Franklin, Indiana: Grave in the Middle of the Road

The final resting place of Nancy Barnett, whose relatives didn't want her grave to be moved when the road was built.
E. 400 S., Franklin, IN
From Franklin, 5.5 miles south on US Hwy 31, then a little more than one mile east on E. 400 S. From Edinburgh, a little more than four miles north on US Hwy 31, then a little more than one mile east on E. 400 S.
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Visitor Tips and News About Grave in the Middle of the Road

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Grave in the Middle of the Road

In 2016 the grave was opened to exhume the remains while the road is widened. They were surprised to find the remains of seven people. Once the road is completed, the remains will be placed back in the coffins in the mound and will be known not as a grave in the road, but a cemetery!

[Debra Elliott, 09/02/2016]
Grave in the Middle of the Road

The road is closed right now for improvements and to run tests: apparently there are seven remains in the grave, not just one. They are going to re-bury the remains deeper, but leave the grave in the middle of the road.

[Roger, 06/21/2016]


Grave in the Middle of the Road

Interesting news update about this attraction.

[Jess Gockley, 05/12/2016]

The skeletal remains of Nancy Kerlin Barnett are being exhumed and will be buried deeper in the exact same spot in the middle of County Road 400. The above-ground mound grave had deteriorated and been hit by several errant vehicles over the years. Barnett was interred there in 1831.

Grave in the Middle of the Road

A mound with a historical marker sits in the middle of a county road just south of Amity, Indiana -- the spot where Nancy Kerlin Barnett was buried in 1831. But her grave is in for some major changes. In May 2016 the road will be closed, Barnett's remains moved, and the mound leveled, although just temporarily. When the road reopens in about a month, Barnett will again rest in peace between the lanes of the county road, this time in a flatter spot surrounded by a new protective barrier. Johnson County officials cite safety reasons for spending $10,000 to revamp the 185-year-old grave. Traffic accidents and farm equipment have repeatedly damaged the site over the years.

[Brian D. Smith, 04/21/2016]

Cemetery - Divided Highway sign.

Grave in the Middle of the Road

First stop -- Amity, for the World's Largest Rocking Chair, with nearby picnic tables for those who want to eat their lunch in the shadow of "Big John."

The Grave in the Middle of the Road would be best visited while the sun is high in the sky. The nearby houses don't look too friendly towards strangers, by the number of no trespassing signs that were in the area.

If you're heading down I-65 and have 20 minutes to spare for a small detour, this is well worth it. It'd be even better if it wasn't 20 degrees outside.

[Adam Stump, 03/26/2008]

The grave of Nancy Kerlin Barnett has been in this spot, once a cemetery, since 1831. According to the historical marker: "Daniel G. Doty, 1846-1934, protected his grandmother's grave by staying here with his gun while the county relocated this cemetery in order to build the road. A concrete slab was placed over the grave, to protect the marker, Aug. 8, 1912."

Nearby Offbeat Places

World's Largest Rocking Chair - Big JohnWorld's Largest Rocking Chair - Big John, Franklin, IN - 1 mi.
Chapel Built by WWII Enemy POWsChapel Built by WWII Enemy POWs, Nineveh, IN - 6 mi.
Garden of Gas Station SignsGarden of Gas Station Signs, Whiteland, IN - 11 mi.
In the region:
Marker: Abolitionists Mobbed Here, Pendleton, IN - 42 mi.

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