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Ghost Town USA’s

Guide to the Ghost Towns of

INDIANA

“The Hoosier State

 

 

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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for Indiana

Indiana doesn’t usually rank high on the lists of most ghost town chasers, but there are numerous ghost towns hiding out in the Hoosier State.  Like most of the states located between the Appalachians and the Rockies, many ghost towns have been reduced to mere sites, or have been reduced to forgotten ruins in the local woods.  Local research and a lot of legwork is needed to ferret out many ghosts.

 

Indiana is an “old” state having been carved out of the Northwest Territory in 1800.  The immigrants came, and on December 11, 1811, the State of Indiana became the 19th to join the Union.  The American immigrants weren’t the first, as the state was the site of an older civilization that flourished from around 1000 to the mid-1400s.  Known as the Mississippian Culture, or more popularly as the Mound Builders, the people built up large urban areas probably reliant on agriculture.  In the mid 1400s their civilization died out, leaving behind large mounds for the newer immigrants to puzzle over.

 

In 1702, the first European trading post was established, and followed quickly by others, as well as military outposts.  This was an area contested by the British and French, and that eventually led to what is known as the French and Indian War / Seven Years War which ended with British victory in 1763.  This didn’t set well with the native American tribes as they had mostly sided with the French during the wars.  As a result they burned several of the British forts.  By proclamation, the British closed the area to colonial expansion, leaving it for the Native Americans.  During the Revolutionary War, American forces entered the territory and captured it from the British.  In 1787 it was a part of the Northwest Territory, and American military presence grew.  In the first 15 years of the 19th Century, Indiana Territory grew to where statehood was granted.

 

As Indiana is fairly flat and rich agriculturally, it was a magnet for growth.  Towns grew up, faded and died or relocated as railroads came and transportation developed.  After the Civil War and through the modern era, the state boomed as an industrial state, with the automobile and steel industries leading the charge, especially in the northern half of the state. 

 

Listed below are a few of the sites that are available in Indiana.  I have not personally visited the state (yet), so all sites listed here-in have been discovered through research. 

 

If you live in Indiana and know of any of these locations, or any NOT listed, I would love to hear from you so I can add to my Indiana database.  If I post the information to these pages, I will credit you appropriately.  Currently I have just over 100 locations in this state.

 

 

 

PLEASE NOTE: 

Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time.

 

THE GHOSTS

 

BALTIMORE

Warren Co.

This old grain shipping town was established on the north bank of the Wabash River in November 1829 by William Willmeth & Samuel Hill.  The peak population reached 70, and it had two stores.  Unfortunately, the Wabash and Erie Canal was built on the south side of the river, diverting traffic away from Baltimore.  By the 1840s Baltimore was dead.  

Population figures:

1970 ->, 2010 - 0

Location:

            SW ¼ Sec 21, T20N, R9W 2nd Principal Meridian, Mound Twp.

BEAN BLOSSOM CREEK

Brown Co.

The class E village of Bean Blossom is on Bean Blossom creek, at the junction of SH 135/45, five miles north of Nashville (south of Indianapolis). Placer gold mining took place along this creek from the 1870s-early 1900s.  Whether or not any small mining camps developed is not determined.  Pop 200 (1990)           

BELLEAIRE

Clay Co.

On Wabash & Erie Canal, three miles south of Bowling Green.

BLACKFORD

Posey Co.

1815-1818 boomtown whose location is not determined

BOVINE

Gibson Co.

SEE Wheeling (below)

CONRAD

Newton Co.

Along SH 41 and the railroad, just south of Lake Village, approximately 40 miles south of Gary.  Founded in 1908, the small town of 200 people included a church, concrete block factory, hotel, post office, railroad depot, and a school.  The streets were named after various members of the founding Conrad family.  A major fire swept through the town, and it never recovered.  It is now just a rubble-strewn site.

DUNCAN SETTLEMENT

Clay Co.

In the southeast corner of county.  Exact location not determined.

ENTERPRISE

Spencer Co.

Six miles southeast of Hatfield on the Ohio River, south of SH 66, west of US 231.  This once thriving Ohio River port was founded in 1862.  Evansville, down river eventually drew the steamer traffic away and Enterprise died.  In the 1980s four people lived here.

FORT OUIATENON

Tippecanoe Co.

Located on South River Road along the Wabash River, four miles southwest of Lafayette, this reconstructed trading post/village was originally built by the French in 1719 to help protect their fur traders from the British.  In 1761, the British took over, and in 1791, the fort and surrounding community was destroyed by American troops.

GOLD CREEK

Morgan Co.

Between SH 39 and SH 67, 25 miles southwest of Indianapolis.  In the early 1900s gold was found in streamside glacial gravels southwest of Indianapolis.  A small mining camp popped up along the creek, but the low pay of the deposits ($0.25 to 1.50 a day) didn't encourage many people, and the camp folded.   Other Morgan County mining camps were located on HIGHLAND CREEK, LAMB'S CREEK and SYCAMORE CREEK.  Sycamore and Lamb's Creeks were first mined during the 1850s by California Gold Rush returnees, but the poor pay from the glacial gravels frustrated them, and they moved on.  All three creeks were reworked in the early 1900s.

Hindostan

 

Martin Co.

Located along the East Fork of the White River, several miles southwest of Shoals, which is at the junction of US 50/150, 21 miles east of Washington.  Hindostan was established around 1814 by Frederick Sholts.  It became an important stage stopping place, as well as the county seat.  It contained a grist mill, saw mill and a tavern.  In June 1828 a plague of some kind, probably cholera,  swept through town, killing many of the citizens, and sending the rest on a panic to get out of town.  The county seat was transferred to Mt. Pleasant, and the site of Hindostan became a true ghost town.  Ruins include foundation pits, a restored church and a modern park near the site.

