Experimental music, photography, and adventures

Spencer, Indiana

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010

On Sunday, Sarah and I headed out for a photography trip. Somewhat randomly, we chose to go to Spencer, Indiana, a small town not too far from Bloomington. It was raining on and off throughout the day, and we drove through downtown Spencer, surprised at how vacant the place was. There were a number of shops and restaurants, but many of them were closed, the spaces for rent. It was eerie, seeing such a deserted downtown. Spencer has a really neat courthouse complete with a clock tower that reminded me of the one from Back to the Future. It’s different in many ways, but has a similar vibe, I think.

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Railroad tracks run right alongside one of the roads, in a bit of a strange way.

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As you might expect, in a town where many of the downtown buildings are vacant, some things are falling into disrepair. It’s not too bad, but some awnings and roofs have mold visible on them.

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I especially liked the dusty scooter in front of a law office.

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Then there was an odd Mexican-looking building, which was for sale. This gave us second thoughts about the house we put an offer on. OK, maybe not.

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This fallout shelter was labeled for men only.

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There was another fallout shelter on the other side of the building, which I expected to say “WOMEN.” But it had no designation at all.

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There also appeared to be some sort of …. uh … dungeon(?) … beneath the courthouse.

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🙁 CLOSED

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There was also a very detailed statue of a soldier, commemorating the town’s WWI heroes.

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It was an interesting outing. Seeing these scenes made me want to learn more about the history of the place. I try to picture the downtown area in a past era, bustling with people, rather than vacant like this. I wonder what it’s like on a weekday now, even, when the courthouse and the post office and the remaining businesses are open.

I’m sure we’ll return to Spencer at some point, and maybe we’ll branch out beyond the square next time.

2 Responses to “Spencer, Indiana”

  1. Chris Says:

    Thanks for the tour. Now I’ve been to Spencer, Indiana, and I didn’t even need to endure the indignities of air travel. I always enjoy your photos.

  2. Kristi Says:

    Interesting blog post! I’m a photographer from Spencer and it’s interesting to hear (and see) your preceptions of our town. You have photos of things I had never noticed, funny how you overlook things when you see them everyday!
    The ‘Mexican’ building you noticed was once the Tivoli Theater. In more recent years it was a movie theater (when I moved here 10 years ago, I *think* there were still movies shown, but they stopped shortly thereafter). Just a few months ago, the marquee was taken down. Too bad. It was gorgeous, but getting dangerous.
    I think I’ll take a look at some of your other posts. Come on back to Spencer anytime!

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