Edinburgh: Scotland’s vibrant capital city of 450,000+, so venerated that it seems half the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site! Full of brogue, universities, and plenty of history, the Edinburgh across the sea is high on the top of every European traveler’s must-visit list!
But forget all that! Welcome to Edinburgh (or Edinburg depending on what year the sign was made), a sleepy town of 4,400 mostly known today for the massive outlet mall nearby as well as Camp Atterbury, a National Guard training facility. Settled at some point in the early 1820s by some intrepid settlers, the site was chosen for its proximity to the river and fertile lands.
How the town got its name is a bit of a question too; most likely one of the early settlers gave the town its name in honor of the capital of his native land. (I prefer the other, less plausible theory that another early settler got drunk, wanted more respect in the fledgling town, and demanded the town be named “Eddiesburg” which was then changed to the less-strange Edinburgh.)
I came to the not-Scotland Edinburgh on a sleepy Sunday. A word of warning: most small towns in Indiana have nothing going on during the day of rest so be prepared for some almost ghost town levels of quiet.
What to do in Edinburgh, Indiana
Not too far from downtown Edinburgh and just at the entrance to Camp Atterbury is a small, dusty road that leads to Furnas Mill Bridge. The old bridge leads over Sugar Creek in the Atterbury Fish & Wildlife Area, and is a gorgeous 1891 constructions that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
North of Edinburgh lies a curious little treasure I dug up while searching through some of my favorite resources to find unique attractions: the grave in the middle of the road. As the marker explains, this is the grave of Nancy Kerlin Barnett:
Born May 14, 1793 – Died Dec. 1, 1831
Married to William Barnett, Feb. 29, 1808. He was born Sept. 27, 1786, drowned in Ohio River Sept. 24, 1854. William was the great, great, great grandson of Pocahontas and John Rolfe. Daniel G. Doty, 1846 – 1934, protected his grandmother’s grave by staying here with his gun, while the county relocated the cemetery in order to build the road. A concrete slab was placed over the grave, to protect the marker, Aug. 8, 1912.
Downtown Edinburgh itself is worth a quick visit, although there wasn’t much happening on Sunday (probably not any other day, either, it is a sleepy small town). Highlights include Not Just Popcorn, The Edinburgh Pixy Theatre, and Lil Bertha’s for breakfast or lunch.
Have you ever visited a “not that _____” city? What was it and what did you think of the less famous cousin?