop 5 marks the Old Milan Road, called the Aurora Road during the time that the Underground Railroad was in operation. It travels from Old Milan to Lookout on Indiana State Road 129. In the mid 1850's the road continued on east to Aurora, Indiana, which is on the Ohio River. The slaves fled across the river to Aurora and members of the Underground Railroad conducted them along this road to the interior of Indiana on their northward flight to freedom.
Just before intersection of Chapel Street and Berlin Street in Old Milan, Underground Railroad Stop 4 on right.
Tour Stop 4 marks the spot where the Milan Freewill Baptist Church stood, an active anti-slavery church at the time. The state of Kentucky had a reward out for the minister, Reverend Charles Ide for his anti-slave activities. Turn left on Berlin Street.
Intersect SR 101 – Go straight across onto the Old Milan Road.
Underground Railroad Stops 2 and 3 are on right at the intersection of Old Milan road and Indiana State Road 101.

Tour Stop 3 indicates the old road, now the Old Milan Road, was the route runaway slaves came from Manchester Station, Rising Sun and Aurora to the east.
Stephen Harding Home
Stephen Harding Home

Tour Stop 2 is the Stephen Harding Home, called Red Gate. It was Station 7 on the Underground Railroad. Runaway slaves came in at night in wagons with hay or straw piled loosely over them. The house is across the road. Quartered in the attic, these former slaves slept on beds that allowed them to sleep in some comfort. A narrow passageway led to the attic from the basement. The conductors provided meals to the runaways before sending them along to the next stop. This station operated from the late 1830's until 1863.
101.5 MM  Intersect SR 350, turn left on the highway.
101.6 MM  Intersect Country Club Drive, turn right onto Country Club Drive.
Pass Golf Course
102.4 MM   Intersect Carr St, RT
103.4 MM Intersect Indiana State Road 101. Left Turn
108.4 MM Intersect US Route 50. Right Turn
Continue west on US Route 50 past Versailles State Park.
115.3 MM After you enter Versailles the Ripley County Visitors Center is on the left.
115.5 MM Intersect Adams Street at the stop light, McDonalds is on left. Turn right on Adams Street.
Intersect Tyson Street.  Turn right.
115.7 MM Morgan’s Raid Tour Stop on right.
MM Turn left on Main. The tour ends at the Court House.

Ripley County Veterans Memorial
Ripley County Veterans Memorial 
The Ripley County Veterans Memorial is located across the courthouse square. The Ripley County Historical Society is behind you in the old bank. They operate a small museum and have genealogical research facilities. The courthouse square also has numerous other historical markers about Stephen Harding, Morgan's Raid and Masonic Hall.

Tour length is approximately 116 miles, four hours.
Ripley County Historical Society

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