In 1820, when Indiana had no major roads, John Tipton and Gov.
Jennnings rode by horseback up to central Indiana. Their
purpose, was to meet with several other commissions to select a
new location for the state capital.
By 1822, twin state roads were platted and surveyed. Their
purpose was to provide a land route out into the wilderness were
the new capital was to be built.
One road would be 125 miles long and start at the Ohio River
below Corydon at Mauckport and end in Indianapolis.
The second road being 55 miles long, would start at the Ohio
River at Madison and connect with the Mauxferry Road at it 95
mile post (in what is now Camp Atterbury). Later, the meeting
place would be moved to Franklin.
In 1824, the Mauxferry Road was completed and in the fall of
that year, the states treasury and the other tools of government
moved up this road.
The following year, 1825 Indianapolis became the new capital of
Indiana and the Madison State Road was completed.
At first, the Mauxferry Road was more important because of the
necessary to move the state government. But later, the Madison
State Road would offer more.
If the "Madison State Road" were a woman she would say she has
had quite a life, having served the state of Indiana for over
she brought the first materials into the wilderness to build the
new state capital. But later, she offered stagecoach service
connecting the new city with riverboats and the outside world.
In 1828, it took four days to make the trip to Madison, but in
later years, an express coach would require less than 24 hours.
By 1832, all thought the "Madison Lady" was dead, fore the newer
Michigan Super Road had been built to replace her.
But that was not to be. A new invention, the railroad, would be
By 1838, Indiana's first RR was operating between Madison and
Vernon with Stagecoach service to and from Indianapolis.
It would take nine more years to complete the RR to Indianapolis
and the Madison State Road was again the chosen route.
By 1847, the railroad reached the capital and killed most travel
on both the Michigan and Madison roads.
But the "Grand Dame" would not die.
Indianapolis - In 1920, workers were in shock to
find a pioneer wooden road under Madison Ave.