Attractions

AZALEA PATH ARBORETUM


 

Home to one of the largest collections of azaleas in the midwest and located on the Gibson / Pike County border in southwestern Indiana, the Azalea Path Arboretum & Botanical Gardens covers over 60 acres of land and includes more than 3,000 azaleas.  The Azalea Path also features a large variety of unusual plants and native Indiana trees, two spring-fed lakes, a waterfall, a Koi pond and several unique chainsaw sculptures which complement the beautifully landscaped 3 miles of walking trails.  The Azalea Path is home to 37 out of the 38 hybrids of Schroeder Azalea plus the complete collection of Buddy Lee Encore Azaleas.
1502 N. County Road 825 W
Hazleton, IN 47640
(812) 640-9133 

CANE RIDGE WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA

 
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As home to the largest nesting colony of the endangered interior Least Tern east of the Mississippi River, the Cane Ridge Unit is recognized as a Globally Important Bird Area.  Over 380 species of wildlife, including a new species of burrowing crayfish verified in 2002, have been observed on the refuge.

Driving Directions:  This Wabash River bottoms property lies off the southwest corner of Duke Energy’s 3,000-acre Gibson Lake west of Princeton. 

COCKRUM HALL

 
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James Cockrum a resident of Oakland City, was born in 1799 in North Carolina and purchased land in Gibson County in 1818. Along with sympathizers in Warrick, Gibson and Pike Counties, Cockrum and his son, William Monroe Cockrum,  used their barn to aid enslaved Blacks seeking freedom along the Underground Railroad.  Cockrum died November 19, 1875.  His home, located on the Oakland City University campus, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.  With restoration completed in 2002, Cockrum Hall houses the Offices of Development and Alumni Affairs for Oakland City University.
38 Lucretia Street
Oakland City, IN 47660
(812) 749-1228 

COVERED BRIDGES OF GIBSON COUNTY

 
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Gibson County is home to two remaining covered bridges. Red Bridge over Big Bayou Creek in southern Gibson County was built in 1875.
The Wheeling Bridge, spanning the Patoka River northeast of Princeton, was built in 1877. In 2000, the Wheeling Bridge under went a major renovation, which included beautiful new landscaping courtesy of the Gibson County Master Gardeners.
Driving Directions:
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GIBSON COUNTY COURTHOUSE

 
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Often described as the jewel in the county’s crown, the Gibson County courthouse sits right in the center of its county seat of Princeton. The present structure is the third courthouse built in Princeton. Its cornerstone, which can be seen on the northeast corner of the building, was laid in 1884 and construction was completed in 1886 at a cost of $188,661.00.  With its four corner towers framing four original center entries that form a Greek cross, it stands as a picturesque example of the Romanesque Revival style of architecture. The north and south entries to the courthouse feature high relief male mascarons while the east and west entries feature high relief female mascarons. The exterior of the courthouse was built using limestone from Bedford, Indiana and brick manufactured in St. Louis. Interior construction materials included black walnut grown in the county as well as mosaic tiles and oak flooring.  The courthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1984 and was also used as a model for a piece in the Original Department 56 Snow Village Collection. The courthouse is open Monday through Friday from 8 am until 4 pm. Guided tours can be scheduled by contacting the Gibson County Visitors & Tourism Bureau at 888-390-5825.101 North Main St.
Princeton, IN  47670

GIBSON COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS


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When people gather, the Gibson County Fairgrounds is the perfect location!
Every July, it is home to the Gibson County Fair,  Indiana’s oldest continuously running county fair, started in 1852, the same year as the Indiana State Fair.  During the American Civil War, Camp Gibson was created to train soldiers for the Union cause on the grounds of what is now the Gibson County Fairgrounds. The 58th, 65th, and 80th Indiana Infantry regiments were all organized at Camp Gibson.  Today, the fairgrounds provides ideal facilities for company picnics, corporate meetings, group gatherings, weddings, receptions, reunions, graduation parties, social events, Christmas and holiday parties, trade shows, consumer shows, church events, auctions, flea markets, gun shows, car shows, tractor or truck pulls, concerts, horse shows and rodeos, livestock and other animal events. Facilities include the 4-H Exhibit Hall with seating capacity for 350 people, the Activities Building with seating capacity for 275 people, and the Pavilion, a 32,500 square foot multi-use indoor arena or exhibit space perfect for livestock and horse shows, rodeos, undercover car rallies, garden and antique tractor pulls and any other events where protection from weather is desirable.  A large midway, a grandstand and arena area with seating capacity for 2,700 people, plus three 4,000 square feet merchants buildings round out the facilities.
709 North Embree Street 
Princeton, IN 47670
(812) 385-3445 
events@gibsoncountyfair.com

