Images of America: Southern Indiana


Southern Indiana depicts a distinctive place at a special time: the beginning of the modern era, 1910 to 1920. During those years, this region of 26 counties, from which Indiana and much of the Old Northwest had developed a century before, was in transition toward consumerism and mass culture, as symbolized by automobiles, road-building, movies, radio, and popular magazines. Southern Indianacelebrated the state's centennial; political progressivism in the era contributed to, among other things, prohibition and women's suffrage. Americans for the first time sent young men off to war in Europe. The vintage photographs included in this book, culled from 20 private and public collections, are representative of southern Indiana. They show people at work, at play, in worship and school, inclubs and organizations, in travel, and at war. Most have never before been published. Once the most populous section of the state, the area o the south became much less so. Culturally—especially in the woods, hills, and valleys of the un-glaciated centerof the district—southern Indiana retained its upper South character. It remained largely rural and agricultural. Most settlements were isolated and small; many communities had been losing popularity and people because of hard times on the farm and the appeal of larger cities.

Darrel Bigham is the director of Historic Southern Indiana, a regional, heritage-based economic development project, and a professor of history at the University of Southern Indiana. He is a noted scholar of Indiana and Midwestern history. His previous publications with Arcadia include Evansville (1998) and New Harmony (2000). Please join us for this enlightening tour through a region of sharp contrasts: southern Indiana.