What Were the Most Popular Attractions in Indiana Before 1950?
If you consider yourself a history buff, especially Indiana history, then I think you will get a kick out of this map which depicts landmarks throughout the Hoosier state back in the 1940s. Since we can't just fire up the DeLorean and go back in time, we have to rely on a map like this to show us what people were interested in 80 years ago. I wonder how many of these attractions are still around?
According to the IndianaHistory.org archives, the map above was created by a fella named George Joseph Mess (1898-1962). The map "advertises state historic sites, state parks and forests, and resort lakes."
As you can see, the map highlights attractions and landmarks around the state, along with the things certain cities are known for, but there is a lot more information on each side of the map. In the really small print you will find a large list of the following:
- State Parks
- State Forests
- Leading Resort Lakes
- Game Preserves and Fish Hatcheries
- State Colleges and Universities
- Other Colleges and Universities
- Historical, Educational, and Scenic
Southern Indiana Spots You Can Still Visit
Head to Mt. Vernon, IN, to visit the Hovey Lake State Game Preserve (now known as Hovey Lake Fish & Wildlife Area).
Although Newburgh isn't listed on the map, Angel Mounds is - it's labeled as "near Evansville" - and, of course, Angel Mounds is still open and is still a great place to spend the day.
Another neat place to spend some time in is New Harmony, IN, which is also mentioned on the map. New Harmony has a really interesting history, which includes not one, but two attempts at communal living - first by Johann Georg Rapp in 1814, and again by Robert Owen in 1825. Evidence of these utopian societies can still be found around New Harmony.
There is a LOT of information on the map - my suggestion is to visit IndianaHistory.org where you can zoom way in on this thing and see all the little details. It really is a neat piece of Indiana history.