One of the smaller roads on the renumbered state road system was a route connecting US 50 south of Vallonia, in Jackson County, to Corydon, in Harrison County. Due to the location of this road (east of 37, west of 31), it was given the number 35. By the end of 1932, it would become a major state road connecting Indianapolis to Mauckport, via Nashville. (Strangely, the two termini of the road, Indianapolis and Mauckport, were the termini of one of the original 1820s state roads. SR 35 does not match that.)
The original northern end of SR 35 was at the current junction of SR 135 and SR 235. What is now SR 235 was, at the Great Renumbering, the route of US 50. From that junction north, that was also US 50. With the exception of the Salem Bypass and the route of SR 337 at Corydon, this original SR 35 is mainly the current route of SR 135. There have been several places where the old route was straightened. But for the most part, these are noticeable by just glancing at any map with more detail than state level.
On the 1931 official maps, there were authorized additions to SR 35 from Corydon to Mauckport and from Brownstown to Indianapolis. The SR 35 route would connect the current end of route to Brownstown by following US 50. This would connect Indianapolis to Brown County State Park. (BCSP started life as the Brown County State Game Preserve, since, before a law change in 1927, the state was not allowed to use state money to buy park land. The state was, however, allowed to buy land for use as a game preserve. Even then, County Commissioners had to spend the money and donate the land to the state. Make of that what you will.)
The Jackson County Banner of 1 July 1931 discusses the extension of SR 35. The report talks about the fact that surveyors for the State Highway Commission were out in the field checking out the newly acquired SR 35. No route was specifically chosen. The SHC tended to take over general routes, then figure out how to connect them later.
From Nashville south, the new SR 35 would “continue through Nashville on No. 46 to the Lou Mackey place, four miles east of town, where it continues via Stone Head and Storyville to Brownstown.” At that time, SR 46 was Main Street heading east out of Nashville. The Storyville listed here is now called “Story,” the Indiana town that is (as of this writing) currently for sale for $3.8 million. That’s right…the whole town can be yours. South of Corydon, the route of the addition of SR 35 would be pretty much a straight road from Corydon to Mauckport.
But from Nashville to Indianapolis, the addition to SR 35 would not follow what is now SR 135 south of Bean Blossom. The old route would come out of Nashville to the west, not the north as it does now. This conflicts with the story listed above, which stated “the tentative route north from here (Nashville) will follow the ridge which joins North Jefferson street.” From there, the road was described as “descending the steep hill it will be in a direct line with Georgetown.” (Georgetown was shown on most maps at the time the same way it is today…as Bean Blossom.) SR 35 would end up following Helmsburg Road west and north to Helmsburg on what is now SR 45. Turning east on current SR 45, SR 35 would meet again with current SR 135 at Bean Blossom. When created, SR 35 entered Morgantown on Church Street, not Marion Street as it does now.
Washington Street became SR 35 east out of Margantown, which turns into CR 700 S. The old road then followed CR 700S to CR 300W. CR 300W, before it was cut off at Trafalgar with the moving of SR 135, connected directly to Indianapolis in a very straight line. In Marion County, it is now Meridian Street, and the original route ended at the corner of Meridian and South Streets (which can not be directly done anymore, as Meridian Street between Henry and South Streets has been ripped out). The only real curve in the entire route from south of Trafalgar to Indianapolis is a small section which originally went around the Round Top Cemetery, between Epler Avenue and Thompson Road, to the west. SR 35 would meet SR 37 at Bluff Road and Meridian St. Both routes would then follow Meridian Street north to South Street, where they would end at the junction of US 31.
The first change to the original SR 35 would be the section from Bean Blossom to Nashville. On the 1933 Official map, the road would be under construction along the current route of SR 135 north from Nashville. According to the Muncie Evening Press of 17 October 1934, that section would be completed, but it would not be a completely hard surface road. SR 35 was paved south from Indianapolis as far as Bargersville. Also in 1934, the current route of US 50 west of Brownstown was under construction. This would remove the multiplex of SR 35 and US 50 in 1935, and the old US 50 from Medora to JCT SR 135 would become SR 235.
The next change wouldn’t be in the route, but in the route number. In 1935, US 35 was extended to Indiana, multiplexing, then replacing, SR 21 from Richmond to Marion. With US 35 coming to the state, the then current SR 35 had to be redesignated. At that time, it was changed from SR 35 to SR 135. This did not “downgrade” the road, making SR 135 the only “major” two digit road in the state with a three digit number.
In 1936, the connection between SR 37 and SR 135 was severed when the former was moved to connect to Indianapolis along the route of West Street from the Bluff Road intersection north.
Two changes were either in progress or completed by 1941. The completed project rerouted SR 135 at Brownstown from Ewing Street/Ewing Road/CR 100N/CR 150N to the junction of the current SR 135 to due south along the current route. This created the current multiplex (again) with US 50 into Brownstown. The second project would move SR 135 to a straight line from Trafalgar to Morgantown along the soon to be abandoned Fairland, Franklin and Martinsville Railroad. That project would be completed by 1942, turning the old SR 135 from Trafalgar south to CR 625S (at the time, JCT SR 252) into SR 535. SR 535 would last until SR 252 was moved north with the building of Camp Atterbury.
By 1949, at Corydon, SR 337 was multiplexed through the town with SR 135. SR 337 had been added to the state system between 1939 and 1941, connecting to SR 135 north of Corydonat what is now the corner of Old SR 135 and SR 337. The old route of SR 135 and SR 337 would traverse Corydon south through town to the corner of Laconia Road, where SR 337 turned east, and SR 135 turned west.
In 1957, SR 135 was extended from Mauckport, along what was then SR 11, to the ferry point opposite Brandenburg, Kentucky. Ultimately, the section of SR 135 from Central to Mauckport, and this extention, would be removed from the state system, being replaced by a straight line road from the ferry point north to Central. This replacement route was added to the state system in 1968, although the old route would remain SR 135 until 1970.
In 1961, the route of US 31 in downtown Indianapolis was moved to Pennsylvania Street from Madison Avenue and Meridian Street. It was at this time that SR 135 was changed to follow Troy Avenue from Meridian Street to Madison Avenue (US 31). Troy Avenue west of Meridian Street would be, for a couple of years, SR 100.
The Corydon bypass, removing the multiplex of SR 135 and SR 337, would be completed by 1973. This would make SR 337 the connection to the state road system to Corydon.
Other small changes were made in the old road over the years. Some sections were removed to make the road straighter and safer. The above mentioned section near the Round Top Cemetery was widened and moved to the east of the cemetery. SR 135 has been widened, slowly but surely, south from Indianapolis through northern Johnson County. This expansion continues moving southward as the expansion of the suburbs warrants it. The last major change made in the road was on 1 July 1999 when US 31 and US 40 were decommissioned inside the I-465 loop. This required the change of terminus of SR 135 from along Troy Avenue to US 31 to along Thompson Road to US 31.
4 thoughts on “SR 35 (or SR 135)”
I’m very happy I got to drive the southernmost section of SR 135 once before it was straightened. It was a fun drive. I drove it again shortly after the straightening and was amused to see so many of the old curvy segments left behind as local (driveway) access. The road wasn’t as much fun to drive anymore.