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If Earl Conn’s Books about Indiana Were a Test, I’d Be Flunking

August 12, 2013 by Reader's Connection

Click on the map to get to Mr. Conn’s book in our catalog.



I have visited only 20 of the sites that the late Earl L. Conn photographed and described for My Indiana : 101 Places to See (2006).

On the world’s kindest grading curve, I’m not passing.





The Culbertson Mansion, New Albany.
Picture used with Mike Habeck’s permission. Click on the mansion to go to his images at



And I’m counting my visit to the Culbertson Mansion in New Albany, though I parked in front and never walked in. It probably wasn’t opened to the public at the time of day I parked there.




Fixing this situation isn’t as easy as it may seem. I would like to visit the Marion National Cemetery, for example, but would my family want to make that trip?

Marion National Cemetery.
Used by permission of the Grant County Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Click for more information about the cemetery.

Beginning with the burial of a Civil War veteran in 1890, this cemetery has been the resting place for the veterans of many wars.

[Director Brian G.] Moore says it’s expected the Marion burial ground of nearly forty acres will be filled by 2045 at the present rate of around five burials a week. “Then we will probably get more land expansion.”

Five burials a week. I find this moving, but do my sons want to spend time wandering there?

In 2009, Mr Conn released a follow-up book, My Indiana: 101 More Places to See, and I’m not doing any better in that one. (If I once bailed a friend out of the Boone County Jail in Lebanon, does that count as a visit to the Boone County Courthouse?)

To be honest, though, I enjoy just reading about these places.

“A lot of smart young people have come out of Indiana. The smarter they are, the faster they come out.” That’s a famous George Ade quote. Chicago journalist Mike Royko once used it in a grouchy column about what a stupid state Indiana was. But Ade himself, who worked in Chicago, and whose writings actually made him wealthy, returned to Indiana and built a house called Hazelden, near Brook, where he hosted literary figures and presidential candidates.

I may never visit Hazelden, but I’m glad that Earl Conn visited, glad he drove all over the state, taking notes.

Hazelden, George Ade’s home near Brook, Indiana.
Photo from CyberIndiana, courtesy of Mike Habeck.
Click for IHS information about George Ade.



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