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May 12, 2015 • Headlines

Milan High School held their junior-senior prom May 2 and royalty was chosen. King was Trevor Lonneman, son of Tony and Shannon Lonneman and Queen Paige Lacey, daughter of Diane Lacey.
Pastor John Blair and wife Linda at the newly built church, Crossroads Community Wesleyan Church. The church is the new home to Holton and Versailles Wesleyan church members. Pick up the Osgood Journal at your local newsstand and read the entire article.
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Staycation series begins
Spring Mill: good stop for families

Cathy May

EDITOR’S NOTE: We are starting a series on “Staycations.” A Staycation is a vacation where the people return home each night or only stay over one night. Staycations are far less costly than a vacation involving lots of travel and they do not have the stress associated with travel such as heavy packing, long drives or waits at airports. It is what used to be known as a day-trip. This begins as the first on a series of articles on options for Staycations for those who live in the Ripley County area. The first one is Spring Mill State Park. Other opportunities for Staycations will follow.

Spring Mill State Park


Pictured left is the old mill at Spring Mill State Park.The cave springs water source powered a gristmill, wool and saw mill in the 1800s for a small industrial village. It’s about two hours from Ripley County, and features a pioneer village, an astronaut museum, nature center, plus lodging and camping.

Several people from Ripley County are aware of Spring Mill State Park, and what it has to offer. Connie Deburger of Osgood shared, “We loved Spring Mill State Park when our children were still living at home. There is so much to do there to keep kids and adults entertained! The campgrounds are wonderful. There are cave rides, an old cemetery, the Mill, nature center, and right outside the park is the Gus Grissom Museum. What child wouldn’t want to see a real live space capsule!”

Spring Mill State Park is about a two-hour drive from Ripley County. Take US 50 through North Vernon and Seymour to Bedford and then travel south. It is located on State Road 60 E in Mitchell, Indiana.

At Spring Mill State Park the water flowing from several cave springs led to the founding of an industrial village in the early 1800s. Pioneers took advantage of a constant water source that never froze, using it to power several gristmills, a wool mill, a saw mill, and a distillery. In turn, pioneer settlers shaped the landscape around the village, clearing land for agriculture and timber. In the late 1890s the mill at Spring Mill Village was abandoned. For the next few decades, neglect and nature transformed Spring Mill into a ghost town. The millwheel rotted away. Roofs collapsed. The surrounding forest crept in from the edges.

In the late 1920s, the State of Indiana took over the village as part of its newest state park. Workmen began the laborious task of restoring the village to its former appearance. But what was its former appearance? Several buildings referred to in old records were completely gone. Other buildings were no more than piles of decayed timbers.

The restoration of Spring Mill is a story of exhaustive research and some educated guesses. A few buildings were brought from other locations. Others were built from scratch on their original locations. Many, however, are the original structures on their original foundations. In every case, a great deal of thought and work went into the village’s restoration.
The village was in the midst of its restoration in the 1930s when the Civilian Conservation Corp 1536 was assigned to Spring Mill. The CCC was a public works program of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The program provided jobs to young men and completed long-postponed projects at public facilities. Much of the restoration and relocation of buildings at Spring Mill Village was completed by the CCC. Additionally, the CCC built park trails, picnic areas and shelter houses. They also erected the dam, creating Spring Mill Lake.

Visitors can explore this story in the park’s four interpretive facilities: The Pioneer Village, Nature Center, Grissom Memorial, and Twin Caves Boat Tour, and see it reflected on the landscape as they hike the trails. The interpretive staff also offers a variety of public programs, including an extensive special event schedule like Civil War Days, May 23-24; Civil War Muster and Living History June 13-14; or Gus Grissom Day July 18.

NEXT IN THE SERIES: Squire Boone Caverns

Pick up this week's edition of the Osgood Journal for the stories below and more local news. Subscribe by clicking the subscribe link or call 812-689-6364.

• Sunman council meets: Police patrol requested (front page)
• Community Corrections program ready to go (front page)
• Church dedication celebrates building, blessings (front page)
• Local man damages police car (page 2)
• Woman stabbed over 200 times (page 6)
• Milan High School prom photos (page 7)
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