Welcome to Shelby County, where every mile of our well-traveled roads leads visitors to friendly faces offering Hoosier hospitality. Historic city streets and country lanes exhibit natural beauty reflecting Indiana's agricultural heritage. Shelby County citizens and visitors face a bright future rooted in traditional values, enjoying small-town living without big-city hassles.
Visit our unique museums and award-winning restaurants, find a quaint shop on the corner and experience a special community that will convince you to return time and again. We may even convince you to stay. As central Indiana continues to grow and change, people find that Shelby County's quality of life is exactly what they're looking for!
Shelby County's native tribes relied upon the area's swamps and rivers to provide an abundance of resources and transportation routes. Shelby County was formed in 1818, two years after Indiana gained statehood, as the result of an agreement between the U.S. government and the Delaware Indians. The county was named in honor of Isaac Shelby, renowned for his government and military service.
A county of many firsts, Shelby boasted the first railroad west of the Allegheny Mountains. On July 4, 1834, an experimental, two-mile road was completed for horse-drawn cars that carried passengers along the railway. This event fueled Shelby County's expansion throughout the next century. The growth of the railroad, the advent of the interstate highway system and the global delivery of manufactured goods illustrates the important role that transportation has played in the region.
Shelby County has produced many famous Americans. Thomas A. Hendricks became the nation's vice president in 1884, and Shelby County left its mark on Hollywood in the success of two of its very own: Mary Tomlinson, better known as "Ma Kettle," and James Pierce, who played the legendary Tarzan.
Shelby County truly is the Gateway to the Crossroads of America. It is adjacent to Marion County and Indianapolis, and the City of Shelbyville is located 18 miles southeast of Indianapolis on I-74. Morristown is located 20 miles east of Indianapolis on U.S. 52. I-74 and I-65 traverse the county while Indiana's other major interstates are easily accessed within minutes via Indiana State Highways 9 and 44. Air travelers at Shelbyville Municipal Airport use small jet and turboprop aircraft for quick commutes. Indianapolis International Airport is a 40 minute drive from Shelbyville providing international connections.
Two CSX railways (Shelbyville and Morristown) serve Shelby County; the Indiana and Ohio Rail System provides service from Shelbyville southeast to Cincinnati. This line will be an important link in the anticipated high-speed rail that will operate between the Midwest's metropolitan centers in the 21st century.
Shelbyville serves as the county seat and government center for Shelby County. Morristown is incorporated and provides town services. Other unincorporated communities include Fairland, Flat Rock, St. Paul and Waldron.
As Indiana's economic strength has shifted from agricultural production to manufactured goods, Shelby County has gained tremendously from the growth of its industrial base. Locally owned companies and other domestic manufacturers provide a diversified list of products for the market. Fourteen international companies have manufacturing operations in Shelby County, and, as a result of industrial expansion, hundreds of smaller businesses have grown to provide services to industry and the community.
As a result of Japanese investment, Shelby County's industrial base is thriving and workers and their families enjoy a high quality of life. In Shelbyville, seven Japanese companies manufacture a variety of products from refrigerator components to automotive transmission casings. P.K. USA and Ryobi Die Casting combined employ more than 1,000 workers at their facilities, and their presence symbolizes the positive exchange between different cultures and people. Japanese investment in Shelbyville strengthens the relationship with Kambara, its sister city in Japan. Business leaders and students from both communities regularly visit one another to exchange ideas and life experiences.
Shelbyville is also home to most of the county's
international manufacturers including several from Europe. Knauf Fiber
Glass GmbH, the county's largest employer, is a German commercial and
residential fiberglass products manufacturer. Its North American corporate
offices display a unique and modern architectural design that complements
downtown Shelbyville's Victorian-style residential and commercial districts.
Grover Museum in Shelbyville is the "best-kept secret in Indiana" - but not for long. This free, interactive trip back to 1900 Shelby County delights visitors of all ages. Museum guests experience a fabulous recreation of yesteryear. The photography studio displays authentic tintypes that capture the faces and places of days gone by. The one-room schoolhouse allows participants an opportunity to experience prairie school lessons, 19th century style. Miss your mark and you'll don the dunce cap! Visitors also delight in old-fashioned root beer floats and fountain creations at the authentic museum drugstore.
Shelby County's neighborhoods host numerous parks with playgrounds. Additional facilities at the five county high schools offer a variety of recreation choices. County roads, trails and riverways invite you to hike, bike, or float along the pastoral landscape. Three public golf courses in the county provide numerous challenges for the duffer or scratch golfer. Exciting annual events such as Shelbyville's Bears of Blue River Festival or Morristown's Derby Days are sure to entertain the entire family. The Main Street Shelbyville effort actively revitalizes Shelbyville's historic downtown commercial district
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