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 Jackson and Jennings counties.


If it weren’t for this old building in the picture, you’d never know this tiny community ever a had high school.

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Like many other Indiana ghost towns across the state, when the local high school was lost to consolidation, the community withered away.

Apparently, when Clearspring High was first established, it was called Owen Township, according to the concrete sign on the building. There are two signs with dates on the schoolroom side — one is 1910 and the other is 1923.

I’m not sure when the gym was built, which is the left side of the picture. The building is now used to store old farm equipment and other items.

Clearspring played in its last sectional basketball game in 1969, losing at Seymour to Seymour 94-38.


This gym at Cortland Elementary School was used a high school gym for the Cortland Eagles from 1949 to 1965.

In the final basketball sectional the school played (1965), it beat Medora 65-64 and lost to Crothersville 84-69. The following season, Cortland was absorbed into Seymour as part of the Jackson County consolidations.

Thank you, Bonita Kleber, for allowing us to see the gym.


Built in 1941, the old Vernon Gym was last used as a high school gym in 1964.

Vernon was a part of North Vernon in the 1964-65 school year and consolidated into Jennings County in 1968.

The building is now used as a community center.

Vernon played its last basketball game in the 1964 Greensburg Sectional, losing to Sand Creek 71-63.

Mike Barrett is a local resident with an interest in history. His Backroads Indiana columns regularly appear in The Tribune. Send comments to