Visitors from all over the state come to see and show at the Indiana State Fair. Check out the non-fair recommendations from the 1890 State Fair Visitor’s Guide–the last year before moving to its current location.

“Visitors to the State Fair can economize time visiting public buildings by knowing in advance how to reach them. On arriving at the Union Station (which is said to be the most complete building of the kind in the United States), take particular notice of the surroundings, and on returning you will find your train on the same track, only headed the direction you came in.”


Union Station, built in 1888

“You can reach the Fair grounds by street railway from the north side of the Station, on Illinois or Meridian streets, or by carriage or wagon seeking your custom.

The Blind Asylum will be passed on the way to the State Fair by the Pennsylvania street route; will also pass the University Park and the Colfax monument.”


The American Legion Mall covers some of the land previously used by the Blind Asylum

“The State House should receive first consideration after the State Fair. It is the admiration of visitors, and the ‘ride of the Hoosier.’ Visit the agricultural rooms and museum; take the elevator and promenade the third floor, on which is the Geological Department, extending across the south end of the building; and immediately under, on the second floor, is the State Library, containing about 25,000 volumes; also, full sized portraits of all the Governors of the State. The massive structure, with its marble columns and beautiful corridors, kept in perfect order, is very imposing. The building is 496 feet in length and 283 feet in width. The dome is 235 feet in height, and the corner pavilions 125 feet high. The building is heated by natural gas, ventilated by four large rotary blowers, and thirteen electric clocks keep the time of day.”


“The Hendricks monument stands near the southeast corner of the State House, and from the east entrance, looking eastward, is a fine view of the Soldiers’ Monument in course of erection, which, when completed, will be 270 feet high, and being on a higher elevation, will be about fifty feet higher than the State House dome.

Near the State House is the Cyclorama. Do not fail to visit it and see what art can do.”


The far bottom right corner shows a small fraction of the Cyclorama building.

“The Deaf and Dumb Asylum is on the eastern edge of the city;”


Though frequently mislabeled as the Blind Asylum, this was the Deaf and Dumb Institute.

2 responses to “Friday Fave: After 1890 State Fair, See This!”

  1. Scott Wagner says:

    I have been enjoying reading about the state fair. I went a couple of times as a kid. Indiana State Fairgrounds put Ohios’s to shame.


  2. Tiffany Benedict Browne says:

    Thanks for sharing, Scott. I’m sure I’m not the only one curious about how other states compare!

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