Sunday, May 25, 2008

CYCLING TO JAMES WHITCOMB RILEY'S TOMB
The Hoosier Poet's remains grace Crown Hill's highest point

INDY VISTA. In all the year's I've lived in Indianapolis, I'd never really explored Crown Hill Cemetery. I did so Saturday morning. I wondered about the white, parthenon-style monument at the top of the highest hill in the rolling, wooded urban park. I climbed the winding road to discover it was the resting place of James Whitcomb Riley, a citizen of Indianapolis and revered as one of Indiana's literary greats. The monument was a simple but profound structure. A charming feature was a small bronze statue of a child sitting on the ground, reading a book. Being the highest point in Crown Hill, the monument offers a wonderful vista of Indianapolis in all directions, with the downtown skyline clearly visible.

FROM FALLEN SOLDIERS TO JOHN DILLINGER. After visiting Riley's tomb, I rode around until I found two more sites: the first was the section reserved for fallen soldiers. The second was the grave site of the robber John Dillinger. I made a donation to the ROTC cadets giving out flags at the cemetery's entrance. The Heritage Fund is used to restore the grave sites of fallen soldiers. I'm sure I will visit Crown Hill again and recommend a visit to others. It is a beautiful place in the heart of Indy.

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