Madison: anchoring the Michigan Road
Our second of two meetings in southern Indiana promoting the Historic Michigan Road Byway was held Friday at the Madison Area Visitors Center in this historic river city, county seat of Jefferson County. And it was said not more than once that one couldn't ask for a better anchor to the MR than historic Madison, the road's point of beginning. At one time the largest city in Indiana, established as a port on the Ohio River long before statehood, Madison's architectural preservation far surpasses any other location in the Hoosier state. It also boasts one of the largest National Register of Historic Places Districts in the United States.
Me & the kids at the fountain, 2004
I've made the pilgrimage to Madison a few times with my wife & family. The boulevard leading to the river crowned with a historic fountain is my favorite street and stopping point. Other places such as the Lanier Mansion or strolling along main street is just as enjoyable. This year we visited the Lanthier Winery and found another tasty Hoosier-grown wine (I need to do a post on Hoosier wineries sometime).
Hats go off to Linda Lytle, director for the visitors center, and Rhonda Deeg, their Main Street Coordinator for their hosting and helping with this historic project. We are incredibly blessed to have met such hospitable and knowledgeable people in this endeavor, with our southern friends rounding out the talent pool perfectly.
One other comment on Madison. If you recall several months ago preservation-conscious Madison & Jefferson County was dealt a terrible blow when their historic courthouse erupted into flames. I've watched video of the event as the massive clock tower succumbed to flames and fell into the building under its own weight. They declared that they would rebuild the courthouse, but even I had doubts. Walking down main street on Friday we turned the corner to see county commissioners making good on their word. I just wonder if this would have happened in any other Hoosier county if the resolve would have been there to rebuild. Congratulations Madison & Jefferson County....the rest of the state could learn something from your honor of the past.
Jefferson County Courthouse burning & under restoration