Haunted Hays Cemetery

East of Indianapolis in central Indiana is the small town of Wilkinson. In early days you could leave the town on Main Street and follow it to a cemetery that is basically out in the middle of nowhere. The Main Street Cemetery, also known as the Hays Cemetery, has over the years developed the reputation of being haunted. It is at the end of a rather rough gravel road and the road climbs a small rise and cuts across the center of the cemetery. Put Hays Cemetery in Google maps and you’ll get directions to the beginning of the gravel road.

The video shows that the Hays Cemetery is a neatly kept and open cemetery. There is plenty of room between the headstones. Several of the headstones list the names of Hays family members. Unfortunately lots of the stones have suffered from decades of weathering, making them very hard to read.

One of the Hays family who died in 1872

Sad marker for a sweet young girl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now to the haunting stuff. Several sources on the internet refer to the “fact” that this is a very haunted cemetery. One of the paranormal things has been the discussion of a ‘devil child’. There is supposed to be a pitch-fork shaped tree growing from the child’s grave. There are reports that local kids used to go out at night and try to call ghosts. We also saw one reference to some man hanging his wife from a tree and shooting her as well, thus spawning another ghostly presence.

Based on location, this might be the “Devil Child”

Ghostly wise, we didn’t see anything. We didn’t hear anything. We didn’t sense anything. We thought that this was a beautiful, peaceful and quiet resting place for many centuries gone Indiana early pioneers.

Thomas Family Winery

The Thomas Family Winery in downtown Madison, Indiana is housed in, appropriately, a vintage 1850’s old stable and carriage house. The interior is most welcoming, with tables set amidst a rustic motif, and there are outside tables as well for your pleasure.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This winery takes a bit of a different philosophy concerning their wine creations than other establishments. From the Thomas Family Winery website: “We feel that wine is food, and fills its greatest role as a mealtime beverage. We craft our wines in the European tradition of finesse, balance, and structure which particularly enhances the variety of flavors in meals.” Steve Thomas told us that they do not have any sweet wines, rather wines for pairing with meals. He expanded on their European style of wine making.

Maj tasting Gale Hard Cider

Owner Steve Thomas with our purchase

 
Owner Steve was most gracious and took plenty of time to explain what their winery is all about. The tastings were complimentary, and we did purchase a bottle of Niagara 2020. We did not partake of the bread and cheese offerings. That will be on another trip. We will be returning to enjoy the weekend live music. The supply of Gale Hard Cider will be restocked then as well. I liked that Cider! The Thomas Family Winery should be on your list of places to visit in Historic Madison, Indiana.

Lanthier Gardens on the Winery grounds

The Lanthier Winery and Distillery in Madison, Indiana is known not only for its award winning wines and distillery products but also for the magnificent gardens that surround the classic brick building . We visited this facility on Mother’s Day and walked the gardens. Our pervious visit was early in the season, and the weather was not conducive to an enjoyable stroll in the garden.

 

 

 

 

 


The gardens are known nation wide not only for the extraordinary variety of gorgeous flowers and vegetation, but also for a remarkable display of various art work in the form of paintings, sculpture and metalworks found throughout the grounds. There are so many unique creations in these gardens that you need to really keep your eyes open or you may miss something! The gardens are open seven days a week from sun up to sun down. There is never an admission charge.

Hanging Rock, Madison, Indiana

Traveling from Columbus, Indiana to Madison on the Ohio River via Highway 7 you’ll enjoy a slightly rolling countryside of farms interspersed with small towns and villages. As you approach Madison you see smoke stacks of a power plant that is right on the Indiana side of the Ohio. Soon you will see road signs warning of hairpin turns and steep grades. No lies there, Highway 7 drops very fast and twisty on the way down to the town of Madison.

Soon you come to Hanging Rock. There on the north side of the road is a quite impressive rock cliff complete with an active waterfall. Hanging Rock has been an important landmark in Madison since, well, when the first winding path snaked its way from the top of the hill down to the river. Today there is a pull out that allows uphill traffic to drive behind the falling water. Even during droughts the water always cascades down the cliff.  The feature was formed by glaciers thousands of years ago.

“Hello, Dolly!” is a must see at Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre

Sometimes a live theater musical production just clicks. Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” is an example of such a production. While driving home we discussed what we considered our favorite numbers. The realization soon came that we had no favorites: all were delightfully talent filled and delivered perfectly.

Dolly Levi (Suzanne Stark), center, decides she is going to put some “life back into” her life “before the parade passes by” . Photo courtesy B&B media

Dolly Levi (Suzanne Stark), right, tells Horace Vandergelder (Ty Stover) all about the woman she wants him to meet, all while planning to keep him for herself . Photo courtesy B&B media

Highlights of the show are impossible to list as the whole show was one big highlight! The clever stage sets on the turntable worked beautifully. The eye catching costumes brought a wow factor to each and every scene. The B&B’s orchestra arrangements indeed are superb and are an important and vital part of the success of the musical. The animated and dynamic choreography has you tapping your feet and wishing you could dance as well!

