It’s interesting sometimes to reflect on things that might have been and how different our community would be today if plans made years ago had been followed to completion. For example, Indiana Avenue in North Anderson was at one time to be part of a major road that would have extended all the way to Chicago. Just imagine how life in Anderson would be different today had that come to fruition.
The story begins in 1867 when the Anderson and Lafayette Turnpike was constructed connecting Anderson with Florida Station in Lafayette Township. Known also as the Florida Turnpike it commenced where Indiana Avenue begins today at its junction with Grand Avenue.
In its early years Grand Avenue was known as the “river road.” Beginning at the Anderson Cemetery (now West Maplewood) where it intersected with the Anderson and Alexandria Turnpike (built 1855) it followed the north side of the river over the wooden Killbuck Creek bridge, over the mill race culvert, past the Killbuck Mill, under the Pan Handle Railroad bridge (built 1855) and then made a turn to the north going up the hill to where the turnpike officially began.
That hill was known for years as Tappan Hill and was named for the H.C. Tappan family who owned three and one-half acres on the east side of the road.
From there the turnpike proceeded north to what was first known as the Township Line Road and later as Cross Street. Near that intersection on the west side of the turnpike was a toll house where fees were collected for the turnpike usage. Here the turnpike turned west and after a series of turns made its way to Florida Station, a total distance of six miles from start to finish with no apparent plans to extend it any further. The same cannot be said for the one-mile section of the turnpike that later became Indiana Avenue.