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

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Rise of the Schoolhouse Ditch

Southern Indiana has a natural wonder in the Rise of the Lost River, but Rensselaer has a man-made wonder in the Rise of the Schoolhouse Ditch. It pops up from nowhere a bit to the west of the new elementary school. In future years people may think it got its name from that school, not from the high school. (I am guessing that it got the name from the high school. If you know more about the source of its name, please share in the comments.)
From a different angle you can see two metal culverts contributing water to the ditch, and behind them an old concrete structure.
The concrete holds a very small pipe
I think some of the water comes from the small ditch along 400S just to the north of the John Deere dealership. The water enters a culvert when it reaches the highway, US 231, and it does not reappear on the other side. It seems reasonable to assume that it travels underground about half a mile and spills out here.

It was thoughtful for the school board to build the school alongside the ditch. If there is anything kids like, it is running water in small streams. When I was a kid, we lived a block away from a small creek much like Brookside Creek that sometimes flowed and sometimes did not. My friends and I spent many hours there catching minnows.

A tributary to the ditch has an equally sudden appearance. It is located in the wild area by the windmill west of the high school and just to the east of CDC resources. It did not any any appreciable water in it this morning. It may be draining the area around Van Rensselaer.
The high school parking lot also drains into the Schoolhouse Ditch. A few months ago I had a picture of one of the drains presented as a mystery photo. No one could identify it and I never followed up on it. Consider this a follow up.

No comments: