This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On the road to McCoysburg

A few days ago I took a bike ride east of Rensselaer to places I have not been for months or years.Along the way I passed some places I have been more recently, like the retention ponds at Donaldsons, which had a family of geese on the bank.
Across the street is an old barn that has been falling down for years. It is so heavily shielded by trees growing up around it that one cannot really see the extent of the decay.
Passing 400W on 650S (which is also called McCoyburg Road), I was surprised to see new construction. I could not tell if this will be a new house or something else.
A bit further down the road the framework of  new home is up. There has not been much new-home construction in Rensselaer. I wonder how much there has been in the surrounding area.
A bit further to the east was what appeared to be the site where a house once stood. If there had not been a "No Trespassing" sign, I would have looked for an old foundation.
In the same area was another artifact from the past, an old corn crib.
This road has some twists and turns. I met a couple of women biking to the west but I did not get a picture of them. As they approached, two dogs came out to bark at them, but after barking at the women, they seemed not to care to give me any attention. A number of people have built along the road south of Pleasant Ridge, which you can see in the picture below. It shows both the elevator and the ethanol plant.
A couple miles to the east lies the little settlement of McCoysburg. It consists of about 15 houses, almost all along the road. It never was much of a settlement, though a century ago it did have a few small stores, a railroad depot (or maybe two).Today it has no businesses. When I worked the census twenty years ago, I was surprised to learn that one of the houses served as a seasonal vacation home. I thought it a strange place to have a second house.
The road crosses the railroad tracks at the east end of the settlement, and the last house before you again are back in the country is what was once a hotel. It was the railroad that gave life to this town, and at one time there was another rail line that went north, the Chicago and Wabash Valley Railroad. It was the project of Benjamin Gifford, and it was completed only from McCoysburg to Dinwiddie, which is near Lowell. After his death, it was merged with the Monon, and was abandoned in 1935. You can read more about it here and here.
Probably the most exciting thing to happen in McCoysburg last year was the passage of the MOW crew. Since they did about three miles a track a day, they would have been here about two days after they were in Rensselaer.

1 comment:

Kristen said...

Wow! That was quite a ride! It's been a long time since I've been out to McCoysburg. Thanks for the interesting tidbits! :o)