HENAGER’S MEMORIES & NOSTALGIA MUSEUM



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Named the “Loneliest Museum in America.” by Roadside American, this museum is a quaint collection of artifacts and memorabilia spanning the last century. Guests can enjoy a wide range of exhibits including movie memorabilia, vintage photos, a 1930 Ford Model A coupe, and special collection of items featuring Roy Rogers and Smokey Bear.
Hours: (call to verify)
June – Aug:  Mon.-Thur. 8am – 7pm; 
Fri. 8am-5pm, Sat. 8am – 4pm
Sept – May: Mon. – Fri. 8am – 5pm; Sat. 8am – 4pm
Admission:   $6.00 adults,  $3.00 children
(Children under 7 – free)
Group rate:  $4.00/person
8837 S. State Rd. 57
Buckskin, IN
(812) 795-2230

LYLES STATION HISTORIC SCHOOL & MUSEUM


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Recognized as one of the last remaining  African American settlements in Indiana, Lyles Station was founded by free black men in the mid 1800’s.  This pioneer farming community instilled strong values of hard work and the importance of education in its residents.  Today, the Lyles Station Historic School and Museum includes a period garden; an authentic Lyles Station log cabin; The Alonzo Fields Gallery featuring notable natives of Lyles Station including Alonzo Fields, Chief Butler at the White House for 21 years; plus a museum featuring a collection of early American agricultural tools and implements that helps tell the Lyles Station story.  Each year during the month of October, Lyles Station is home to a family-oriented fall festival and corn maze featuring hayrides, wiener roasts and lots of activities for children.
Opening in September 2016, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will feature Lyles Station in its inaugural “Power of Place” exhibition in Washinton, DC.
Now booking groups & classroom for field trips, including a 2-hour Work & Play field trip with hands-on activities including candle making, butter churning and period games. The 4-hour Heritage Classroom field trip gives students a look into the life of a student in the 1920’s. Meeting space available.
953 N CR 500 W
Princeton, IN 47670
(812) 385-2543 
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NEW GENERATION DAIRY FARM


 

The New Generation Dairy Farm is owned and operated by Brian & Ranell Rexing. The operation covers 80 acres and milks over 900 head of Holstein cattle, three times a day. The operation’s average milk production is approximately 50,000 gallons per week. The facility contains an indoor observation room where visitors can get a birdseye view of the milking process. Tour the dairy facilities and discover how milk gets from the farm to your table.  School children, community groups, day camps and families are all invited to come out for a visit and leave with a “dairy good” treat. It’s a moo-ving experience!
Tours by appointment March-October
Call (812) 729-7300
11113 W 750 S
Owensville, IN

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PATOKA RIVER NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE



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Located in southwestern Indiana, the Refuge offers residents and visitors alike a unique place to escape the stresses of the modern world and enjoy the great outdoors. Whether you enjoy fishing, hiking, wildlife viewing, birding, paddling or hunting… there’s a place for you at the Refuge.
Patoka River National Wildlife Refuge and Management Area was established in 1994 in Gibson and Pike counties, along the Patoka River in southwest Indiana. To date 5,211 acres, with a goal of 22,765 acres, have been acquired. The focus of the refuge is restoration of bottom-land hardwood forest habitats. As home to the largest nesting colony of the endangered interior least tern east of the Mississippi River, the Cane Ridge Unit is recognized as a Globally Important Bird Area. Over 380 species of wildlife, including a new species of burrowing crayfish verified in 2002, have been observed on the refuge. Hunting, fishing, environmental education, wildlife observation, photography, hiking and canoeing. Open sunrise to sunset every day
Bill McCoy, Refuge Manager

Driving Directions: (more…)

PRINCETON TRAIN DEPOT/GIBSON COUNTY VISITORS CENTER


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Built in 1875 and beautifully restored, the Princeton Depot is the only remaining depot structure in Gibson County. Once housing the C&EI and L&N railways ,it was the lifeline of commerce and transportation for the county. Passenger service was discontinued in the late 1960’s. Today the depot stands as a nostalgic reminder of the importance railroads have played in Gibson County history. The Princeton Train Depot is now home to the Gibson County Visitors Center and features a railway museum with a restored train caboose.
Tours are available at no charge- Monday-Friday 9-5.
Groups are always welcome.
Gibson County  Visitors & Tourism Bureau/  Princeton Train Depot
702 W. Broadway
Princeton, IN 47670
(812) 385-0999 

