Danville State Road

One of the interesting things about looking at maps is that you never quite know what you may find. Even maps from the middle of the 19th Century still offer up surprises from time to time.

In the early days of the state of Indiana, the government at Indianapolis decided to create a series of “state roads,” actually muddy paths, connecting “major” towns throughout the state. Being in Indianapolis, I have tons of examples near me. But one road in that collection seems a little strange, in the grand scheme of things.

In western Marion County, Wayne Township to be exact, there is a road that became US 36…Rockville Road. Now, with a name like Rockville Road, I am betting I don’t need to say where it goes. Now, the history of this road will be the subject of a later post. The old road from Indianapolis to Rockville travels through Danville, the county seat of Hendricks County.

But this was not part of the state road from Indianapolis to Rockville.

The actual Danville State Road was one mile north of Rockville Road. That road is now called 10th Street, at least in Marion County. But the old state road is actually north of Danville. The original state road connected to the National Road at what is now Tibbs Avenue. At the time, there was a village called Mount Jackson there. The original road then turned on Cossell Road to connect to what is now 10th Street. Now, this road is no longer complete between the two points, as Holt Road split Cossell Road in half. Also, the section near 10th Street has been removed for better traffic flow at what is now Winton Avenue. (Side note, Winton Avenue is the original route connecting the National Road at Mount Jackson to the Crawfordsville State Road at what is now 16th Street. The original Crawfordsville State Road will be the subject of a later post.)

The old Danville Road then followed what is now 10th Street for over 13 miles. (In a straight line? How did THAT happen?) It then follows what is now Money Lane to CR 50N/Sycamore Lane. It enters Danville (at least the town limits at the time) on what is now Columbia Street.

The Rockville Road connected to the National Road .75 mile west of the Danville Road. An astute map reader will notice that Rockville Road and Washington Street is not 3/4 mile west of North Tibbs Avenue. This is accurate. But only because the old road connected at what is now Holt Road, not where it connects now. Again, the subject of a later post. Just know that to travel west on the old road, it requires driving through a Steak ‘n Shake parking lot.

This is just one example of there being multiple old roads going to one destination. Indiana is chock full of such old roads.


4 thoughts on “Danville State Road

  1. Fascinating. I happen to go to church in the Hawthorne neighborhood, which is just east of the state hospital grounds. I had no idea that Tibbs-Cossell used to be a thing!


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