A visit to historic Madison, Indiana

Today I scratched another town off my Indiana bucket list: Madison, located in the southernmost portion of the Hoosier State, along the Ohio River in Jefferson County.

Madison is located less than two hours from the east side of Cincinnati, so the drive was not arduous. I went with my dad, who is a native Hoosier from southern Indiana. He had many anecdotes about how much the area had changed since the 1960s. Since I was not born until 1968 myself, I will have to take his word for it.

The charm of Madison, though, is that much of the town’s original 19th century architecture has been preserved. Throughout Madison’s central historic district, you’ll find baroque Victorian mansions and narrow brick row houses that will make you think you’ve just dropped back into the 1800s.

The firehouse was built before the Civil War.

And speaking of the Civil War, there is a Civil War monument near the courthouse that includes a cannonball that was fired into Vicksburg, Mississippi by Union troops in 1863.

While there are many of the usual chain restaurants in the strip outside (and above) the town, Madison residents seem to be doing their best to preserve and patronize locally own businesses.

I didn’t see a Starbucks, but I did see an independently owned coffee shop with a healthy crowd inside, for example. I also saw an independently owned shoe store on Main Street, as well as a musical instruments store. Amazon hasn’t killed all independent retail, it seems.

Overall, Madison is a pleasant enough town, but I’m not sure if I could live there. It’s at least an hour’s drive from any of the surrounding major cities (Cincinnati, Louisville, Indianapolis). I’m a product of urban sprawl, I suppose, and I’m rather dependent on the amenities that such sprawl provides. There was not much urban sprawl in Madison.

Once again, though, a nice place place to visit. As always, I hope you enjoy the photos.


And finally, if you’re in the mood to read some fiction set in Indiana, I’ll take this opportunity to point you toward my crime novel, VENETIAN SPRINGS, and my historical supernatural fiction series, THE ROCKLAND HORROR. Both of these stories are set in (slightly altered) versions of southern Indiana.