Sunday, May 25, 2008

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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