Most Used Information Sites for Indiana Transportation History

I have been asked many times how and where I get the information that I share between this blog and my ITH Facebook group. Being a person that wants to share any information I can find, I want to allow you, the readers, to have the chance to see for yourselves what I have found.

For maps, let’s start with my favorite resource: the Indiana State Library Digital Collections at http://cdm16066.contentdm.oclc.org/cdm/search/collection/p15078coll8. I found this site relatively late in searches. But it has become my go to for most of the Indiana State Highway maps that I use on a regular basis. This site also allows downloads of the maps. I can admit that I have done this with many of the maps, since I tend to refer to them a lot. It also saves my internet cap – since I have a top limit on how much I can use before they charge me extra.

One of the first sites I found is the IUPUI Historic Indiana Maps at http://ulib.iupuidigital.org/cdm/search/collection/HIM. This collection is very nice, with the same interface as the one used at the Indiana State Library. It, however, does not allow downloading. This is not a major problem, as far as I am concerned. After all, the fact that I can access this great information at all is good enough for me.

Indiana University Bloomington allows access to a small number of early state highway maps at https://libraries.indiana.edu/indiana-state-highway-maps. Other information appears on this page. It is definatly worth a look.

For interurban information, I can not recommend more this PDF file: http://www.railwaystationlists.co.uk/pdfusaiu/indianainterurbanrlys.pdf. It lists, to the best of its ability, every stop on every Interurban in the state. It is very extensive.

Another good site for Interurban information is https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1tfzUtyQ-UOcOYQKNbYvI8i7rFzI&ll=39.96179685221379%2C-85.71168638122339&z=9. Admittedly, I saved the link wrong, so it zooms in in the middle of nowhere. But you can zoom out to see the extensive work that was done to this Google Map.

A government site that I visit quite regularly is http://maps.indy.gov/MapIndy/index.html. Not only does it show Indianapolis as it is now, there is also access to aerial photographs of the county all the way back to 1937. If you want to know how much Indianapolis has changed, this is the place to go. Other information on this site includes property lines, owners, assessed value, and (some times) the last sale and value of that property.

A pay site that gives me the most information is http://www.newspapers.com. Not a day goes by that I am not rummaging through that site. I pay for it as part of my genealogy research…but end up using it more for this hobby. I am really glad that my wife and I found the need for this access.

For more Indianapolis specific information, dating all the way back to 1855, I recommend http://ulib.iupui.edu/collections/icd. Let me say that if you want to be completely confused, take a look at some of the addresses in this book. The addressing and street names have changed several times over the years.

For detailed maps, check out https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/. Unfortunately, Indiana’s older topo maps are sadly missing. I think the oldest I have found is the 1948 edition. But tracing older routes, and why they were located where they were, is very easy with the maps available here.

If you want to get some really old information, check out the Indiana Gazetteers available at https://www.google.com/search?tbm=bks&q=Indiana+Gazetteer. Editions from 1833 and 1849 are accessible here. It is quite fun to compare the changes between the two. It is, after all, a “Topographical Dictionary of the State of Indiana.”

For railroad history information, reading through the Interstate Commerce Commission reports at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:WikiProject_Trains/ICC_valuations come in very handy. The ICC reports give a very detailed history of not only the (then) current railroad companies, but also all the companies that they compiled to become that end result. Most even include which company built which part of the railroad.

And last, but certainly not by any means the least, is the blog site of Jim Grey at https://blog.jimgrey.net/. Jim is my co-admin of the Facebook group. He is also the one that recommended that I start this blog. I am glad he did. His site is called “Down The Road,” and includes quite a few road related entries. His collection of entries about both the Michigan Road and the National Road are incredible. I am also reminded of his dedication to the Michigan Road six days a week as I see signs marking the Michigan Road Historic Byway every day I go to and from work. (I work nights, so Monday through Friday, I see one going to work. Tuesday through Saturday, I see one on the way home. After all, my place of employment in on the old road.)

I hope that you will check out and enjoy these assorted sites. I will continue to use them to keep doing what I like to do. And, heck, you can even make sure I am getting things right, as well.

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