An 1871 Methodist Church

According to Shelby County Indiana history, following is part of the backstory  of Jollity United Methodist Church: “Back in the gray and misty dawn of the history of Jackson Township, Shelby County, there came two men who settled in what is now known as the Jollity Neighborhood.  These men, William Shipp  and  Burgess Waggoner, brought their families from Kentucky and settled near the Brockman Cemetery.”

The first church was a wooden frame building about a mile from the existing church. The cost of this was around $300.00. It was replaced in 1871 with a new brick church edifice on a new corner of land. The church is on the Shelby/Johnson County line, closer to Franklin than to Shelbyville.

Church Marquee with Holy statue in background

Memorial Flowering Dogwood, planted in April, 1989






Unfortunately a tornado hit the church in 1877. It was repaired, and over the years renovations and building additions were constructed, one with several small Sunday School rooms, a fellowship hall and a kitchen.

Mr. Reasner must have loved horses

Research has determined that the name of the church, Jollity, is most likely named after Frederick Jollity, the man who originally surveyed Johnson County between 1820 and 1830. The church started as a small group of neighbors who came to Indiana in the 1820’s. The National Methodist website lists the current congregation as 18 members, probably close to the original size of the group.



Nashville Fudge Kitchen

Nashville, Indiana is in the center of Brown County, about 40 miles south of Indianapolis.. The town was established in 1836 as Jacksonburg, however a year later the name was changed to Nashville after Nashville, Tennessee. It was on our itinerary of our recent day trip.

The inviting store front

We were able to find a great street parking spot, as the crowds were not huge like they can be. Off to the Nashville Fudge Kitchen we went, as Sher had already spotted this during her trip preparation. What a marvelous inventory this place had for sale! As soon as you walk in your nose is flooded with delicious scents.

Popcorn in all flavors

Gelato and ice creams, yum!

The video shows the fudge craftsperson working with a roll of fudge ready for sale. This was in fact peanut butter fudge, and we purchased a slice from this roll.

We bought two different types of fudge. We continued on and visited a few more stores. The weather was really nice, with partly coudy skies , a slight breeze, and temperatures in the low 70’s. A great day for a day trip!


The Bean Blossom covered bridge

The Bean Blossom covered bridge is located near the village of Bean Blossom on Covered Bridge Road and it spans, you guessed it, Bean Blossom Creek. This is one of the favorite photo op sites in Brown County, Indiana.

Approaching the bridge

This bridge was constructed in 1880 by a Capt. Joseph Balsey for the sum of $1200. The covered bridge design is that of a Howe-single through truss. The supported approach deck is unique due to the topography as the road approaches the stream bank.

Too bad about the graffiti

Supports for the approach

Overlooking Bean Blossom Creek

Detail of the deck lumber

Interesting story here?

We had to chuckle a bit when we noticed the graffiti just inside of the bridge. Seems that Molly likes to bring her boyfriends here. Have to wonder, was Molly dating Roman and Steve at the same time?


Day trip big birds

While on our recent day trip we ended up on a well graded gravel road in Brown County, Indiana. We were on our way to another historic bridge and looking for any other neat things to see.

Up ahead we spotted a large black shape next to a yellow striped warning sign. Yep, that’s a turkey vulture, actually two of them. The second one is behind the yellow sign.

Why did the turkey cross the road?

To frustrate that human with the camera!

As soon as we started moving again we were surrounded by what seemed like a large rafter of wild turkeys running across the road. Dang they were fast! Out of the eight or so individuals we only got a couple of photos, neither of which that good. It’s always fun seeing wildlife during a drive in the country.

Oliver Winery is an Indiana landmark

The Oliver Winery is located north of Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. That is important, as Oliver Winery traces its roots to the basement of IU law professor William Oliver in the 1960’s. He started as a hobby, planted a vineyard north of town, and soon had a production winery in the early 1970’s.

Tasting bar in center

Lots of cool stuff!

Covered deck, lovely hill with picnic tables overlooking the pond

Oliver’s website gives a wonderful bit of history: “Professor Oliver was instrumental in passing legislation allowing for the creation of small wineries in our state. The Indiana Small Winery Act passed in 1971, and Oliver Winery opened in 1972. Sales took off with Camelot Mead, and we’ve been growing ever since. Today, we distribute our award-winning, fruit-forward wines to 40 states and ship across the country.”

