Eastside Industry & Business Walking Tour

Eastside Industry & Business Walking Tour

Madison, Indiana 47250, United States

Created By: Visit Madison, Inc.

Tour Information

Not long after its beginnings in 1809, Madison became a place of industry and business, even before Indiana became a state in 1816. Its location on the Ohio River allowed the development of ports for barges and steamboats. This led to factories and businesses popping up along the river. A diverse range of goods were processed and created here including pork, components to make clothing, furniture, and more.

Madison was the first town in Indiana to receive a railroad, further establishing it as a town of industry. It was built in the late 1830s between Madison and Indianapolis, later expanding to include Jeffersonville.

Madison is also located on Michigan Road, which stretches from Michigan City on Lake Michigan all the way to Madison, passing through Indianapolis. Built around the same time as the railroads, this was the first major highway in Indiana in the 1830s and 1840s.

Today, you can still find remnants of Madison’s height in the world of industry and business. Historic factories have been repurposed, storefronts have changed, but the charm of an older Madison remains.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

301 Jefferson St. c. 1850-1900 This was an early hotel. The third floor ballroom has a platform for musicians. The Hunger family lived down the street at 213 Jefferson St.
308 Jefferson St. c. 1830 This was the site of the first chartered bank in Indiana. It was authorized in 1814 by the Indiana Territorial Legislature, since Indiana was not a state until 1816. It operated for 10 years until its charter was r... Read more
300 E Main St. c. 1855 This is the third courthouse to be built in Madison. The first being built in 1811, but then it was sold and a new courthouse was built in 1822. The courthouse caught fire in 1853 and the current one was built in its ... Read more
315 E. Second St. c. 1825 This home is a fine example of Federal Style architecture. Wilson was a Philadelphia-trained cabinet maker.
218 Walnut St. c. 1819 It is one of the oldest homes in Madison. This first part of the house was built in 1819, but a larger addition was done in 1850. Also called the “Old Welsh House”. The original front doors are seen to be on the s... Read more
211 Walnut St. c. 1840 Ice houses were used to store ice and snow following the winter for use in later months. The walls are two feet thick to insulate the stored ice. The present floor covers a pit and is now the basement. ...
202 Jefferson St. c. 1877 Formerly Meyers & Son, this building was designed to maximize natural light. They later manufactured Penguin brand overalls.
310 E. First St. c. 1810-1820 This is said to be the oldest building in Madison and was used as a stable and carriage house. It served as a slaughterhouse in the early 1900s.
407 E. First St. c. 1850 This was the first gas plant in the Northwest Territory. The buildings contained three coke ovens. They heated coal to form a product called coke, which could be used as fuel.
108 Saint Michaels Ave. c. 1884 100 windows on the riverside made optimum use of sunlight. An 1887 map of Madison shows railroad tracks extending along the river from the railroad cut to the Eagle Cotton Mill, then curving north for two mor... Read more


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