Madison Buildings

When it comes to beauty, history and preservation....Madison is a jewel! I love this town not only for these reasons but also because I have a couple of connections. My grandfather had a small business here many years ago and died in his small home on west Main in 1949. He also had a store in Milton across the river for a time. My father brought  me here to visit for the first time in 1954 when I was eight years old, and I have always looked forward to returning. The Ohio river is so beautiful and seems an old friend to me of which I hate to leave and always hope to return for another visit.

Madison was founded in 1809, early for this area. The Ohio river brought many early settlers which resulted in a large commercial district and a good number of industrial sites. A very good part of these remain for several reasons. The small amount of real estate between the river and the beautiful hills kept the town from growing as most do. The new part of town so to speak is on the hill. I would imagine slow economic periods helped at crucial times as with many small towns. The third reason is the tremendous sense and amount of historic preservation in this town. It very largely started in 1960 with Mr. and Mrs. John Windle. For all of this Madison has a 133 block historic district containing about 1500 homes and buildings. This is a huge amount considering a population of only around 12,000. 

I have reserved space for the Courthouse when it is finished being restored from the fire. So...I will start with the Fair Play Fire Company which is one block east of the courthouse and then begin with Jefferson Street west of the courthouse and continue west along the south side of East Main.  These pages will cover the buildings of Madison and a  future category will present views of the beautiful old homes.

One last note....I would love to be able to walk down Main street and simply take a nice head on view of each building....not so with Madison because of the parked vehicles. and busy traffic.  The many signs, stop lights and poles and other modern necessities doesn't help for a good photo either.  So....I did the best I could and perhaps with return visits in the future I will be able to continually add to and improve the views. I hope you enjoy the Madison tour and if so......please let me know!

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Ohio river bridge at Madison Indiana

View of the Ohio river and Madison from Milton, Kentucky

Only the far eastern part of Madison is visible in the view, the downtown area is to the left. Milton is a very small town and has suffered horribly from past floods. Just to the right of this photo a very short ways is an old building with the various flood stages painted on the side. My grandfather had a store there, probably in the early twenties or so. They including my father when he was a very young boy lived a few miles farther east and he walked to school in Milton.

The bridge is a Cantilevered through truss  on US 421. It has a total length of 3184 feet and was built in 1928-29. I read where it is slated for demolition and is also eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. I wonder....could a newer bridge be built somewhere else and this one left standing? this against the rules here in  America.


Jefferson county Indiana courthouse

Jefferson County Courthouse

This late afternoon shot of the courthouse was taken on September 29, 2010. It was almost destroyed by fire in May and I have left extra sky area for your imagination of a dome that was there. I am hoping there will be a replacement.

Why was there a fire? An accident, not exactly. I would never think of working with a torch in a dry 150 year old attic or dome  without a fire  extinguisher. Why not demand such a thing, it would make more sense than a lot of the stupid laws on the books now.  It is depressing to live in such a world as now when so many people....don't think.

Old jail & courthouse in Madison Indiana

Jail & Courthouse

A view of the jail and courthouse in the distance taken from Walnut Street and Main. Again I left extra sky space for the tower that would be there.

I am going one better with the photo below.

Old jail & courthouse with tower in Madison Indiana

Jail & Courthouse (With Tower)

I remembered taking this as a stereoview back in 2004 with one of my old 3 mega pixtel cameras. It is nice seeing the old tower sitting on top of the courthouse.

I notice the white paint on the near building has been removed along with the artillery near the statue.

I will replace all three photos when the courthouse is restored.

Fairplay Fire company No.1

Fairplay Fire Company No. 1

This building sits on the northeast corner of East Main & Walnut Street which is one block east of the courthouse. This view is looking to the northeast. The way I understand it the tower was probably built as early as 1888 or 89. For a brief history of fire fighting in Madison, click Here

A map showing this site and others on this page is located at the bottom of the page.

This site is the Red Dot.

Main street commercial buildings in Madison Indiana

Second  Block of East Main
South Side

This view is looking southwest from Jefferson Street. The courthouse is to the left across Jefferson street from the building on the left in this view.

This is an early morning shot with just a tinge of sunlight on the buildings. I wish I could have been earlier and could have if I hadn't dallied around taking photos of other places. After two blocks, Main street takes a northern jag and there will be more light on the buildings then.

This view is represented by the Blue Line.

Commercial building in Madison Indiana

Building at Main & Jefferson

Probably 228 East Main. As mentioned above, we are across the street from the courthouse and heading west.

Old commercial building in Madison Indiana

226-224-222 East Main

A view of the next three buildings west of the one shown above. 228, 224 and 222 East Main.

Old building at 224 East Main in Madison Indiana

224 East Main - Closeup View

The Village Peddler, the middle building  in the view shown above.

Old building in Madison Indiana

Upper Facade at 206 East Main

A Handsome Facade that is the second from the right in the view shown above.

This completes the second block of East Main for now.

Southwest Madison

Dark Gold....Jail

Blue Line....2nd Block of East Main

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