What does Crothersville have that could make it distinct from other communities and could be used to the town’s advantage?
No, it is not an apparent interest to keep all our historic buildings intact the way they were remembered in the 1950’s before the I-65 by-pass was built. And it is not more parking lots for the downtown businesses. It case you haven’t noticed…there isn’t that many businesses.
In the 4 block area that comprises downtown (2 blocks north and south of the stoplight) there are 18 business or protential business locations.
Of those nine are closed, vacant, for sale or for rent.
Why? I’m guessing not enough business traffic for the most part. So what can be done to bring curious folks into town?
Sorry, Reverends, it isn’t our churches. There are already more churches and church owned property than businesses in town. And for Tiger partisans, it isn’t the school either.
Unless you have an interest in the obscure, it isn’t local history. Though the town did flourish until —borrowing a contemporary phrase— Henry Ford declared war on buggy wheels. Yes, history buffs, Crothersville’s hub factory helped produce some of the finest, sturdiest wheels for horse drawn wagons until Henry Ford’s declared war on the local business when he began producing horseless carriages.
The county’s industrial organization has been doing a good job at developing and expanding the local manufacturing base.
But a universal truth since the end of World War II, by and large, people who work in Crothersville choose not to live here and people who live here work out of town. I challenge you to look at the history, study the statistics to prove that an incorrect statement.
So what will bring retail business to town? More business traffic. Ah, but we all remember the congestion of US 31 last summer during the I-65 construction and we didn’t like that inconvenience. Some of us had to wait 30 seconds or more to cross the highway.
So it seems we want our businesses to thrive in the 21st Century but in a 1950’s Mayberry sort of way.
We lack significant lakes or mountains to attract visitors. We have snow in the winter and heat & humidity in the summer, which not only distracts visitors but gives the locals something to complain about when the usual list grows thin.
So what to do to bring people to town? Let’s dream big, as we are oft encouraged to do.
We could paint the town water tower bark brown, put a large planter on top of it filled with soil and plant a yellow poplar tree and promote Crothersville as home of the tallest state tree in Indiana. A similar concept worked for the courthouse in Greensburg. Think of the people who would drive to town to see the oddity and buy fuel & eat lunch.
Or maybe have a skylift up to the water tower like those used at ski slopes. Rather than dropping the patrons off for a down hill slide, these cars would house a clothed covered dining table for two and come equipped with a bottle of wine, cheese, and a loaf of bread and fresh fruit for a romantic nocturnal interlude while the lights of Crothersville twinkled below you.
Or to increase the enrollment at Crothersville, in the center of the school track we build ‘Six-Flags Over Crothersville’ and the only way any children get to use the amusement park is for their parents to enroll them in classes at Crothersville.
Wow, think of that tourism and growth potential of those three ideas! If you build it, they will come.
Newly elected town council, please, show us you, too, possess vision…and a grasp on reality the editor perhaps has lost.