The Ex-Capital Birthday Weekend, Part 2 of 10: Welcome to Corydon

glass pumpkin in sunshine!

A glass pumpkin for the autumn occasion at Zimmerman Art Glass in Corydon.

Okay, prologue aside, now we get to October 14th’s primary objective.

Previously on Midlife Crisis Crossover:

In addition to our annual road trips, my wife Anne and I have a twice-yearly tradition of spending our respective birthdays together traveling to some new place or attraction as a short-term road trip — partly as an excuse to spend time together on those most wondrous days, partly to explore areas we’ve never experienced before. We’re the Goldens. It’s who we are and what we do.

In October 2022 Anne turned 52. Indiana offers no shortage of tourist attractions for history aficionados like her. We’ve visited quite a few of those over the years, but this year we felt it was time to check off one of the Hoosier State’s biggest trivia answers: Corydon, our original state capital before Indianapolis…

"Welcome to Corydon" banner.

Corydon also has an official Civil War battle to its name. That’ll have its own chapter later.

On the Indiana/Kentucky border and down the road from Clarksville (which we saw in last year’s stopover on the way to Dragon Con) is the town of Corydon. We honestly thought it would be bigger on the inside, but it’s packed with five towns’ worth of character. Beyond their Original State Capital significance, the materials handed to us by a rather funny tour guide at their visitors’ center included a five-month list of festivals and events that made me wonder how these folks ever have time to sleep. They’re definitely a community that enjoys each other’s company and are tickled pink to welcome any visitors with an inkling to show up and mingle.

Indian Creek in Corydon, Indiana.

With great festivals comes copious free parking. We pulled up to a lot near Indian Creek on the south end of downtown.

Indian Creek fall colors, in Corydon, Indiana.

Turn your head, and Indian Creek showed some of those fall colors we knew would surround us.

wishing well at Koa's Lodge, Corydon, Indiana.

Quaint businesses along our walking path included Koa’s Lodge, which had a wishing well in its front yard. Or a working well, for all we know.

Hayswood Theatre, Corydon, Indiana

In lieu of movies, the Hayswood Theatre offers live performance. Sadly we didn’t have time to catch their current production, “She Kills Monsters”, which sounds grade-A on the face of it.

WOCC station house and Invitation to Dance Studio.

Among the denser blocks, country radio station WOCC sidles up to a dance studio.

Harrison County Jail historical marker.

Historical markers are all around, such as this nod to the old Harrison County Jail and related unpleasantness. Some of their markers are surprisingly candid about history’s dark side.

actual whipping post, Corydon, Indiana

Exhibit A: standing next to the same marker is a whipping post that dates back many decades to its use as punishment for horse thieves and the like.

Kintner House Inn, Corydon, Indiana

Numerous structures are over a century old. The Kintner House Inn, built in 1873, doesn’t even crack the list of their Top 10 oldest.

One of downtown’s newer attractions is Bicentennial Park, an imaginatively decorated rest area and/or gathering spot between the restaurants and the little shops. The park was dedicated in late 2016 on the occasion of Indiana’s statehood bicentennial , which we likewise celebrated up north in Indianapolis, as longtime MCC readers might recall. The place crowded up as the afternoon marched on; in the morning, we tried to be respectful while maneuvering around a yoga class.

Bicentennial Park ground, Corydon, Indiana

The park’s centerpiece is the state flag, trimmed to fit Indiana borders.

Bicentennial Park pumpkins, Corydon, Indiana

Halloween harvest pumpkin autumn fun time in full effect.

rock fountains and mosaic!

Modest rock fountains gurgle in front of a mosaic wall.

painted cardinal lightbox and mosaic, Corydon, Indiana

Another mosaic paired with a lightbox painted with cardinals, our state bird.

Little Free Library in Corydon's Bicentennial Park

A Little Free Library stands well-stocked and at the ready.

Scrap Metal Darryl, sculpture in Corydon, Indiana

A shop next door to the park has their own mascot, called Scrap Metal Darryl. For some reason he was hanging out in back this day instead of inside.

As it happens, not until we were inside the town did we learn they had a festival planned that very weekend. Whereas many towns have their own Oktoberfest, Corydon amended theirs somewhat in 2016 in honor of one of their most revered artisan families. Zimmerman Art Glass traces its lineage back to Pittsburgh’s glass-making heyday and through to ancestral France. The Zimmermans have been a Corydon fixture for nearly 80 years and bill themselves as “the second oldest family-run studio glass factory in the United States”. (Perhaps one day their rivals at Judson Studios in L.A. shall falter and the Zimmermans can snatch up that crown.) They moved into their current downtown HQ in 2015 and have been embraced so warmly by the citizenry that in Corydon’s Oktoberfest was hereby renamed Glasstoberfest.

Locals and visitors from nearby areas were all agog about the Zimmermans’ globes and baubles and artworks and so forth. Glasstoberfest was such a demanding affair for them to orchestrate that the studio didn’t open till 3:00. We returned later in the day and got a closer look, as shown in our lead photo.

Me standing between a pair of small glass pumpkins on a window shelf.

Pumpkins all in a row.

fall-themed glass globes with leaves inside.

More fall-themed globes.

Zimmerman Art Glass mural!

Later in the ‘fest, a brand new mural on the studio’s east side would be officially dedicated.

All throughout the day, vendors up and down the street set up their booths, tables, and other ware-plying setups. Arts ‘n’ crafts were unveiled, signs were posted, and we boggled to see one gentleman assiduously stirring the largest cauldron full of ham and beans we’ve ever seen in our lives. We hadn’t planned to stay late or overnight, but we enjoyed watching their prep work as we traipsed around from one historical point of interest to the next.

big blue food bus in Corydon, Indiana.

Tired: food trucks. Wired: an entire food bus.

To be continued! Other chapters in this very special miniseries:

Part 1: Unrelated Pastry Prologue
Part 3: Halloween and the Hallowed Tree
Part 4: A Capital Pack of Markers
Part 5: Hooked on Butt Drugs
Part 6: Cozy Corydon Cuisine
Part 7: William Henry Harrison Slept Here
Part 8: The Battle Cabin in the Woods
Part 9: [coming soon]
Part 10: [coming soon]

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