US 40 and the National Road in Western Indiana

The Jim Grey Page Roads


Big Walnut Creek segment

300 yards west of the Pleasant Gardens segment is another segment that spans Big Walnut Creek. At roughly 2000 yards, it is the longest county-road segment we encountered.

The map shows this segment in three sections: 750 S and, strangely, two labeled 725 S. If you trace the road west of the segment's western end, past the intersecting road (800 S), you can see a faint trace or ridge that suggests how the segment used to flow and merge with the current roadbed.

It seems likely that this segment once flowed from the Pleasant Gardens alignment. Notice how 750 S ends at US 40, and then 300 yards to the west 750 S picks up again. In that western segment of 750 S, if you follow the line of that road (ignoring the little turnoff leg), it might flow smoothly into the eastern segment of 750 S.

The turnoff to this segment was gravel, the only time we saw an unpaved turnoff on this trip.

After rounding the curve, the pavement became the familiar chipped-stone cement, although it did not have the familiar seam down the center. It was overgrown on both sides and the surface was wearing away in spots, but it was otherwise intact.

The bridge over Big Walnut Creek.

Looking south from the bridge, the current US 40 bridge is visible. We noticed that this bridge looked just like the other bridges we'd seen so far, and we figured that they must all have been built around the same time. While we were standing here, some kids were throwing chunks of sodium into the water just north of the sandbar, which produced some pretty loud explosions.

Where 750 S turned off to meet US 40, the cement ended and asphalt began, as the photo shows. Curiously, we did not find the 725 S that the map promised. We walked to about where the map showed 725 S should have been and wondered aloud whether the road had been there in the past but was now overgrown. We saw no obvious signs. We considered walking into the woods to explore, but the brush was dense and would have required more serious shoes than what we wore.

I decided to see if there were traces of 725 S from the other side. We got out on US 40, turned right at 800 S, and drove up to what the map said was 725 S (but was signed 750 S). The road was cement, but without the stone chips we'd seen on other old road segments. But shortly the road curved right into the woods on the right, as the photo shows. Beyond that curve, the road was asphalt. We walked up to where curve met woods and saw no evidence in the woods that the road ever went through. But why then the curve?

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Start 1 Washington Street Bridge 2 Six Points 3 White Lick Creek 4 Deer Creek
5 State Prison 6 Pleasant Gardens 7 Big Walnut Creek 8 Indiana 340 9 Interurban
10 Downtown Terre Haute 11 Toad Hop 12 Illinois State Line

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Created July 2006. Last update 29 February 2008.
These pages, including text and photographs, are copyright 2007 by Jim Grey. (Replace # with @ if you click that link to send me e-mail.)
Maps are screen shots from Windows Live Local. All copyrights acknowledged.