Shelbyville Walking Tour

Shelbyville Walking Tour

Shelbyville Walking Tour

Shelbyville, Indiana 46176, United States

Created By: Leadership Shelby County

Tour Information

Enjoy a brief walking tour around Historic Shelbyville, brought to you by Leadership Shelby County and Shelby County Historical Society.

The City of Shelbyville

The county seat of Shelby County and named after Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, Shelbyville was platted in 1822. The land that became Shelbyville was originally owned by John Hendricks, John Walker, and James Davison, who had donated 70 acres for the purpose of making a county seat. The land, which was dense forests, was cleared, and in 1823, the Public Square was laid out.
During the late 1800s and early 1900s, the city became a leading producer of furniture. It has been called home by Sandy Allen, who was once the tallest living female in the world; Edna Parker, who was the oldest living person in the world at the age of 115; Charles Major, author of “Bears of Blue River” and “When Knighthood was in Flower”’; Wilbur Shaw, a three-time Indianapolis 500 winner; James Pierce, the fourth actor to portray Tarzan on film; Victor Higgins, a painter; Thomas Hendricks, the 21st Vice President of the United States; James “Bucky” Barnes, a fiction character from Marvel Comics and sidekick to Captain America; and William Garrett, the first African-American basketball player in the Big Ten Conference for Indiana University.

Tour Map

Loading Tour


What You'll See on the Tour

William A. Porter Memorial Swimming Pool Bathhouse  Dedicated in 1930, what is now the home to the Shelby County Tourism & Visitors' Bureau and the Shelby County Chamber of Commerce was built in memory of Enos Porter’s son, William. ... Read more
The Site of the old Linden Tree  The linden (basswood) tree once located here was the source of a local legend concerning a Native American tribal chief who lost his seven sons to an invading tribe. Chief Mopiti, the legend goes, would use... Read more
Bears of Blue River Statue Completed and dedicated in 1929, the Bears of Blue River statue was designed and sculpted by Mary Elizabeth Stout after the city was willed $2,000 from Alice Shaw Major. The statue depicts the fictional character ... Read more
Alhambra Theatre The Alhambra Theatre opened January 1913 and was owned and operated by Frank Rembusch. While the first floor of the theatre was designed specifically for exhibition pictures, the second floor housed the offices for the Mirr... Read more
Grover Museum In 1978, Lena Firn Grover willed her and her late husband Louis Grover’s farm to the Shelby County Historical Society, which sold it on November 12, 1979. This money allowed the SCHS to make a bid for the then-defunct B.P.O.... Read more
Strand Theatre The Strand Theater is the oldest operating theater in Shelby County. Construction was started in 1915 and in March, 1916, owner William C. Meloy opened the theatre. The building originally had 800 seats, and showed movies, va... Read more
Shelby County Courthouse Built in 1936-1937, the Shelby County Courthouse was constructed partly from funds from the Public Works Administration. The Art-Deco style limestone building originally housed the commissioner’s court, offices fo... Read more
On this spot: Sheriff Albert McCorkle shot On Saturday, Oct. 9, 1880, Sheriff Albert McCorkle was shot while responding to a riot that began at Hardebeck’s Saloon, at 201 S. Harrison St., on the southwest corner of Harrison and Broadway s... Read more
Public Square Laid out in 1823, the Public Square has long been a gathering place for businesspersons, elected officials and community members. Some of the earliest fixtures on the Square were a jail, 1823-1831; an estray pound, 1823-1833; ... Read more
Blessing Opera Hall/ DePrez Hardware Store Erected by John Blessing in 1869, the building housed his hardware store on the first floor and an opera hall on the second floor. In April 1870, black citizens celebrated the adoption of the 15th ... Read more
Ray House Completed in 1857, the Ray House was a hotel built by Martin M. Ray, the nephew of Indiana Governor John B. Ray and the father of Shelby Democrat owner and publisher W. Scott Ray. The four-story structure used bricks from the orig... Read more
Shelby Republican Newspaper  The Shelbyville Republican began as a weekly newspaper that started in 1866, with J.M. Cumback serving as the newspaper’s first editor. Although the publication was not initially located at 18 N. Harrison, th... Read more
Home of Thomas Hendricks Thomas A Hendricks was a member  of the Indiana legislature, a delegate to the Second Constitutional Convention in 1850-1851; an Indiana Congressman from 1851- 1855; a United States Senator from 1863-1869; the gove... Read more
The City of Shelbyville The county seat of Shelby County and named after Isaac Shelby, the first governor of Kentucky, Shelbyville was platted in 1822. The land that became Shelbyville was originally owned by John Hendricks, John Walker, an... Read more


Leave a Comment



Download the App

Download the PocketSights Tour Guide mobile app to take this self-guided tour on your GPS-enabled mobile device.

iOS Tour Guide Android Tour Guide



Updates and Corrections

Please send change requests to