Jeffersonville, IN

Louisville Kentucky is one of the myriad of US towns situated on a river that is a state border, so that her ‘suburbs’ effectually spread over multiple states; historic Jeffersonville Indiana is just such a suburb.

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Originally the location of a fort named after Baron Von Steuben (the Gay military genius without whom we would have most likely lost the Revolutionary war), Jeffersonville was most likely named as such the same year Thomas Jefferson became president of the united states, and the settlers of the town used the same grid layout that he had promoted as a way for distributing land.

To the town’s credit, they have embraced the historic nature of their town, and as you walk around it you’ll see numerous historic buildings, and signs attached to walls, that offer you a window into the towns past.

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Ironically, however, when I scanned the QR codes attached to those signs into my phone I was taken to a web page saying that the campaign had been disabled — not sure why they would go to all the effort to produce the signs if the city leaders weren’t committed to at least keep the associated web pages active.

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The town however is full of architecturally interesting buildings that have been, for the most part, well maintained, and was full of cute little restaurants, cafes, etc., including a two different cigar lounges (all leather armchairs and sipping bourbon), and a Cafeteria resturant, which is sort of a dying institution.

img_7068Truth be told, I hadn’t come to Jeffersonville in order to see the town, even though having seen it I would happily categorize it as a destination in and of itself, but rather U had come here because of Schimpff’s Candies, which is historic enough to have been covered by the history channel (it was, ironically, featured in the show, Modern Marvels on an episode devoted to candy production).img_7065

Having celebrated it’s 125th anniversary, Schimpff’s, which was originally opened on April 11, 1891,  is one of the oldest continuously operated, family owned candy companies in the US to still be located in it’s original location. And in case one were to forget the perils of being in a town located adjacent to a river, I found the way that the owners had proudly notated its various floods on the exterior wall of the shop to be interesting.

Schimpff’s Candies is a cute place, a combination store, ice cream and lunch counter, with a museum of the Candy industry located in the back.
img_6847I came here because I thought there was going to be a factory tour but there is not — they just do demonstrations of what they’re making that day.
img_7063They’re famous for their red hots, but today they were making Christmas candy.

While the store itself was worthy of a stop, I think that the it’s more the high point of a cute little historic town visit, rather than a full destination in and of itself.

The day I went was by sheer coincidence veterans day… and I saw this:img_6867

Zachary Taylor National Cemetery, Louisville KY

Located just at the edge of Louisville Kentucky, in a residential neighborhood, this national military cemetery dedicated to the son, and 12th President of the United states, sits on part of what had originally been his father’s, Richard Taylor, 400 acre estate, Springfield; according to some sources — but not others, this land had been gifted to the President’s father by the government in thanks for his service as an officer of the Continental Army in the Revolutionary War, other sources claim he had purchased the land.

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Originally the family plot for the Taylor Family, after Zachary Taylor had ascended to the office of President of the United States, a Washington outsider and popular war hero with limited political experience — and was soon thereafter buried after having only served 16 months — probably from a horrible case of the shits (Dysentery), although from what I’ve read they tried to cover it up by saying he had Cholera, which was endemic at the time.

Much later, in the 1920’s, the family initiated an act of Congress to transfer the title to the government, at which time it was converted to also be a local military graveyard. Because of a legal technicality, members of the Taylor family can still be buried there in the family plot section; even though that bit is surrounded by the National Cemetery, it does actually not belong to the government, even though it is tended by government. This was despite the best efforts of the family, because the Army judge advocate general decided against federal possession, even though to the average it appears to be the same cemetery. Originally only a half acre in size, two donations from the state of Kentucky increased the size to its current 16 acres.

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The Taylor home, which is not far from the cemetery, is a private home hidden in an upscale residential neighborhood, and while it IS a National Historic Landmark it is NOT a designated national park, because the local neighbors have fought against it. All things considered, you sort of got to feel sorry for Zachary Taylor, it’s like the man quickly died an ignominious death and ultimately got no respect  … but in lieu of this years presidential election results…..

Anyway, it was a pretty graveyard
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Zachary Taylor and his wife were moved from their original resting place in the the family plot (see below) — a very plain almost ignominious subterranean mausoleum, which is NOT technically part of the cemetery, to this fancier mausoleum next to his monument (see above), which I’m assuming is…
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