Suzanne Stark reprises her role as Dolly Levi for this production. She brings a decades long love of musical theater to her performance. “Hello, Dolly!” is one of, if not the favorite musical of this talented thespian. Her talent on stage is frankly amazing in it’s range covering character development and singing and dancing skills. It is easy to see why Suzanne has become one of Beef & Boards’ patrons favorite performers.

From left: Cornelius Hackl (David Schmittou), Irene Molloy (Grace Morgan), Barnaby Tucker (David Buergler), and Minnie Fay (Shelbi Berry) exert their “Elegance” Photo courtesy B&B Media

All cast members contribute to the success of this 10 time Tony Award winning musical. This true classic love story is filled with song, dance and hilarious comedy.  Each of the scenes brings a quality of talent that ensures that you will sit there watching with a smile on your face. Whether it is during one of the songs, humor in the execution of lines or fast footwork during dances you will be entertained. Guaranteed.

Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre’s production of Hello, Dolly! is now on stage through May 12.  Tickets include the Beef & Boards dinner buffet and select beverages. For tickets, visit Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre or call the box office at 317.872.9664.

 

Indiana Grand Racing and Casino is now Horseshoe Indianapolis

Casino loyalty program

Back in March of 2009 “Indiana Live” casino opened near Shelbyville, Indiana, about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis. The pari-mutuel race track had opened in April of 2003. Over the years the facility had a few different owners, a couple of names and many improvements. Recently the latest name change came into play: Horseshoe Indianapolis is the new name for this Caesars Entertainment Inc. casino.

New name posted

The racetrack is going through some massive changes, renovations and additions. There is a new 50 room dorm for the backstretch workers. There is also a 105 stall winterized barn that will open soon. The casino itself is going through some massive additions, including new carpet and lighting throughout, 25,000 new square feet of gaming floor with 225 new slots and 10 new table games. In addition there is now a new World Series of Poker game room in use.

Hopefully the casino will soon reopen its eating facilities. They had a great buffet, a casual restaurant and a high end steakhouse, none of these have reopened. The only food available now is at what they call a “Sidewalk Cafe”, serving a limited menu. Racing does start again in April.

 

Wooden Bear Brewing

Sunday afternoon seemed like a good time to have an adventure. So it was off to Greenfield, Indiana for a stop at the Wooden Bear Brewing company. Wooden Bear is in an old auto repair garage, and it is quite spacious.

Seating with bar on back wall

Company namesakes

 

 

 

 

 

The Wooden Bear has quite a nice selection of brews on tap. We decided to start with a four sample flight each. You can have as many as you like, with six being a full set, or as our waiter said, six is the most he can carry in one hand.

Sher’s flight

Maj’s flight

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A local pizza restaurant happens to be in the back of the building. Very handy, and we certainly enjoyed the thin crust pizzas. They got to our table quickly after we ordered them.

Black olives!

Pepperoni!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We liked the NEIPA (hazy) so much we got a growler to go

Lazy Sunday afternoons are perfect for relaxing, enjoying a pizza and a flight of different brews. It is also a perfect time when you can spend it with the love of your life and the most important person in your life. Sundays don’t get any better than that.

Greek Revival Lanier Mansion finished in 1844

Madison, Indiana is known for it many historic buildings, including some of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture preserved in the country. The Lanier Mansion was the home of James Franklin Doughty Lanier, a banker, railroad developer and Clerk of the Indiana General Assembly. The south face of the home faces the Ohio River, and is considered the “front door” to the mansion.

The Ohio River is behind the camera

Spiral staircase in the mansion. Photo courtesy Ind. State Museum

From an Indiana State Museum website: Francis Costigan designed the mansion with many Greek Revival features. These include its square plan, the full façade porch on the south elevation, the Corinthian columns on the south portico, the Doric pilasters that appear on several locations on the exterior, the massive exterior entablature and dentilated cornice, the ornamental anthemia, the ornamental pediments over the windows and doors, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor.

West side of the mansion, Ohio River to the right

The Lanier Mansion was designed by renowned architect Frank Costigan, with the project completed in 1844. It is now part of the Indiana State Museum system as an official Historic Site. It has been referred to as the Crown Jewel of the Madison Historic District, and provides insight into the life and times of the 1840’s Indiana along the Ohio River.

 

Colonial is good Bread

Old advertisements have always been popular, it seems. Keep your eyes open and you never know when you’ll spot a piece of pure Americana.

The back of the oval sign says “Thank You”

We found a nice example of a vintage (pre 1958) functional advertisement in the form of a working wooden/screen door on the Whistle Stop Cafe in Osgood, Indiana.  The well worn metal cross piece proudly announces that “Colonial is good Bread”. Colonial Bread began in 1928 in Oklahoma City. The name was changed to Rainbo Bread in 1958 when the recipe was changed.

Complete Colonial Bread screen doors are bringing quite a lot on the online sites like ebay, Pinterest and Etsy. Just the signs without doors also command high prices.