• Madison Area History, Arts, & Culture

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  • History Mystery Man - Madison, Indiana
  • Historic Madison, Indiana and the surrounding area is a gateway to an array of artistic and cultural adventures!

  • The History of Madison, Indiana

    Madison, Indiana was founded in 1809 along the beautiful Ohio River. The city was bursting with commerce, had a very active steamboat port, and was home to Indiana's first railroad! It is because of this unique location and transportation infrastructure that Madison was primed to be a link on the Underground Railroad. The neighborhood area known as "Georgetown" (which includes the African Methodist Episcopal Church) was designated in 2004 as the only Network to Freedom district. Four of the eleven sites listed for the Indiana Network to Freedom are in the Madison, Indiana area.

    Madison Indiana History Arts Culture Shop Eat Stay Play Do SeeMadison Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad was chartered in 1832, and construction began in late 1836. The name changed to the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad in 1843 when it changed ownership. It became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1921. River traffic dwindled and new railroads were built between LouisvilleIndianapolis, and Cincinnati. The economic growth of Madison slowed.

    In 1924, the Commercial Club of Madison changed its name and established the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Madison to aid business retention and expansion efforts. The organization changed its name to the Madison Area Chamber of Commerce in 1976 with a mission to provide the vision, support, and resources to develop business.

    Madison now has the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark District in the country, and features major architectural styles from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Madison's entire downtown (over 1,500 buildings on approximately 133 blocks) is listed on the National Register of Historic Places

    For more historical information about the Madison, Indiana area, we recommend visiting the Jefferson County Historical Society, Historic Madison, Inc., and the Lanier Mansion Foundation.

  • Arts & Culture

    The Madison, Indiana area has a vibrant arts community, alive with creativity, and it contains one of only six Indiana Cultural Districts!

    This designation is perfect for Madison. For a small city, we have a uniquely large collection of creative people - from visual art to creative writing, music, theater, and culinary arts. This brings much attention to the community's long effort and hard work to create a thriving community which values its historic architecture, natural beauty, and existing artists of all forms.

    The Madison Area Arts Alliance, established in 2013, seeks to interact with all civic and art organizations and act as an advocate for arts of all kinds in the Madison area.

    With a wide variety of events, festivals, theatre, fine art, photography, culinary art, music, writing, folk art, and arts education, the Madison area is sure to have what you are looking for. There are so many things to do, and there are so many things to see!

  • Madison Indiana, Madison Area Arts Alliance, Art Culture Entertainment History Eat Stay Play Shop Do See Things