Interpreting History

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Interpretive panels along Ohio River Scenic Byway talk of Tell City's Swiss roots, Cannelton's sandstone buildings

By Vince Luecke

PERRY COUNTY - New interpretive panels at six locations in Perry County offer residents and visitors historical snapshots of local history and culture. The panels are among 68 placed along the Hoosier portion of the Ohio River Scenic Byway, a 943-mile stretch of roadways in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois. The route follows Indiana 66 in Perry and Spencer counties.

Interpretive displays include maps and photographs and are framed in blue metal to represent the river. Panels are located at City Hall in Tell City and near Town Hall in Troy. Two panels in Cannelton are at the Indiana Cotton Mill and former county courthouse. Other panels are at Eagles Bluff Park and Buzzard Roost. Tell City's panel shares the community's Swiss roots while Troy's panel relates some of the early history of Indiana's second-oldest community. Cannelton panels share history of that community and some of its major structures, including the sandstone mill.

A panel at Lincoln Ferry Park west of Troy shares the history of the site in young Abraham Lincoln's life.

The three states collaborate on some projects and developed a master plan in 2001 that included panels to interpret the byway for travelers. A Transportation Enhancement Grant was awarded and the planning phase of the project took several years. A planning meeting was held several years ago to identify possible interpretive sites in the county.

The U.S. Forest Service funded a panel of its own at Mano Point near Derby. Mano Point is the only Forest Service boat ramp on the Ohio River and is popular during warm months. For more information on the byway, visit www.ohioriverscenicbyway.com.