Along with sharing stories through his Backroads Indiana columns, Mike Barrett likes visiting old basketball gymnasiums and finding out a little bit about their history.
Here are a few he found around the state.
The old gym is still standing in the small community of Campbellsburg, even though the last high school game played here was in 1964. Campbellsburg is now part of the West Washington consolidation.
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It appears the gym is now being used to make wood products, and I’m glad it’s utilized for something instead of just rotting away. It was built in the same year, 1957, as the one in Tunnelton and is identical to it, which is now falling down.
This beautiful gymnasium was opened in January 1940 and used as a high school gym until 1993.
The gym seats 2,650 people but has a much larger feel to it. It’s now used as a fitness center.
Even though its high school playing days are long over, you can still feel it in the gym. The fitness center director allowed me to go in the gym and sit at the top of the bleachers — a special moment for me. I did not want to leave.
Crawfordsville won the first Indiana state championship in 1911.
This gym was built in 1936 and last used as a high school gym in 1965, when Ellettsville consolidated with Stinesville to form Edgewood.
From 1936 to 1952, the Golden Eagles suffered only one losing season. Ellettsville won a regional in 1950, setting off a wild celebration in the small community that is still talked about to this day.
The day we were there, I just happened to find a door open, and just like all of the other times, I couldn’t get Sandy to go inside with me.
She stayed in the vehicle and said, “Someone has to bail you out when they throw you in jail.”
Memorial Hall was built in 1931 and used as a high school gym until 1968.
Indiana basketball legend Rick Mount played high school here, and the gym also was used in the movie “Hoosiers” for the regional.
It seats 2,200 and is used as a community center now and is in great condition.
Newby Gym in New Castle, more commonly known as The Church Street Gym, was built in 1924 and used until 1960, when New Castle High moved to the largest high school gym in the world, where it still plays.
In a game here in 1959, Ray Pavy of New Castle scored 49, and Jimmy Rayl of Kokomo scored 51. New Castle won 92-81. Now that’s a game I would have loved to have seen. The small gym held only 1,800 fans, and the game was sold out. People were standing out in the street during the game. They knew it was a special night. Hoosier legends.
It’s now used as a YMCA.
Only 613 people live in this tiny community along State Road 135, but back in the day, there was a high school here.
Sandy and I were on our way to see Christian when we spotted this old gym from State Road 135, so I stopped and talked to some people in the neighborhood and even at the local dentist office.
The gym was built in the 1930s and appears to be an apartment building of some sort. It is in great need of updates and repair.
The building was last used as a high school gym in 1955. That year at the New Albany Sectional, New Salisbury played as a high school for the last time, losing to New Albany 68-49.
Mike Barrett is a local resident with an interest in history. His Backroads Indiana columns appear regularly in The Tribune. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.