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

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Revisiting Morocco

In May when I visited the Morocco Homecoming I also took some pictures of what was once downtown Morocco. The building below is one that is along what was once US 41. I am not sure what purpose it had.

Below is another of the old buildings that flourished when US 41 went through Morocco. It was a diner and a garage and I believe that it was restored in the past few years.
Heading down the main street toward the downtown, this is what is left of an old hotel.
On the north side of the street is a building from about 1940. It is one of the newer buildings in the downtown and is a good example of the building from this time period. Behind it is a grain elevator. At one time Morocco had two railroads; now it has none.

The Butt Stop has moved to a laundromat further west and on the other side of the street.
There is a little park on the north side of State Street with murals pointing out historical highlights. Hall of Fame baseball player Edgar Sam Rice came from Morocco.
On the south side of the street is the first resale shop.


The building that was once Morocco Glass now is home to a Mexican restaurant. Part of the signage from its previous use is still on the building.
Next door is a second resale shop.
The north western part of the downtown has offices for insurance, lawyers, local government, and the North Newton School Corporation.
Here is the downtown viewed from the west.
What seems to be the newest building in downtown Morocco is a branch of the DeMotte State Bank.
I spent my boyhood years in a town about half the size of Morocco and it had a business district about half the size. Virtually all of it gone, The few remaining buildings are mostly empty. What has happened to Morocco's downtown is similar to what has happened to many downtowns of small towns than that stopped growing or declined in population. Even towns bigger, like Rensselaer, there is very little retail left in the old downtowns.

Here are some impressions of downtown Morocco from five years ago. Also here.


2 comments:

Grey Friar said...

I think the 1940's building with the grain elevator behind it may have been Milton Story's farm implement business in the 1950s and 60s. I remember the railroad tracks that went by my uncle's house on the east edge of Morocco, the RR grade is still there but the tracks are long gone.

Ashley said...

My grandparent's house was across the street from the yellow building posted. It was owned by Warren I believe and was the welfare office. His house was on the corner of Lincoln and Main I believe. My grandpa rode his lawn mower to the post office and bank and they had breakfast with a regular group at "the lunch Box" restaurant next to the flower shop (the house faced the side of the flower shop and can almost be seen in the photo) and hair salon. There is also a great park, library and public pool at the edge of town. Brings back so many childhood memories of my summers spent visiting my grandparents in Morocco. Thank you! I haven't been back since my grandpa died about 7 years ago. Miss them and that little town dearly.
Ashley (Hickman) Ballou