SEVERNS BRIDGE



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John Severns, Sr., a native of Wales, is recognized as the first white settler in Gibson County. While enlisted as a soldier during the Revolutionary War, he secured a furlough to visit his parents in the wilds of West Virginia. While there, he was captured along with his entire family by Indians. His father, mother, a younger brother and sister were murdered by them while he and his older brother were held as prisoners and taken back to an Indian town somewhere on the headwaters of the White River.  After being a prisoner for seven years he made his escape and soon afterward 
married and settled in Kentucky where he lived for three years. His older brother, who was captured with him was given to another family of Indians and taken away and he never saw him again. This brother was adopted by a prominent chief and later married an Indian woman.  In 1789 John Severns, Sr., settled with his wife and five children on the south bank of the Patoka River, two and one-half miles north of Princeton, Indiana at a point now known as Severns Bridge, where he ran a ferry boat. This point was long known as Severns Ferry, later Severns Bridge.  Because of his knowledge of the Indian dialect, their manners and customs, he was able to make friends with the Indians and they permitted him to settle among them. At that time there was a large Indian town on the north bank of the Patoka river, nearly opposite his home. John Severns, Sr., died in about 1829.  Severns Bridge was constructed in 1908 and rehabilitated in 2009 by the local government and Federal Highway funds. The benches, picnic areas and walking path were donated by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Indiana and built by Toyota team members.
Driving Directions:  From downtown Princeton, follow State Road 65 North approximately 3 miles to bridge on left.

THE LOG INN



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The historic Log Inn Restaurant was built in 1825 as a trading post and stage coach stop. The first stage coach started running on what was once an Indian trail between Evansville and Vincennes in 1824. The fare was $3.50, four to six horses were used and changed every 12 miles.
It is reported that, in 1844, Abraham Lincoln stopped here during a campaign tour speaking for presidential candidate, Henry Clay. The fourth owner of the Log Inn was Henry Haub who later founded the nearby town of Haubstadt in 1855. Throughout its long history, the physical structure of The Log Inn has undergone many transformations. Though none of the original log structure remains visible today from the outside, visitors can still see and dine in one of the original log rooms. It is reported that, under the log part of the building, there is a full cellar which was reputed to have been used as a hiding place for runaway slaves during the Civil War period. Today, The Log Inn is recognized as the oldest restaurant in the state of Indiana. It is widely known for its family style dinners and has been named as one of Indiana’s Favorite Hometown Restaurants by the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns.
12653 S. 200 E.
Haubstadt, IN  47639
812-867-3216

TOYOTA MOTOR MANUFACTURING INDIANA VISITORS CENTER & PLANT TOURS


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Get under the hood at the Toyota Indiana Visitors Center! Explore the history of Toyota from its early role in the textile industry to its position today as a standard bearer in automotive production and quality. View a demonstration of an original Toyoda Type G Automatic Loom and learn the poignant story of how this loom is now producing backing for quilts donated to wounded American troops. Watch the sparks fly as you take a free tram tour through the Toyota manufacturing facility and observe the Toyota Production System up close.
To make a reservation, please call (812) 387-2266 or (888) 696-8211 (88TOYOTA11) or visit www.tourtoyotaindiana.com
4000 Tulip Tree Drive
Princeton, IN
(812) 768-6025

TRI-STATE SPEEDWAY


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Catch all of the excitement where NASCAR superstar Jeff Gordon raced as a fourteen-year-old on this 1/4 -mile high banked dirt track. Racing enthusiasts can enjoy sprint car racing including the World Of Outlaws and open-wheeled modifieds from April through September. Races are held every Sunday night with special events included throughout the season. Located on US Hwy 41 near Haubstadt, IN.
Driving Directions:
From I-64, take US Hwy 41 North to Haubstadt, at the intersection of County Road 1025 South and US Hwy 41
9981 S. U.S. Hwy 41- Haubstadt
(812) 768-6025

WABASH AND ERIE CANAL



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The Wabash and Erie Canal was a shipping canal that linked the Great Lakes to the Ohio River via a man-made waterway providing traders with access from the Great Lakes all the way to the Gulf of Mexico.
Completed in the mid-1800’s most historians agree the period between 1847 and 1852 was the heyday of the canal. In Indiana, the 40-foot wide canal was built mostly by Irish immigrants using shovels, picks, wheelbarrows, and the horse-drawn slip-scoop. By 1837, there were 1,000 laborers employed on the state’s canal system. Accidents, fever, cholera, fights, and snakebite exacted a heavy toll on the workforce. It has been reported that the toll in lives from the building of the Canal was one person for every six feet of completed Canal in the forty-mile stretch between the Indiana / Ohio state line and Junction, Ohio. This figure, however, has been vigorously contested by some canal historians. Several types of boats traveled on the canal but the two used for business were the packet and the line boat. The packet was primarily used for transportation of passengers while the line boats hauled freight. From 1853 until its demise, canal receipts steadily declined. The canal could only remain navigable for eight months a year. One of the great ironies of history is that the slow-paced, mule-driven canal boats transported the rails from foundries for building the railroads which ultimately put the canal out of business by the 1870’s. Though most of the canal has long since deteriorated, parts of the towpath and some small segments of the canal itself are still visible along the south side of the gravel road which runs along side of the canal.
Directions:  West of Francisco at the intersection of County Roads 175 South and 550 East.  From I-64 take US Hwy 41 North to IN SR 64 East through Princeton to County Road 550 East, then south to the intersection of County Road 175 South.