Day 1: June 6, 2009
Happy Birthday Madison
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I got a fairly early start, crossed the big river on I-71, then picked up US-42 near Florence, Kentucky. These first pictures are from a bit east of Warsaw, Kentucky, near the site of the great river tragedy of 1868. 162 people died when the America and United States collided and burned. The river fog looks a little thicker downstream.

I don't recall ever photographing the Gallatin County courthouse in Warsaw. The county in named after Albert Gallatin, a big National Road booster. That's Markland Dam in the fog behind the tugboat. I have photographed the 1805 Carrollton Inn before but it's been awhile. The bridge is at the west edge of Carrollton crossing the Kentucky River.

The US-421 comes into view from some distance away and there is a boat launching area near the bridge that makes for a nice spot for close ups. Then it's over the bridge and into Madison, Indiana.

I'd left home with the idea of stopping somewhere along the way for breakfast but at some point decided to hold out till Madison. In the seventy-six years that Hinkle's has been in business, I've never eaten there. They're obviously (check out the sign) better known for their hamburgers but they do serve breakfast until 11:00. They serve 'burgers anytime. The place was pretty busy when I got there but was nearly empty when I finished eating. When I stopped back for a mid-afternoon milkshake, the place was almost packed.

I'd passed this on the way to Hinkle's and even snapped a picture. After breakfast, I walked back to the Jefferson County courthouse. The 1855 structure was being spruced up for the bicentennial when a fire broke out on May 20; barely two weeks before the celebration kickoff. New gold paint was to have been applied to the cupola which, along with the roof, is now gone. The fire is still under investigation. It has been reported that most -- perhaps all -- records have been saved and it's a certainty that the building will be repaired as soon as possible.

Madison has planned a 200 hour party to celebrate its 200 years of existence. Things get started at 11:00 AM with a parade down Broadway from the fountain to the river.

The populace falls in behind the parade to gather at the river where music mingles with some speechifying and proclamating. Mayor Tim Armstrong, in top hat & tails, makes it officially party time.

As part of the celebration, all of the city's firehouses are open. I visited Numbers 1 & 2 in reverse order. Washington Fire Company #2 operates from the oldest active firehouse in America. An 1839 Hudson, N.Y., firehouse held that distinction until it closed in 2006 and Madison's 1845 building took over the title. Isaac Wagner was one of Company #2's founders and was also a Madison mayor & blacksmith. An amazing variety of horse shoes are mounted on the 1878 tribute.

Fair Play Fire Company #1 is home to a small museum. Displays include "Neptune" and "Little Jimmy". "Neptune" is a 1851 hose carriage and "Little Jimmy" is the 1889 weather vane that topped the company's tower until recently.

I know I've visited some places that boast of having been the site of a Jenny Lind performance but I believe this is the first Jenny Lind impersonator I've come across. I have not found the impersonator's name but can say she did a wonderful job whoever she was. When the real Jennie Lind performed in Madison in 1851, she sang to an audience of nearly 1000 in a converted pork warehouse. Today's performance was in the 1835 John T Windle Memorial Auditorium. Although it was not used today, the 1867 "tracker" organ is described as being in "mint condition".

I did catch parts of the performances by "Southbound" and "Ryan Wardlow & the Outlaws". A third group, "Jimmy Davis Band", kept things going until midnight but I was long gone by then.

I have neither the technology or the skills to capture moving objects in the dark but here are a couple of decent pictures from the Lighted Boat Parade. The moon, just one day short of full, sure helps.

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