12 September 2009

Carroll County does preservation right

Wilsons Historic Bridge near Delphi

Frequent trips through Carroll County over the last fifteen years has caused me to perk up and take note of the fine work these folks do with regard to preserving their county's history. Now, not that I have a full grasp on preservation activities in every part of our state, but from what I've seen, if there is one county that does preservation right here in Indiana....it is Carroll County.

They have actively pursued restoring their historic bridges, keeping many of them in place and in use. They have gone above and beyond in interpreting and preserving facets of the Wabash and Eerie Canal system that ran through the county. And unlike many downtowns that have leveled whole blocks in the name of parking and progress, the communities of Delphi, Flora, Burlington and Camden all offer a great glimpse of history in their intact and restored architecture. From the courthouse to Adams Mill, Carroll County should be proud.

Driving back from Lafayette a few weekends ago, I noted that the folks in Carroll County now have their historic bridges marked with signage from Highway 25, so we took a right just north of Delphi toward "Wilson's Bridge". This wound us through small hills and gullies, farm fields and fantastic old homesteads in the "Deer Creek Rural Historic District" that was established in 1822 according to a National Register plaque. The bridge was no disappointment either. And then due to a detour we drove through the little burg of Camden....what a great looking town.

Old gas station in Camden

My wife's family hail from Carroll County.....which makes me think that she puts up with my preservation antics because it is simply in her blood. There may be some truth to this because the type of determination that makes Carroll County a stand out in preservation in the state has been sustained for generations and it's obviously ingrained in its county's political leadership-which is rare. Kudos to you all!

The following is a quote from http://www.carrollcountyindiana.com/ which I would encourage you to visit: History is preserved throughout the county. It offers a view of life in which people are linked together through a common respect for the land and for each other.

"Respect for the land and for each other" maybe that says it all.

1 comment:

jim said...

Very, very cool!!

Here's a page that has a bunch of photos of the bridge, including one pre-restoration:

http://bridgehunter.com/in/carroll/wilsons/

I'm racking my brain to remember whether I've ever been through Camden. Rings a bell. I may have driven SR 218 a time or two 20+ years ago, long before I cared about any of this stuff.