Travel: Mansions and more make Indiana’s Ohio River counties worth a visit | Lifestyles – Travel

There was a time when rivers ended up the highways of The united states, and the Ohio River, as it stretched together the southern border of Indiana separating the condition from Kentucky, was no various. It is why, for a long stretch of time in the 1800s, Floyd County was the richest place in the point out of Indiana.

In both of those Floyd and neighboring Clark County ship proprietors and captains and all the kings of marketplace who contributed to what was vital to construct and preserve these boats afloat erected elaborate mansions.

As is the way of all things, one particular form of transportation was eclipsed by another, and with the arrival of railroads, and afterwards vans and automobiles, steamships were being scuttled and fortunes disappeared.

But some of these outstanding mansions continue being in both New Albany and Jeffersonville, and it is worth a drive to Southern Indiana to check out what are now property museums and to working experience what else is going on in these pretty riverfront cities just across the river from Louisville.

When we communicate about mansions, we’re really severe without a doubt. The Richardsonian-Romanesque-type Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville is a whopping 22 rooms. And that doesn’t involve the carriage dwelling, which was transported across the river from where it was utilized as component of the 1883 Southern Exposition in Louisville and established on the 20 acres that would finally be the website of the Howard dwelling.

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Open for excursions, the purple stone house with its turrets, gables, arches and Palladian fashion windows is the only steamship museum in the country, and it’s total of excellent artifacts harkening back to the period when the relatives owned the Howard Shipyard, which developed above 3,000 boats. It was the major inland shipyard in America, which, when you consider about it, was actually remarkable. I mean Jeffersonville, Indiana, not the Eastern seaboard or in Florida, but in Southern Indiana. I say good for them.

This is not the only excellent house opened for excursions, but prior to leaving Jeffersonville, there is another bit of record to recognize, and this 1 is very sweet.

In 1891, Gus Schimpf Sr. and Jr. opened a candy retail outlet at 347 Spring St. in downtown Jeffersonville. That was the commencing of a spouse and children company that is nevertheless heading sturdy 132 a long time later on, surviving two earth wars, floods, the Great Melancholy and various recessions. But the Schimpfs truly appreciate sweet creating, getting commenced in Louisville, Kentucky in the 1850s and then spinning off an additional retail outlet in Jeffersonville 20-some a long time later.

Now operate by Warren Schimpf and his wife Jill, Schimpf Confectionary is not only a spot to acquire sweet, but to observe it becoming created during frequent cost-free demonstrations. Afterwards, choose a appear at the candy museum, and then get lunch, or at minimum an ice cream soda, at their previous-fashioned soda fountain.

Pick from among the their numerous candies, such as such specialties as the caramel-covered marshmallows designed for Madame Modjeska, a famed Polish actress who starred on stage in Louisville in the late 1800s. There are also Cinnamon Crimson Hot Hearts, and fish shaped candies that appear in a variety of flavors which includes butter rum, cherry, chocolate, coconut, orange, peach, pina colada, pineapple, bitter apple, spearmint and sweet birch. But don’t forget about about the Chocolate Cordial Cherries, Cinnamon Pink Warm Creams, and Chocolate Dipped Caramels with Sea Salt. All occur in milk and dim chocolate.

Fortified with confections, head more than to the Culbertson Mansion Point out Historic Website in New Albany. The three–story Second Empire-design and style mansion, crafted in 1867 by the richest guy in Indiana, shows how exquisitely you lived back again then if you had been wealthy — and William S. Culbertson was decidedly so. At his death in 1892 at age 78, he was value, in today’s funds, about $61 million.

Like Jeffersonville, New Albany was a steamboat city. Amongst 1817 and 1854, the shipyards there designed 249 steamboats. The city’s Mansion Row Historic District on Key Avenue, involving State and 15th streets, is crammed with fantastic old properties, most of which are privately owned.

As wonderful as they all are, the Culbertson Mansion stands out with its arches, columns, balconies and semi-circular bay windows. Inside of, it is just as lush. Artisans were being employed to paint the designs of the two the partitions, ceilings and cornices on the initially and next floors, and even some of the flooring were hand-painted. Trompe l’oiel, the French time period for “deceives the eye,” was used in some of the rooms to replicate paneling, textured surfaces and molding. In other words, William, or at least a person or much more of his a few wives, didn’t skimp on the inside.

Acquire a stroll along the historic district, examining out these kinds of residences as 714 E. Principal St., developed in 1873 for Washington C. DePauw. If the last identify appears familiar, DePauw donated so significantly money to the college in Greencastle that they modified its name to honor him. It’s also a 2nd Empire-style, and DePauw was also a person of the richest adult males in the point out. It was that kind of community.

Of program, this just one is not a museum, so you can only glimpse. The same is legitimate for 904 E. Major St., which Culbertson crafted for his son as a marriage ceremony existing, and the Italianate-style Sloan-Bicknell-Paris Property at 600 E. Key St.

Downtown New Albany is fashionable and going on, so verify it out. Habana Blues Tapas Restaurant attributes Cuban-influenced delicacies, so you can get mojitos and margaritas to go with the a few variations of paella they provide. Baer’s City Vineyard has a awesome choice of wines, like sangria, as effectively as a brick pizza oven. If beer is your factor, then you are in luck. Floyd County Brewing Corporation is a Medieval-impressed brewpub, and Donum Dei Brewery serves sandwiches and soup. The menu at New Albanian Brewing offers pizza, pasta, sandwiches and appetizers. There’s a coin-operated arcade with lots of cabinet and pinball online games.

For a lot more info, call the Clark-Floyd Counties Conference Tourism Bureau at 812-280-5566 or