Adventure and Fun in Washington County, Indiana

Welcome to the heart of Southern Indiana, where picturesque landscapes, warm hospitality, and a touch of nostalgia await you. Escape the hustle and bustle of city life and embark on an unforgettable journey through Washington County, a charming destination that promises to soothe your soul and ignite your sense of adventure.

City: Salem

2% Milk

Did you know that 2% milk was invented by Roy Robertson while working at the Salem Maid Dairy/Creamery in Salem Indiana? In the 1940s, Audra Qualkinbush, one of the owners of the creamery and a home economics teacher, complained about the chubbiness of some of her students. Robertson was asked by his boss to perfect a new product that had less butterfat. Skim milk had already been invented, but consumers had no choice between the 3.5 percent milk and the virtually tasteless skim, nicknamed “Blue John” by many country folks because of its watery blue tint. Robertson worked for more than a year tinkering with how to remove the fat and then repl ...

Category People & History
3 Stories Trading Company
14 Public Square, ,

3 Stories offers a storefront for infant and children's toys and clothing. In addition, they provide wholesale logistics of children's items from their place on the square to larger suppliers.

A Tale of a Broken Heart

Christopher Harrison the first Lieutenant Governor of Indiana, was one of Salem’s earliest citizens. His story is a sad one. Early in the nineteenth century he became engaged to Miss Elizabeth Patterson, of Baltimore (Pictured). In 1803, while Christopher was in England on business for his prospective father-in-law, Jerome Bonaparte entered the New York harbor in command of a French frigate. Jerome Bonaparte was Napoleon's younger brother. Later at the home of Samuel Close of Baltimore, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, Jerome Bonaparte was introduced to Miss Patterson. Though not yet eighteen she was a reigning belle, ...

Category People & History
Alfred Shrum House
303 East Hackberry, ,

Alfred Shrum built this Second Empire house on Hackberry Street in Salem. Three generations of the Shrum family, whose professional work is found in buildings in Washington D.C. as well as San Francisco, helped lend to Salem the atmosphere of a larger more sophisticated town. Owner of a brick yard, the scion of the family, Alfred Shrum came to Salem from Virginia. He had worked as a mason on construction of the east wing of the White House. Through the years, Alfred worked on the Sinclair Woolen Mill, the Washington County Courthouse, the Lyon Block, the streets and sidewalks of Salem. Guy, his son, was involved in construction in San Francisco aft ...

America's Finest Handles

Oliver Perry (O.P) Link at one time worked for Turner Day & Woolworth in their handle factory in Nashville, Tennessee before starting his own handle factory in Salem in 1923. The company manufactured hickory handles for tools such as axes, blades, mallets and hammers. Link handle also had manufacturing facilities in London, Monticello and Princeton Kentucky. In their marketing materials they mention "Each handle is manufactured from immaculate white hand split hickory grown in the famous limestone regions of Indiana and Kentucky. Order the stronger, safer more resilient Link Handle today. " Timber operations for O.P Link Handle company exten ...

Category People & History
Amish Homesteads

Washington County is home to a large number of Amish families. This photo represents a common homestyle Amish farm. Please exercise caution when driving in Washington County as there are many horse and buggies on the roads.

301 N. Mill Street, ,

Athens of the West

Salem's progressive institutions of learning attracted students from all over Indiana and made Salem a notable center in the early years of the state. Salem was once called the "Athens of the West," a designation attributed due to the number of reputed academies and seminaries within the town. John I. Morrison was the principal architect of this nomination. John was associated with the Hay-Morrison House as the principal of a grammar school located there, he later created the Salem Female Institute and the Washington County Seminary. He was joined by Barnabus Hobbs, a renowned educator and Dr. Benjamin Trueblood, who lectured nationally on world peac ...

