Put Yourself On The Trail: A Guide To Putnam County Public Art

Explore North to South, East to West, visiting a variety of public mural projects that have been completed across the county.

Small and large-scale murals help define Putnam County and its arts scene, and traveling to see each installation is a great way to enjoy all this rural West Central Indiana county offers. Starting in 2015 with “Greencastle Blossoms,” six installations led to the most ambitious mural, “the Silos,” the largest mural in Indiana. Each project has involved the community in some way, reflecting the county’s passion for both public art and community engagement. The recently formed Putnam County Mural Project is taking the lead on continuing this specific kind of public art and will extend this trek around the county to appreciate and enjoy beautiful, colorful scenes any time of every day.

The first three murals are in downtown Greencastle, close enough to each other that it’s best to explore them on foot. Park in the Putnam County Library parking lot and make your first stop inside the library.

"Read. Think. Create!"

“Read. Think. Create!” – 103 E Poplar St, Greencastle, IN 46135

“Read. Think. Create!” is located above the circulation desk inside the Putnam County Public Library. Before the city’s first mural, “Greencastle Blossoms,” was complete, the library expressed a desire to install a mural inside. After conversations with the director, “Read. Think. Create!” was designed by Greencastle Civic League artists Amy Welch and Heather Wright to highlight the old and new of libraries. A Carnegie Public Library, the Putnam County Public Library was built in 1902 with major renovations in 1995. Much of the original building, woodwork, and tables are still in use, along with some beautiful windows in the original part of the building.

Next stop: “Starlight Barn Quilts” – Less than 1 minute (walking) (20 feet)

  1. Leave the library by foot out of the front door onto E Walnut St
  2. Cross the street. Destination will be directly ahead of you on the back of the Hammer & Co building, to the left of the Moonstone house.

Startlight Barn Quilts

“Starlight Barn Quilts” – 25 S Vine St, Greencastle, IN 46135

This is the third mural installation by the Greencastle Civic League and lead artist Amy Welch. Installed in 2016 on the back of the Hammer & Co. building, the mural was inspired by the owner’s love of quilts and the painted quilts found on barns throughout the region. Getting all of the straight lines up and perfect was the biggest challenge for the group of volunteers who installed this mural. Hammer & Co. CPAs provides accounting and financial services to local individuals and businesses.

Next Stop: “Greencastle Blossoms” – 1 minute (walking) (50 feet)

  1. Walk west on E Walnut St
  2. Turn right on S Vine St. Destination is on right, on the north side of the building.

"Greencastle Blossoms"

“Greencastle Blossoms” – 17 S Vine St, Greencastle, IN 46135

Installed in 2015, this was the first mural by members of the Greencastle Civic League to beautify the city. With input from the building owner, Eitel’s & Co., local artist Amy Welch designed “Greencastle Blossoms.” She and a group of volunteers installed and painted the mural in just six days. Eitel’s & Co. was Greencastle’s locally-owned florist for 111 years. Walk back to your car at the Putnam County Public Library. From here, you’ll want to drive to the next murals.

Next Stop: “Spirit of Roachdale” – 26 min (20.2 miles)

  1. Leave parking lot on the south side of the library onto E Poplar St
  2. Turn right onto E Poplar St
  3. Turn right onto S Jackson St
  4. Continue north onto US-231 N (S Jackson becomes US-231)
  5. Turn right onto IN-236 E
  6. Turn left on N Indiana St. Destination will be on the left.

"Spirit of Roachdale"

“Spirit of Roachdale” – 204 N. Indiana Street, Roachdale, IN 46172

The “Spirit of Roachdale” mural, on the side of the former TDS building, was designed and painted by artist Holly Sims and a group of volunteers in 2017. The mural was commissioned by the Roachdale Revitalization Cooperative Alliance to celebrate the history and revitalization of the town of Roachdale, home to an annual Rib & Blues festival every September.

Lunch Stop: Hayden’s Bainbridge Tap & Grill – 12 minutes (6.8 miles)

  1. Head south on N Indiana St toward E Washington St
  2. Continue onto 250 E/N Co Rd 250 E
  3. Continue onto E County Rd 800 N
  4. Continue onto N County Rd 200 E
  5. Continue on N Washington St.
  6. Turn right onto W Main St. Destination will be on the right.

Bainbridge Tap

Hayden’s Bainbridge Tap & Grill – 109 W. Main Street, Bainbridge, IN 46105

Hayden’s has wide breakfast, lunch, dinner, and late-night selections at your table and the bar. Think home-cooked fare like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken and noodles, prime rib French dip and fries, dollar beer, and fun at the dartboard, pool table, and karaoke.

Next Stop: “What Grows Here” – 18 min (13.3 miles)

  1. Take W Main St to US-36 W/W Pat Rady Way
  2. Turn left onto US-36 W/W Pat Rady Way
  3. Continue to follow US-36 W
  4. Continue on N County Rd 25 W to US-231 S
  5. Turn left at the 1st cross street onto US-231 S
  6. Follow W Walnut St, which turns into 100 S. Destination will be on the right.

"What Grows Here"

“What Grows Here” – 2998-2494 100 S, Greencastle, IN 46135

The “What Grows Here” mural, painted on the side of a barn just west of downtown Greencastle, is meant to bring poetry to people’s everyday life while also calling attention to local food production. The mural grew from a joint initiative between DePauw University’s 2019 ArtsFest program and the Word Hunger Project developed by Joyce Brinkman, Indiana’s first poet laureate. The poem is written by Joe Heithaus, professor of English at DePauw and a published poet. The mural was painted by local artist Jerry Bates, the woodshop and studio assistant at DePauw, with assistance from Travis LaMothe, DePauw 2010 graduate, and Professor Heithaus.

Next Stop: “The Silos” – 8 min (3.8 miles)

  1. Turn around and head east on 100 S, which becomes W Walnut St
  2. Turn right on S Jackson St
  3. Turn left onto Veteran’s Highway. Destination will be on the left.

"The Silos"

“The Silos” – Corner of US 231 and Veterans Memorial Hwy, Greencastle, IN 46135

On the northwest corner of state roads 231 and 240, you can’t miss the four-silo mural. The largest mural in Indiana, it was commissioned by the Putnam County Mural Project, a group formed to install murals across the county. The theme, style, and final designs were selected through a collaborative process with community members. International artist Key Detail was selected, and the mural was painted over two weeks in September 2019.

Next Stop: “Pennsylvania Railroad” – 4 minutes (2.4miles)

  1. Head southwest on Veterans Memorial Highway
  2. Turn left onto S Jackson St
  3. Continue onto S County Rd 150 W / Manhattan Rd
  4. Turn left onto S County Rd 150 W. Destination will be on the right.

"Pennsylvania Railroad"

“Pennsylvania Railroad” – 3168-3180 Cement Plant Rd, Greencastle, IN 46135

Strap on your tennis shoes and grab a bottle of water for an easy walk on the Putnam County Nature Trail, part of People Pathways. The trail is flat and stone-covered through a wooded landscape, and this section is approximately 2.25 miles in length, or 4.5 miles round trip. People Pathways asked the Greencastle Civic League to paint an old metal railway box at the head of the new nature trail segment of the nearly 20-mile long “linear park” which follows the former Pennsylvania Railroad rail bed. Local artist Sarah Chizum designed and painted the mural, that includes a nod to both the Penn Railroad and People Pathways. People Pathways is committed to active living and supports the development of connected pathways throughout the county.