Wheeling, New Wheeling, and the CI&E Railroad

Indiana University says that nearly two-thirds of the 23 million acres that make up Indiana is farmland1. As much as we’re known for corn and soybeans, that wasn’t always the case: pioneers clear cut enormous swaths of forest down in the years after they arrived here, which means tree lines that seem random to us in 2023 are usually anything but! One stretch, visible from Old US-35 in northern Delaware County, hides an old alignment of the Chicago, Indiana & Eastern Railway. New rail during the gas boom meant big money for any town on its path, and the line’s completion convinced an entire community to try and reorganize itself nearly a mile west of where it stood.

Continue reading “Wheeling, New Wheeling, and the CI&E Railroad”

Harrison Township’s Bethel schoolhouse in Delaware County

If I had to rank all of Delaware County’s one-room schoolhouses based on their architectural merits, I’d probably grant the top honors to the old Bethel schoolhouse that served Harrison Township’s District 6. The building predated the era of township-wide consolidated schools, but it was extraordinarily impressive in its day. It was so impressive, in fact, that it’s hard to believe that what’s left of the structure is even the same building.

Continue reading “Harrison Township’s Bethel schoolhouse in Delaware County”