Category People & History
Austy's Bookshop
3 Public Square, ,

Austy's is a locally owned independent bookstore chain offering new books, local artisan foods, and unique gifts, with three locations in Southern Indiana. We offer general book selections at the Lost River Market in Paoli, children's books at the Salem Apothecary on the Square in Salem, and are available for fundraiser and mobile events. Our bookstores are a family run business, woman veteran owned, and welcoming to all who choose to support our mission!

Beck's Mill
4433 South Beck's Mill Road, ,

The Mill was rebuilt in 1863-64 and made into this two story structure. The Mill continued to operate until approximately 1950. Beck's Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2007. Beck's Mill is the only extant mill in Indiana that used only grindstone milling in the entire milling process. View additional information on seasonal hours and special events on this website or visit their website at

Beck's Mill Gristmill
4433 South Beck's Mill Road, ,

The original Beck's Mill was constructed in 1808. That facility served the needs of George Beck's family and the newly arriving settlers until approximately 1825. Then a new and enlarged Mill was reconstructed into a building of approximately 30 feet by 30 feet. The Mill was again rebuilt in 1863-64 and made into this two story structure. The Mill continued to operate until approximately 1950. In 2005 a group participating in the Awareness Washington County (AWC), a Washington County leadership development program, decided to explore the possibility of restoring the Mill. As a tribute to the determination of the members and their understanding of t ...

Beck's Mill Hiking Trails
4433 South Beck's Mill Road, ,

Becks Mill includes three miles of trails at this site, built by the Hoosier Hikers Council in collaboration with the Friend’s of Beck’s Mill. This trail system winds over the property’s hills, passing three more springs, until finally skirting the edge of the high, sheer bluff of Mill Creek below. Springtime visitors are rewarded with thick blankets of wildflowers along the trails, including Wild Geranium, Violets, pink and purple Spring Larkspur, Columbine, and Trillium.

Berkey Building

The Berkey Building was completed in 1882 and is located at the corner of North Main on the Salem Public Square and is a very good example of Italianate commercial architecture. The Italianate style is the most common building style extant on the square. The two story building is brick with limestone corbeling, brackets and lintels. Round arched window hoods with keystones and prominent eave brackets are distinctive elements. The Berkey Building, is actually a pair of store fronts patterned with a variety of horizontal courses. Its wide cornice is articulated by repetitive brackets and saw tooth dentilling. Recessed panels separate the vertical me ...

35 Public Square, ,

Born provides the women of Washington County (and beyond) with high quality clothing and a high quality shopping experience that leaves them feeling confident in their personal style.

Brew Bean Coffee

Brew Bean Coffee New! Popular

Brew Bean Coffee is a mobile coffee shop offering a delicious cup of joe on the go. Our coffee beans are roasted in Southern Indiana for the freshest flavors. Come to our pop-up locations throughout town or have us swing by your office or event. Our warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly service will give you that extra pep in your step.

Category Coffee Shops
Briar Patch Antiques, Uniques, & Salon
5653 IN 56, ,

Visit the Briar Patch for a wide selection of antiques, home décor items, and collectables. Salon services also available.

Brick Sidewalks

Enjoy the original brick sidewalks on north Main Street in Salem. Those bricks add a sense of history and charm to go along with the beautiful homes located on this street.

Brick Street Sampler
36 Public Square, ,

Offering the finest in furniture, home décor, and gifts for over 20 years on the Historic Salem town square!

Buggy Capital of the World

The firm of Platt, Martin & Gordon was established in the year of 1803 in Salem. It was an establishment that increased in magnitude rapidly, employing many workmen. From the start they put out finished wagons, buggies and carriages of the latest improved patters. using up-to-date, modern machinery. They also supplied foreign orders for wagon hubs, fellows, shafts, spokes etc. thereby putting money in circulation from the sale of articles of home production. This manufacturing plant was a great acquisition to our town. They were rapidly gaining prestige, favor and patronage in new districts, holding with firmness, by fair dealing, old customers. Ord ...

Category People & History
Burger King
103 E. Hackberry Street, ,

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