Interesting limestone feature

Path to the tasting room

From the flower garden…






Oliver Winery grew rapidly during the 1980’s and early 1990’s. The new tasting room was built in 1997. The winery has become a very popular gathering place. The beautiful grounds provide peaceful areas for picnicking, including a lovely pond to add ambiance.

The stunning gardens and grounds are worth the time for a visit! We really enjoyed seeing the Oliver Winery in person. We had discussed many times making a visit to this well known winery. And yes, we left with some Cherry Moscato, Blueberry Moscato and local Dillman Farms Plum butter and Blackberry  preserves. Deliciousness coming!

This two lane covered bridge is at its second location

In 1858 bridge builder Henry Wolf constructed a double barrel Burr arch truss covered bridge over Ramp Creek on what would become Highway 231 in Putnam County, west of Indianapolis. Time marched on, and in 1932 a new two lane pony truss bridge bypassed Wolf’s covered two lane bridge, which was set to be torn down. Richard Lieber, commonly known as the “Father of Indiana’s State Park system”, ordered it relocated to Indiana’s first state park in Brown County.

Bridge now spans North Fork of Salt Creek

1932 photo of new bridge, left, and old one, right. Photo courtesy Bridge Hunter

Lane two is visible to the left

Clear view of the Burr-arch truss system

This road is the North Entrance to Brown County State Park, just south of Nashville, Indiana. This was the first Indiana State Park, and it is known for its gorgeous fall colors, large camping sites, horse and hiking trails and the rustic Abe Martin Lodge. Each fall the park and nearby Nashville become an absolute beehive of activity for thousands of folks enjoying Indiana nature at its best. There is another entrance that accommodates RV motorhomes and vehicles towing trailers as the bridge has 9 feet clearance and a 3 ton weight limit.


Discovery of an Indiana iron bridge

While following our map/directions app on the way to another historic bridge we were pleasantly surprised when we came up to another old iron bridge. This one has a lower profile, with no superstructure overhead. Typical of lots of smaller iron bridges, the deck is made of open grating that lets you look through the floor to the water below.

The approach

Note the angled supports

Detail of connection

Note damage at end of lattice piece

Looking over North Fork Salt Creek











This bridge, tagged Brown County Bridge #33, known to locals as the Green Valley Road Bridge, is an iron pony truss design. The bridge spans the North Fork of Salt Creek. The nearly 90 foot long span was constructed in 1915 by the Cambria Steel Co. of Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Cambria was a very prolific builder in many midwestern states at the turn of the century.

Open grate bridge deck

Probably needs an engineer to have a look






The Green Valley Road runs through a beautiful part of Brown County, one of Indiana’s most visited counties. This small bridge adds to the charm of the road and surrounds. It is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. The structure could use a coat of paint. Some rather noticeable damage has occurred on one side of an approach. This damage may or may not be structural and hopefully is not hazardous to the bridge.

A very busy day trip

The weather was nearly perfect, not too hot, partly cloudy and a nice breeze. We decide that Sunday would be a great time to get out and have a day trip. Our son put together a tentative itinerary, and we hit the road late morning. It was sure nice having our son driving.

Soybean fields, forests and a covered bridge

We had quite a day, long in time but most enjoyable. We saw several historic bridges, which you know we enjoy visiting. A country church was a nice stop. We also visited some of the shops in Nashville, Indiana, a huge tourist mecca in south central Indiana. (Yep, two fudge shoppes!)

More deer images coming

We also had a couple of wineries planned. In addition, we found a distillery we were not aware of. Turns out is is well known, and had a marvelous tasting event and enjoyable grounds. In addition we were blessed with the sightings of quite a lot of wildlife and frankly a few surprises as well. Stay tuned, we have several posts on the way!

Heat lightning storm last night

In the Midwest it is called “heat lightning” when the storm is so far away that you can’t see the actual lightning bolts and can’t hear any thunder. It does make for a good light show! The iPhone did a decent job catching some of the lightning bursts.

Between the light bursts there was total darkness last night.

The heat lightning was fairly steady for a few minutes, then it slowed down a lot. This storm system was too far away from us to provide much rain. We got maybe two tenths at most overnight. Hopefully the forecast for more rain this week will be correct for once.