Knightstown, Indiana, is a treasure trove of historical sites – including homes, community buildings, filming locations, cemeteries, churches, and the National Road. In fact, we’re even nationally known as the Knightstown Historic District.
Do you like old cemeteries? Gorgeous houses? Historic public buildings? Well-maintained town squares? Churches? We got ’em!
Plan a trip to explore a style of architecture, a type of building, or simply let Route 40 take you where you need to go. In addition to these incredible sites, we’re ready to welcome you with comfortable places to stay, restaurants serving up delicious meals, and fun things to do. While you’re here, check these Must-See Historical Sites off your list.
Historical Sites: Outdoor Experiences
- Knightstown Town Square We might be a little biased, but we love our town square. We decorate it for the seasons, so plan to admire the flowers in the summer or grab a cup of hot cocoa as you walk our square and enjoy the local architecture and vibe. You’ll find a gazebo, pergola, and Little Free Library. If you’re lucky (or you plan it just right!), you might catch a special event, like Jubilee Days or a car show.
- Route 40 National Highway US 40 once traversed the entire continental United States and it still plays a major role in transportation through Knightstown. We took that moniker, “Main Street of America” pretty seriously!
- Glen Cove Cemetery was established in 1838 and hosts about 22,000 graves. The cemetery is well-maintained by the town and volunteers, so you’ll enjoy a peaceful walk through its 51 acres.
Historical Sites: Structures
Knightstown is full of gorgeous buildings, homes, and structures. This is not a comprehensive list. We recommend starting in our downtown area, then fanning out along Main, Washington, Jefferson, Adams, and our other side streets to view incredible Greek Revival, Italianate, Queen Anne, Classical Revival, and other beautiful types of architecture. A few to look for specifically include…
- Historic Knightstown Museum (1885) is a great place to observe Italianate Façade architecture and get started on a genealogy project. It’s free to visit and you’ll probably run into someone who is ready to dive into local history with you!
- Knightstown Academy (1875) This historical site was originally built as a Quaker Academy in the Second Empire style. It eventually became a public high school and is now an apartment building. It was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.*
- Hoosier Gym (1921) The gymnasium was added to the Knightstown Academy and was featured in the movie, “Hoosiers.” It still serves as a location for games and houses a small museum area. You can take a tour, shoot some hoops, and purchase memorabilia.
- Masonic Temple (1900) This building has undergone extensive alterations throughout its history, but still stands tall. You’ll noticed it’s corner oriel is a companion to the Morgan Building tower half a block to the east, which is constructed in a similar style to the Masonic hall.
- Elias Hinshaw House (1883) If you love Italian Villa style architecture, this is a must-see house for you. This was the home of the founder of Knightstown, Waitsell Cary. It was later purchased by Hinshaw, who added the tower. It is listed on Airbnb, so click on the link in its name to see interior photos!*
Historical Sites: Churches
Okay, we know churches are technically historical sites that fall under “structures,” but there are enough gorgeous old churches in Knightstown to earn their own category. Stop by to view the buildings or help yourself to a service.
- Friends Church (est. 1874 – 1875)
- Bethel Presbyterian Church (1885) This church was built in the Neoclassical style and you’ll enjoy the prominent columns supporting the entryway. They received their first pope organ in 1892 and was one of three in Henry County.
- Christian Church (1882)
- United Methodist Episcopal Church (1855) If you’re a fan of Gothic Revival, add this gorgeous church to your list of stops!
Historical Public Buildings
- U.S. Post Office (1936) Our Post Office was built as part of a massive public works initiative by the Roosevelt administration, call the WPA. It’s a Neoclassical style and also home to an original mural painted by Robert L. Morris.
- Old Town Hall (1892)
- Knightstown Public Library (1912) Did you know our library was built with a grant from philanthropist Andrew Carnegie (yes, that Carnegie!) and is one of the few Carnegie Library buildings that have been continuously used as a library since its founding? It’s also hosts an incredible genealogy collection, so be sure to plan a visit if you’re searching to complete your family tree.
*Denotes a home or place of lodging. Be extra courteous about parking, photos, and your interactions: people live here!
We hope this article gave you more information about the historical sites you can explore in Knightstown, Indiana! There is so much more in Knightstown for you to enjoy. Stay up to date and get more Knightstown travel tips by signing up for our monthly newsletter or following us on social media. For more articles just like this one, check out the other articles on our blog. Curious about the new Hoosier Made Here branding? Go behind the scenes to learn more.