Twenty five limestone pillars stand in Columbus, Indiana‘s courthouse square to honor the 171 local veterans who died in America’s 20th Century wars. The fort foot pillars list names and personal stories of the county’s military heroes. The Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans was designed as a silent tribute that appears to be standing in military formation, and it’s located just a few paces south of the Bartholomew County Courthouse. This veterans memorial is an educational stop to make on your next day trip from Indianapolis.
Efforts to build the monument began in the mid-1990s when county officials noticed a low turnout at events honoring veterans. Bartholomew County Commissioners wanted to honor the veterans who gave their lives, and to ensure that they would never be forgotten. Of the 171 veterans honored at the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans, 170 are men and there’s one lone woman. Her name is Jeanne Lewellen Norbeck, and she served as a World War II test pilot. Sadly, she died in a military plane crash in 1944, and today there are several memorials in her honor.
Columbus, Indiana is home to many award winning architectural works and the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans is no exception. This Indiana attraction was awarded the Boston Society of Architect’s Unbuilt Architecture Design Award in 1996. The memorial was designed by the architectural firm of Thompson and Rose, and dedicated on May 30, 1997.
The Hoosier State is home to several tributes and memorial sties for veterans. The Indiana War Memorial Plaza is a seven block radius in downtown Indianapolis that’s devoted to paying homage to local veterans. The Indiana War Memorial, the USS Indianapolis Memorial and the Soldiers and Sailors Monument are just a few of the tributes to veterans in Indy. A day trip from the Circle City could include dozens of other memorials, like the Museum of the Soldier in Portland, Tippecanoe Battlefield Park in West Lafayette, Grouseland in Vincennes, and of course the Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans in Columbus.
While visiting the memorial, be sure to explore the Bartholomew County Courthouse too. It’s a French Renaissance structure built in 1874, and tons of Indiana history has been made there. Interested in seeing more of Indiana’s unique courthouses? Visit the Boone County Courthouse in Lebanon, the White County Courthouse in Monticello and the Clay County Courthouse in Brazil. Other south central Indiana attractions include the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts in Seymour, the Bill Monroe Memorial Music Park and Campground in Bean Blossom, Hoosier National Forest in Bedford and the quaint and scenic town of Nashville in Brown County. Bloomington, Indiana is a nearby day trip destination with endless opportunities for fun. Not only is Bloomington home to Indiana University, but the Wylie House Museum, Mather’s Museum of World Culture and the Indiana University Art Museum are also must sees in town.
Make the most of your next day trip from Indianapolis by planning ahead and exploring all the fun Indiana has to offer along the way. The route to Columbus from Naptown passes through Johnson County, where the Mallow Run Winery, the Grave in the Middle of the Road and the Atterbury Fish and Wildlife Area can be found. For more information about sites to see in Columbus, call the Columbus Area Visitors Center at the number listed below.
Bartholomew County Memorial for Veterans
234 Washington Street
Columbus, Indiana 47201