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West Central
East Central
Welcome to southest Indiana

Southeastern Indiana flourished in the nineteenth century, when the Ohio River was the major transportation route to the west. While the river no longer serves as Indiana's chief means of transportation and shipping, barges still transport large loads of coal to fuel the many massive power plants found on the banks of the Ohio.

Some of Indiana's oldest towns grew up along the Ohio—Lawrenceburg, Vevay, Madison and Jeffersonville, to name a few—and many of these river towns were among the state’s largest. In fact, in the 1850s, two of Indiana’s most populous cities were in the southeast: New Albany, the most populated, with nearly 8,200 residents; and Madison, third, with just over 8,000. A few miles away from the Ohio River, at the far western edge of this region, is Corydon, a small town that was Indiana’s first capital.

Unlike the rest of the state, southeastern Indiana was untouched by the glaciers of the ice age, leaving a hilly and subtle, yet dynamic, landscape. While the topography appealed to many Kentucky immigrants who found the land comfortably familiar-looking in the 1800s, they soon found that the soil in the western part of the region was relatively poor for farming.

Today, much of the land has been cleared for agricultural use, but the sometimes rocky terrain has allowed the region to retain much of its deciduous forest cover, including that in the Hoosier National Forest.

Pertinent ecosystems

Relevant environmental terms/issues
Air pollution
Deforestation/habitat destruction
Urban sprawl
Water pollution

Related Authors
Eunice Beecher
Charles C. Deam
Edward Eggleston
George Cary Eggleston
Jessamyn West