An 1890 hardware store turned restaurant

The three story brick building was built in 1890 and housed a hardware store for decades. The locally owned J.G. DePrez Co. was a prominent feature in downtown Shelbyville, Indiana. The building now houses a unique restaurant on the first floor .

Pudder’s storefront

Looking out on the town square






Pudder’s opened in 2019 and was able to survive the pandemic. It has maintained its local patron base, and is beginning to gain a reputation in surrounding areas. The restaurant is spacious, has two bars and interesting interior decor.

Full service bar

Interesting rustic decor






Sher and I went to Pudder’s for a late lunch. We were seated immediately,  there were a couple of other tables occupied. The service staff is very attentive and meets your needs without delay. Sher started with one of the signature cocktails and really enjoyed it.

“Fancy” cocktail menu

Sher’s Pink Drink









Their menu offers an assortment of burgers, wraps, salads, wings and tons of appetizers. Sher ordered the veggie wrap, which was absolutely filled to overflowing with good stuff. I wanted to go with the Fish and Chips. The two pieces of cod were served piping hot, and each piece was very thick and filling!

We had a great lunch

Pudder’s has live music each weekend and a regular schedule of trivia nights. The drinks, food and service is good. Hard to beat that combination, plus for us Pudder’s is close by.

New viewing deck overlooks Blue River

Craftsmen just yesterday put the finishing touches on the new viewing deck overlooking Blue River in Shelbyville, Indiana.

This nice observation deck is just across the Blue River Trail pavement at the end of the new A to Z Storybook Trail. We just published a post about that trail feature here. Shelbyville and Shelby County are in central Indiana, and are continuing to expand the popular Blue River Trail. These additions add to the enjoyment of trail users.

A Bison-tennial statue in Shelby County

Before each county got theirs to decorate

Indiana’s Statehood Bicentennial was celebrated in 2016. The remnants of that celebration can be seen all over the state in the form of 5 feet tall fiberglass bison. The website states: “Indiana Association of United Ways was the proud sponsor of the statewide Bison-tennial Public Art Project. This legacy project helped celebrate Indiana’s 200th birthday by decorating and displaying 5-foot-tall fiberglass bison with an end goal of at least one – if not a herd – of bison on display in each of Indiana’s 92 counties.” We’d seen a few around the state, and just last week we saw a newly placed one in Shelbyville.

Balsar the Bison in front of the old Porter Pool Bath House

Lots of local landmarks, businesses

Recognize that Kennedy Covered Bridge?






The bison is named Balsar after the main character in The Bears Of Blue River by Shelbyville resident author Charles Major. Not sure where Balsar has been since 2016, but now the Shelby County bison grazes in front of the old Porter Pool Bath House which was built in 1930. (Read about the current use of the Porter building here.)



An A to Z Storybook Trail

A new short trail showcasing highlights and history of Shelby County has been completed along the Blue River Trail in Shelbyville, Indiana. The 13 signs are placed at intervals with two “letters” each on the signs.

One of the 13 signs on the trail

Shot of the trail

Note the limestone benches

Sign showing local attraction and bit of history

The whole trail and sign placements are very nicely landscaped with trees and flowers. Scattered around are large limestone “benches”. These have been quarried from a Shelby County quarry that has has been in operation for decades.

The main Blue River Trail along the tree line

In the far background you can see the Blue River-Wind, Rain and Water public art (here is a link to our post about the sculpture). Shelbyville and Shelby County have done a great job constructing and maintaining the Blue River Trail complex across the city and through at least three parks.




A refurbished local landmark back in service

The Joseph Fountain was first dedicated in 1923 on the center of the town square in Shelbyville, Indiana. It has been the center of the “square” (as the center of town has been known for decades by the locals) and has supported the Christmas Trees and for one year in the 1950’s it was covered  with cornstalks in the fall.

Vintage photo showing the Fountain in the center of the square

New information plaque placed at the rededication of the fountain

During the years 2020-2021 a massive project completely reconstructed the square, entrance streets, sidewalks and parking. There the fountain, after complete restoration, was replaced in its historic location. With water again flowing freely, the fountain is once again the center of the square delighting young and old alike.


The old hardware store is now a pub

The building is a 3 story brick with a full basement, built in 1890 and home to the J.G. DePrez Co. a family owned hardware store for years. Like many small town stores, it fell prey to shopping malls and interstate highways allowing easy access to those big city malls. The hardware store closed decades ago.

Pudders is in the white building on the left. Note the DePrez name on the brick in the upper right

Now a portion of the first floor houses a delightful restaurant and, in the back a separate bar room. Named Pudders, this business is located on the Public Square of Shelbyville, a small town in central Indiana. It has been in business since 2019, and has enjoyed a strong local following.

Full bar serving restaurant

Fresh made chips smothered with good stuff

Vegetable Wrap and fries. Wrap is loaded!

Fresh cod “Fish and Chips” with cole slaw







Now that the pandemic is slowing down, Pudders has live music each weekend and periodic trivia nights. Their menu offers an assortment of burgers, wraps, salads, wings and tons of appetizers. We had a small group of family members together for a late afternoon meal. Every meal was delicious and portion sizes were very generous. It is always nice to see older buildings in small towns occupied with locally owned businesses.

A turn of the century sanitarium for addiction treatments

This stately brick home was built in the 1860’s in what was then the outskirts of Shelbyville, Indiana. In 1906 the son of a local judge opened this home as a hospital for the treatment of those with addictions.

The Hord Sanitarium building as it is today

View in 1906 Postcard from The Indiana Album

Back of postcard from The Indiana Album






Dr. Luther Hord operated The Hord Sanitarium Park from 1906 until well into the 1940’s. The Hord Sanitarium was known throughout the Midwest as one of the premier hospitals for the treatment of alcohol and drug abuse. Currently it appears that the multistory house is being used as apartments.

Historic 1930’s art deco building

The historic building survives with a new use

This historic building in Shelbyville, Indiana was originally the bath house for what was for decades the town’s public swimming pool.  The William A. Porter Memorial Swimming Pool Bathhouse was built to honor the memory of the son of a Shelbyville family. This Art Deco building was dedicated in 1930.

Sometime in the 1960’s showing pool and back of the building

The pool was closed in 1998 and subsequently was demolished. The building is currently being used by the local Chamber of Commerce and serves as the Shelby County Tourism & Visitors’ Bureau. It is located on the north side of town and is one of the first structures that visitors see when they come into town.

The Bears of Blue River statue

Charles Major was a lawyer and author from Shelbyville, Indiana, a small town near Indianapolis. Major wrote several novels, including his second book, The Bears of Blue River. A statue of the book’s hero and main character, Balsar Brent, was commissioned in 1927. The statue used to be in front of a now demolished elementary school, but recently was placed within the town square, recently reworked.

Statue in front of school, circa 1950’s

Newly relocated place of honor








The statue still sported the festive Santa hats when we got the pictures. The new town square construction has provided a lovely place for folks to relax and enjoy the seating, and when the weather warms, surely events will be planned.

Detail of bronze plaque

Close up of Balsar and his cubs






The book “Bears of Blue River” is a staple of Hoosier school kids, and has been since it was published in 1901. It is a very exciting read, complete with harrowing adventures, exciting chases and a plethora of encounters with 1820’s wild animals on the then Indiana frontier. I remember it well…