USA - 1976 - Ceylon IN

Adams County Bicentennial Medal

United States Of America Bicentennial Medal issued by Adams County Indiana listing all it's Cities and towns. Ceylon, IN, is 16 miles south of Decatur, on a county road just east of Route 27; It is just North of Geneva (within it's zip-code 46740) and south of Berne.

Diameter38.8 mm
Thickness3.6 mm
Weight27.35 gms
1976_adams_county_in_obverse 1976_adams_county_in_reverse

Obverse : scenery from Adams County, including the Ceylon Covered Bridge across Wabash river, mountains with cross, a plow on right and Church steeple with flag flying on left below. OUR FOUNDING FATHERS in two lines above. Seventeen Cities and Towns in Adams County listed along periphery in 4 arcs, separated by stars. Ceylon Covered Bridge
Ceylon Covered Bridge

Reverse : County courthouse in Decatur at center with 1776 and 1976 written on top of trees on either side. 1816 (year of Statehood) below.
Two large stars on either side. * ADAMS COUNTY . INDIANA * above and UNITED STATES-OF-AMERICA-BICENTENNIAL below along the periphery.

Courthouse        1896 US RailRoad Map
The picture on the left is the front of the county courthouse. Thirteen of the 17 cities listed on Medal can be counted on the 1896 RailRoad Map of Adams County.

In the 1918 Standard History of Adams County, John W. Tyndall, writes
In Wabash Township, besides the old towns of Alexander and Buffalo which were absorbed by Geneva, there is Ceylon, now but a little group of buildings, but in the (18)70's, when timber in the adjacent country was still plentiful, a busy, if small, industrial center. The town was platted June 24, 1873 by Dr. B. B. Snow, and the paper recorded in the following month. Ceylon lies just south of the Wabash River in Sections 20 and 21, and at the height of its prosperity had spoke, wheel, heading and stave factories, saw and grist mills, cooper shops and a number of well-stocked stores. The Snow grist mill, built in 1873, was the first steam plant of that kind to be operated in Adams County, south of Decatur. At the present time, the most substantial looking building in the little rural settlement is the brick schoolhouse which was completed in 1894. The Ceylon Methodist Circuit had supplies for two or more years, after it was set off from Geneva, and it the year mentioned erected a house of worship at that place.

Established in 1836 Adams County, Indiana was named for John Quincy Adams, Sixth President of the United States. What motivated the name "Ceylon" in the middle of a region settled by a Swiss community ? I suspect it must be the celebrated mountain named Adam's Peak in Ceylon often associated with the Garden of Eden.

The single span 1126-foot Ceylon Covered Bridge built with a Howe Truss like those built by Smith Bridge Co. The date 1862 is painted on the portel. It is the only bridge still standing of 9 built in Adams County and 23 built over the Wabash River. It was bypassed in 1974. In all of Indiana 90 are still standing today, from around 600 built in Indiana during the period between 1820 and 1922.

Of European influence, covered bridges can be found in all parts of the U.S. with the possible exclusion of the Southwest. The main motivating factor in building bridges "covered" was that it kept the supporting truss timbers and joints dry thus extending their lifespan.
A speaker at a Travel Film, quiped that "covered" bridges were built since horses didn't like going across open bridges but didn't mind going into a structure that looked like a Barn. :-)


The token was scanned at 300 dpi and the images are displayed at 150 dpi. This token was obtained in the 2002 December on ebay from a seller from IN, USA

Any interesting stories about this place ? Please send me any information.
I thank Dick D. Heller, who designed this medal and author of the 1979 History of Adams County, Indiana for the references and corrections to the text.

I thank Faril Ward, President and editor of the Indiana Covered Bridge Society, Inc. for information about the Ceylon Covered Bridge.

See also the Ceylon MN token site.