Bedford, Indiana: Ed's Ghost Town (Gone)

1950s-70s tourist attraction created by Edward and Evelyn Hirsch, combining Old West artifacts and buildings with souvenir and gift shops. Burned down in 1981.
Directions:
Gone, had been on the south side of Rt. 50, 1.6 miles NE of Rt. 60, southwest of Bedford, Indiana.
Status:
Gone

Visitor Tips and News About Ed's Ghost Town

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Ed's Ghost Town vintage post card.

Ed's Ghost Town

My parents started and ran Ed's Ghost Town near Bedford. Some folks might enjoy photos of postcards my parents sold in the store (Also, the post that mentioning seeing a bear was talking about Monkey Grove near Mitchell, on the other side of the county, which my parents later purchased and ran. Dad didn't have any animals there.).

My parents retired and moved to Tucson in 1983. My mother is 94 and currently living in Oklahoma.

[Arthur Hirsch, 08/04/2014]

Ed's Ghost Town.

Ed's Ghost Town - Vague Recollections

I would give anything to visit Ed's as it was in the early 1970s -- the way I remember it as a young child with my mom and dad -- just one more time. We lived just outside Cincinnati, and my grandparents lived in Petersburg, Indiana, so we made the trip down Route 50 several times a year.

I loved visiting Ed's gift shop: the candy, the toys and souvenirs, the geodes and polished rocks, the postcards. It was an awesome place if you were young. It was a must-top destination either on the trip there or back for us.

I vividly recall the stark, simple, white and black signs that lined Route 50, both east and west of Ed's. If I recall, the farthest sign was "88 miles to Ed's," which was east of the store and ghost town. As a typical kid who always wondered, "Are we there yet," spotting the signs that counted down the miles made the nearly 4-hour trip more palatable.

My wife and I drove to visit my dad's relatives in Petersburg this past weekend and I told my two young girls about Ed's. I would have loved for them to visit it for the unique experience of a simpler time.

Mike, it's good to see your post here. I'm sorry to hear about your father. He and your mother were always great to us when we stopped.

[Tony, 11/16/2008]

Photo added Dec. 2008.

Red Onion Saloon.

Ed's Ghost Town - Vague Recollections

I was having a few childhood memories and Googled Ed's Ghost Town just to see if anyone else had something to say about it - what a joy to find out it hadn't been forgotten! As children, my brother and I spent several summers on my grandparent's farm in Mitchell, IN (~1964). The Ghost Town was one of our favorite "haunts" along with Santa Claus Land, Spring Mill State Park, Ashcraft Chapel (my g-grandmother was an Ashcraft) and spending time with family all over that part of the world.

I loved the grab bags at Ed's - that was about all I could afford - but we always bought some treasure to take back to my mother in Texas. I'm sure there must be photos somewhere but we've not had the opportunity to go through all my mother's belongings. What great memories.

[Ava, 07/26/2008]

August 2014: Photo added.

Ed's Ghost Town - Vague Recollections

Ed's Ghost Town was a big part of my life growing up in Owensburg, IN. I made several trips to Ed's. Money was tight, but my mom always made sure we got to go to Springmill Park and Ed's Ghost Town. We'd go in the back and look at the old buildings -- an old jail, a stable, -- some had mannequins such as store clerks, sheriff, etc. We always got to get a little treat in the gift shop. I remember the husband and wife that ran it would sometimes give us an extra sucker or some other treat.

Mom was divorced raising 6 children on her own, so when we were little these things like going to Ed's were very important to us.

[TMGV, 07/18/2008]

Ed's Ghost Town.

Ed's Ghost Town

My father was Edward Hirsch, who owned Ed's Ghost Town, along with my mother, Evelyn Hirsch. My father passed away on June 10, 2006. The legacy of the ghost town lives on however.

Not everything was cheap, typical and touristy. Dad sold Fenton glassware and other high-quality glassware. Some of his jewelry was jewelry store quality, not just cheap stuff. He had collector plates imported from Denmark that increase in value significantly. The gift shop was unique in my mind.

As for the ghost town, there were nine buildings housing over forty 1800-era buggies of all types, including the oldest stage coach in the U.S. There were hundreds of hardware artifacts in the hardware store of the ghost town. And he did make money from the admission to Ghost Town. He charged 50 cents for 6-12 year olds and $1 for over 12. Thousands of people visited the town.

[Mike Hirsch, 10/28/2006]

August 2014: Photo added.

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