While I write a column that’s often about nature, for a number of years I additionally did a column on Indiana historical past. I thus even have a terrific curiosity within the historical past of our state. Often nature and historical past go hand in hand in a lot of Indiana pure websites and scenic areas.
The space round Merom in western Sullivan County is a basic instance. While solely a small city it has greater than its share of historical past and scenic magnificence.
Merom is positioned on the very best bluff alongside the Wabash River. The view from a small park may be very spectacular. Not solely are you able to view the Wabash River because it flows under the bluff, one can also see for miles the Illinois countryside throughout the river. North of the city the bluff encompasses a sequence of slender backbones minimize by deep ravines. This is certainly a scenic web site.
The city of Merom was named for the very best lake alongside the Jordan River, which was the location of Joshua’s epic battle with the assembled kings that have been against the invasion of their nation by the Israelites.
After its founding Merom turned a thriving city resulting from its location on the Wabash. It turned a delivery port and was the headquarters for a big flotilla of flatboats that transported items and produce down the Wabash, Ohio and Mississippi rivers so far as New Orleans.
Merom was such an vital location that it was the county set of Sullivan County for 25 years till 1842 when it misplaced the seat which was moved to a extra central location.
While it misplaced the county seat Merom gained a university in 1849. This was Union Christian College and was established as a liberal arts faculty. The school lasted till 1924 when it was pressured to shut resulting from declining enrollment.
The school was reopened in 1936 by the Congregational Christian Church and the Chicago Theological Seminary. It was established as a coaching floor for pastors, ministerial college students and lay leaders that will assist with the various rural church buildings scattered throughout Indiana and the Midwest.
The heart level of the school was a big constructing constructed in 1860 by the primary school. Francis Costigan, a famous architect who additionally was the architect of the stately Lanier Mansion in Madison, is believed to have designed the basic spiral stairway that results in the commentary tower that I over 300 ft above the Wabash.
After the varsity lastly closed it turned a church camp. I attended this camp as a teen and actually loved my keep. In reality I could have loved it an excessive amount of because it closed quickly after I left.
Merom was lengthy the location of a really lively Chautauqua; it began in 1903 and ran every August from the fifteenth to the thirtieth. At its zenith the Merom Chautauqua drew as many as 50,000 to its inspirational conferences.
Speakers appeared at the Merom Chautauqua and lectured on a wide range of points that ranged from social issues, science and world affairs to philosophy and faith.
Among these well-known audio system have been William Jennings Bryant who ran for president a number of instances and Billy Sunday. Sunday, as soon as a terrific baseball participant famous for his wild way of life, turned a world well-known evangelist after his conversion.
Merom, whereas a small city, has greater than its share of historical past together with scenic overlooks. I’ve not associated the entire historical past of the Merom space so I must proceed it in a future column. I’m positive you can see this one most fascinating so be sure you look ahead to the column on outlaws, Native Americans and William Henry Harrison.