Seymour Tourism Information

The first settler on the land that is now Seymour was James Shields who brought his family here in 1816 and built on the property which is now the old city cemetery. In 1820, he received a land grant for the ground he had homesteaded in the area called Mule Crossing.

The son of James Shields, Captain Meedy W. Shields, who later became a State Senator, inherited his father’s land holdings and developed it into a prosperous farm. During the latter 1840’s, a north-south railroad connecting the Ohio River at Jeffersonville with Indianapolis was built crossing the Shields’ farm. In 1852, an east-west railroad was being surveyed through Jackson County and Shields persuaded the railroad company to run through his property. In exchange for this favor, he agreed to name the town after the railroad’s civil engineer, J. Seymour. Seymour, Indiana, quickly became a major center of commercial activity. The city was incorporated in 1864 with a population of 1553.

You may not have been born in John Mellencamp’s “Small Town” but you will always be welcomed to visit — or live amongst our notable doctors, inventors, rock stars, and even a former Miss America, all who proudly claim Seymour, Indiana, as their home.


Crossroads Community Park  & Jackson County Bank Pavilion 

Concert

 Crossroads Community Park is located at 101 E. Tipton Street and was constructed in 2018. The park features the JCB Pavilion, fitness court, a walking/biking trail, restroom facilities and more than 50 parking spaces. The Park can be rented through the Parks and Recreation Department. The Pavilion is the perfect place to enjoy live music and fun, just steps away from Seymour’s Historic Downtown.


Seymour Welcome Sign

 

The Welcome sign, located on US 50 near I-65, was completed in 2014 and includes odes to Seymour's history. A locomotive, plane propeller, corn, guitar, crown, bell tower and grain bins are just a few of the items on the welcome sign, which is illuminated at night. The sign serves as the perfect welcome into Seymour. 


Burkhart Plaza - Seymour Sign

 

Burkhart Plaza was dedicated in July 2020, and named in honor of longtime Seymour Mayor John Burkhart, who passed away in 2019. The interactive, music-themed plaza connects the downtown area with Crossroads Community Park and is a great place for lunch or to spend some time people-watching in Seymour's historic downtown.


Blish Mill Flywheel 

The Blish Mill Flywheel makes its home in the Crossroads Community Park, directly across from the silos where the 16.5 ton iron flywheel generated power for the five story Blish Mill from 1886 to 1951.


Mellencamp Plaza

 

The Mellencamp Plaza is currently under construction and will serve as Seymour's newest pocket park. The Plaza was made possible due to a generous donation from the John Mellencamp family The Plaza is located directly next to the Mellencamp Mural, which was completed in 2019. The Plaza will offer seating on a beautiful, grassy area in the heart of historic downtown and will serve as a great meeting place during Seymour Oktoberfest.


Freeman Army Airfield Museum

Freeman Field was an advanced training base for cadets who had already completed primary flight training. Here they learned to fly multi-engine aircraft and flight solely by reference to instruments. The base was built in just nine months, May 1942 through January 1943. The land was acquired from 27 area farms, providing space for 413 buildings and four runways.

After 9 weeks training at Freeman the cadets went to another base and learned to fly bombers and cargo planes, which they then flew in the war. There were about 5000 military personnel stationed here, and approximately 4200 multiengine pilots were trained.

The principal training aircraft was the twin-engine AT-10 “Wichita” built by Beech Aircraft. There were approximately 250 of the wood and canvas planes at Freeman Field, but only one example survives today, at the National Museum of the Air Force.

The Freeman Army Airfield era ended in 1947 when the base was closed and deeded to the City of Seymour for one dollar. It is now an industrial park and civilian airport.

Click here for more information on the Freeman Army Air Field Museum


Jackson County Veterans Memorial

 

The Jackson County Veterans Memorial is located at Gaiser Park where it was erected in 2004. The monument not only features beautiful limestone and black granite, but also memorial bricks with the names of service men and women. Memorial bricks may still be purchased and feature a name, branch and dates of service.

Click here to purchase a Veteran's Memorial Brick


Seymour Oktoberfest

 

In the early 1970s, members of the Seymour Jaycees, a civic group of young men interested in community service, visited Tell City, Indiana where a street festival was being held by its citizens. The idea of a German festival celebrating the culture and heritage of Seymour was created and became a reality when the inaugural Oktoberfest was held the first weekend in October 1973. The first year featured a mayor’s reception, carnival rides, entertainment, flea market, Prince and Princess contests, antiques and a parade. The festival is a great way to showcase Seymour’s German heritage and the many service groups and organizations which help make our city so fantastic. A hot air balloon race, brat-eating contest, large flea market area, craft vendors, delicious food and a variety of bands and entertainment are offered during the large festival, held in downtown Seymour streets.

Click here for more information on the Seymour Oktoberfest 


Southern Indiana Center for the Arts

It is the mission of the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts to provide art education and enjoyment to the surrounding communities, both in a gallery and studio environment and to educate through Art. The Southern Indiana Center for the Arts is housed in an 1851 two-story brick mansion owned by recording artist John Mellencamp. It is a Greek revivalist style with Italian details on the porches. The house has a unique history and has changed little over the years. The Art Center has taken care to keep the home-feeling of the house while serving as an Art Center. 2001 N. Ewing St., Seymour, 812-522-2278

Click here for more information on the Southern Indiana Center for the Arts


The Reno Gang

  

Notorious and feared in the Midwest at the end of the Civil War, the Reno Gang made its headquarters in Seymour and Rockford in Jackson County, Indiana.

The Reno Gang planned to rob their first train near Seymour; the town was an important rail hub at that time. On the evening of October 6, 1866, John Reno, Sim Reno, and Frank Sparks boarded an Ohio and Mississippi Railway train as it started to leave the Seymour depot. They broke into the express car, restrained the guard, and broke open a safe containing approximately $16,000. From the moving train, the three men pushed a larger safe over the side, where the rest of the gang was waiting. Unable to open the second safe, the gang fled as a large posse approached.

Click here for more information from Wikipedia

Click on the video below to learn more.

 

The secret of the gang’s missing loot lies buried with Reno brothers in unmarked graves in the old Seymour Cemetery.

Click here for more information on The Reno Gang


 Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge

 

Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1966 as a refuge to provide resting and feeding areas for waterfowl during their annual migrations. The refuge includes 7,724 acres near Seymour, and a 78-acre parcel, known as the Restle Unit, near Bloomington. The refuge mission is to restore, preserve, and manage a mix of forest, wetland, and grassland habitat for fish, wildlife, and people. More than 280 species of birds have been seen at Muscatatuck, and the refuge is recognized as a “Continentally Important” bird area.

Click here for more information on the Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge


Jackson County Visitor Center

The Jackson County Visitor Center is housed in the historic Southern Indiana Railroad Freighthouse, which was built circa 1890. This freight house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 22, 2003 and was in service until the 1960s.

Click here to learn more about Seymour and Jackson County Tourism

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