A couple of weekends ago, Scott and I had the afternoon to ourselves while we were visiting family in Southern Indiana. I wanted to take a drive to Hindostan Falls, Indiana... for old times sake.
As a child, my parents would take my sister and me here to walk on the flat rock and see the falls. Many times, there would be people riding inner tubes over the falls or fisherman fishing. It was always an enjoyable time to walk along the river and collect rocks or mussel shells. (I am sure, though, at the time, we just wanted to stay home and watch TV.) I remember, one time, taking off my shoes to go barefoot in the water and Dad warned me that it wasn't a great idea because I could cut my foot on bottle caps or glass shards. Guess what happened. I sliced the bottom of my foot on a jagged piece of glass. He was right, of course-but, it was still a good time. (My Mom might have a different account of the time after I cut my foot-but my memory is that it was a good day.)
Even as a teen, after earning my license to drive, I would drive my friends to Hindostan Falls for something to do. We would drive all over Martin County. We discovered many sights: old iron bridges, a covered bridge, curvy roads, old cemeteries, an old train tunnel, and Martin State Forest with the fire tower:
|Oct. 20th 2012|
........that could be climbed for incredible views of the hills of Martin County:
|Oct. 20, 2012|
Many of these sites have been locations for my tableau scenes I have created over the last ten or so years. It is a place that I continue to come to be creative. There are many reasons for this-the rich visual qualities, the history, the familiarity, the experiences I have while I am shooting in these spaces...etc.
For example: Exactly a year and six days ago, I shot this:
On this day(a couple of weeks ago), the objective was to to relax. Lately, my weeks have been high on the pressure. Even after I come home, it is difficult to wind down. Even if I set aside time for myself, it is a challenge to not "try to get something done". I am always trying to be productive... to get satisfaction from accomplishment. Well, I am never satisfied... I don't know if it is because I never accomplish anything or that I cannot bring myself to appreciate what I do. Anyway, it is a multi layered problem... and escape is necessary-even if I usually feel guilty afterward. This time, I really did escape-I freed my mind of the torments of shortcomings and responsibility. Scott and I wound our way through the tiny lane that leads to a perch that allows a nice, wide view of the falls. We took in this view:
After taking in the view, we meandered down to the flat rock to get closer to the water and take in the textures.
Hindostan used to be a bustling town. Read about it here (the very informative spydersen blog post about Hindostan) and here (the visit Martin County site). You would never know it if you visited today. There is evidence on the flat rock of the mill that used to be there by way of the large, worn square holes that are visible as you get close to the water. I wish I had an image of the mill that stood here. But, as the timeline for photography goes, it wasn't until 1826 or 27 that Joseph Niépce was able to achieve a photographic print that survived (and didn't continue exposing to light). And it wasn't until 1888 when Hindostan was long gone that Kodak came out with an easy to use camera. So, a photograph documenting this bustling town is impossible. However, here is a link to an image in the collection of the Indiana Historical Society that was captured in 1900(-1909) of men on the bank of the White River with the falls behind them and their impressive catch of fish hanging on a line.
The history of this tiny place is incredible... especially because the only evidence [immediately visible] that it ever was a town is the sign. When Scott and I visited, I called attention to a sign that reads: "No overnight camping". I think there may have been a time it was a campground-now, only about four lonely picnic tables are scattered on the grounds across the road from the river. I remarked how there probably was a time that Hindostan was a destination for outdoor adventure... and now, probably no one even packs a picnic to this place. Although, it is so beautiful and the sound of the water rushing over that ridge of rock is quite pleasant.
It is funny how the image below looks to be in a different place. If that tree line wasn't behind that water, you might think this is a beach somewhere... Well, Hindostan was someone's great plan... it was the plan of Frederick Sholts that this site be a center for business, travel, production, life.... he made that happen....if only for ten or so short years and ending when Yellow Fever diminished it to nothing by 1828.
It truly was a relaxing time and I was able to head back to work the following week feeling renewed and ready.
I hope you took the time to follow the links I provided which further paints the picture of this interesting place. I am looking forward to visiting again soon. Next time, I'll bring Hayes along. I think he will enjoy it.