July 11, 2008

Offbeat Attractions, Bedford, Indiana

After leaving Bluespring Caverns, we began looking for some of the offbeat locations around Bedford we had read about on the internet.

We found the location of what Roadsideamerica.com calls the Obsessive Sign Maker of Bedford, Indiana.

Sam Shaw has been erecting his signs and exercising his freedom of speech regarding political, religious and other issues for years despite the many fines assessed him by the City of Bedford.

We found this neat, old abandoned Phillips 66 Station in Bedford.

In the nearby town of Oolitic, we found the 10 foot tall statue of mid-20th century comic strip character Joe Palooka. Carved out of limestone, Joe weighs in at 20,000 pounds...making Marlon a true lightweight.

Bedford is known as "the limestone capital of the world" and was to be the location of a limestone-themed tourist attraction featuring limestone replicas of the Great Wall of China and the Great Pyramid of Cheops.

Marlon stands at the abandoned park's entrance.

It seems the park was granted federal funding of $200,000 in the early 1980's but fell victim to Senator William Proxmire's Golden Fleece Award which he awarded to projects he felt were wasting taxpayer money. Funding and work on the project were abruptly halted in 1981.

This was a view toward the property from a nearby cemetery. We aren't sure if this was to represent the Great Wall but it sure looked neat.
Using the Consumer Price Index, $200,000 in 1981 would be $473,000 in 2009 dollars. Doesn't sound so much in the whole scheme of things...

It sounds like it could have been an interesting attraction featuring replicas of world landmarks most people will never see in their lifetime.
One thing's certain...it would have better than the abandoned piece of land it is now.

To be continued...

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