This was our GT of the Month for May 2008

HOWESVILLE

Clay Co.

“There is a little abandoned town on the outskirts of Jasonville, Indiana on highway 59 called Howsville. There is an old abandoned store or post office building and a couple of other old empty buildings. It always gives me the creeps to drive through there. Loved your site.”

Contributed by Angela Collins, October 27, 2008

 

There is a HOWESVILLE (Clay Co.) located a few miles northeast of Jasonville (Greene Co.) and just north of the county line.  It is listed in the 2000 census with a population of 30.  (GBS)

KIRK(S)VILLE

Gibson Co.

SEE Wheeling (below)

KOSSUTH

Clay Co.

On SH 246 and west bank of Eel River, west of Martz.

LAST CHANCE STAGE STATION

Clay Co.

On SH 46, midway between Bowling Green and Terre Haute, near Cory.

LEAVENWORTH

Crawford Co.

Located along the river flats of the Ohio River two miles south of I-64 at EXIT 92 and 13 miles west of Corydon. The entire town was relocated to the bluffs above the river in 1937 after a bad flood destroyed most of the town.  The old site was abandoned.

MOLLIE

Blackford Co.

During the natural gas boom of the 1880’’s, Mollie sprang up as a little burg in what is now rural Blackford County. Mollie (though the name had long since been abandoned) was my hometown and my wife and I have just recently purchased the land that was once Mollie.

Contributed by Jeremy Rogers, May 19, 2006

NEW HARMONY

Posey Co.

Not to be confused with the present community of New Harmony (1990 pop-945) and located on US 460, 20 miles north of Evansville, along the Wabash River.  The first settlement here was called Harmonie, a communal colony founded in 1815 by George Rapp, a Pennsylvania Lutheran Church dissenter.  He and his followers lived here for 10 years, and in 1825 the site was purchased for use as a utopian colony by Welsh & Scot investors.  They established the first American free-school system and a kindergarten.  In 1827 they closed due to lack of funding for their project.  About 35 restored buildings remain in the New Harmony State Historical Park.

OLD TIPTOWN

Marshall Co.

This tiny town of 30 folks (1990) is on SH 331, just north of Tippecanoe, in the southeastern corner of the county.

PERTH

Clay Co.

This old coal camp is one of many located in the northern part of the county, five miles northwest of Brazil.  It was settled in the 1880s, and died in the 1930s.  It had a number of businesses, including saloons.

PIGEON ROOST

Scott Co.

Located on US 31, one mile east of Underwood.

RUTLAND

Marshall Co.

Only 30 folks lived here in 1990.  This tiny town is located in the southwest corner of the county, just east of Burr Oak and SH 17, and just northeast of Lake Maxinkuckee.

SPRING MILL

Lawrence Co.

Located on SH 60, several miles east of Mitchell.  This tiny 1815 era trading post/village has been restored, and consists of an apothecary, boot shop, water powered grist mill, hat maker shop, limekiln ruins, post office, and sawmill.

SULPHUR

Crawford Co.

This one-time resort was located near the present town of Sulphur, which is just south of I-64 at EXIT 80, 28 miles east of Dale.  A large 100-room grand hotel with bathhouses, bowling alley, post office, store, and bottling works for the sulfur-charged water was the extent of the tiny town in the late 1800s. 

TACOMA

AKA - Woodville

Carroll Co.

“There is a ghost town in Northwestern Carroll County that was once an Indian Village known as Tacoma.  White settlers named it Woodville.  At one time there was a large Catholic Church, saw mill, store, Universalist Church, brick school house, and many other businesses.  Today the brick school building is a private residence.  The cemetery is the only other property marker that still exists.  There are approximately 10 homes in Woodville today.  You can find a couple photos on www.carrollcountymuseum.org.”

Contributed by Candy, 04/21/2008

TENT CITY

Marshall Co.

Located near Plymouth, Tent City was a temporary site where folks congregated due to high unemployment in the years following the Civil War.  A huge tent here housed a church, where dances were held in the evenings.  During warmer weather carnivals would come and set up.  After jobs became more accessible, the site became popular for folks to come and pick huckleberries in season. The site was popular until the early l920s when a brush fire damaged the plants and people stopped coming here.  In the early days there were some businesses here including a church whose services were held in a large tent. 

WEISBURG

Dearborn Co.

This tiny community of 75 folks is north of SH 48, east of the county line, and south of the road that runs west from New Alsace.  The road is not marked on the county map.

WHEELING

Gibson Co.

LaDonna Blevins asked about BOVINE in November 2008.  After researching it a little, I discovered that it is also called WHEELING and KIRK(S)VILLE.  Rand McNally lists it as:

·        1980 – KIRKVILLE, population 180

·        1990 – KIRKVILLE, population 100

·        2000 – WHEELING, population 100

GNIS lists BOVINE, KIRKVILLE and KIRKSVILLE as variant names for Wheeling.

Using the above information, it is on the cusp of locations I consider, but because of her interest, I am listing it here.  If anyone else knows anything about this old town, please let me know. (GBS)

WOODS MILL

Lake Co.

A restored, historic, brick grist mill located on the Deep River, in Deep River County Park, which is along the east county line, just north of US 30, east of Merrillville.

WOODVILLE

Carroll Co.

SEE Tacoma (above)

 

MORE INFORMATION

 

Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of “STATE”

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.

Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!

 

For more information on the ghost towns of INDIANA, contact us at

Ghost Town USA.

 

E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line.

THANK YOU!  :o)

IMPORTANT

 

These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in INDIANA above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.

 

If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.

When you are exploring the ghost towns of INDIANA, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.

 

 

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FIRST POSTED:  December 07, 2001

LAST UPDATED: January 10, 2011

 

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