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Martinsville

Trip Planner USA  /  Indiana  /  Martinsville
(4.6/5 based on 65+ reviews for 2 attractions)
Things to do: nature, outdoors
Martinsville is a city in and the county seat of Morgan County, Indiana; the population was 12,000 at the 2010 United States Census.HistoryMartinsville was founded in 1822. It is said to be named for John Martin, a county commissioner.The Morgan County courthouse, completed in 1859, features a red brick and Italianate design, and is one of very few pre-Civil War courthouses existing in Indiana. Architect Isaac Hodgson designed the courthouse, and it was built by Perry Magnus Blankenship. Hodgson designed six Indiana courthouses including Jennings County (1859), Morgan County (1857), Henry County, Bartholomew County (1871), and his largest in Marion County, in Indianapolis.In 1899, Eugene Shireman, a Martinsville entrepreneur, turned his swamp land into fisheries and started Grassyfork Fisheries. Once dubbed the "Goldfish Capital of the World", today Martinsville has several large fisheries that sell fish to many parts of the world. Shireman's actions changed the landscape of the Martinsville area, and his fisheries can be seen today throughout Shireman subdivision. Martinsville is also home to other fisheries.From 1888 until 1968, visitors sought out the many artesian mineral water health spas (which were called sanitariums then) of Martinsville for health benefits. Over the course of nearly 100 years, almost a dozen sanitariums were in operation for various periods of time, including the first black spa in Martinsville.Albert Merritt (1871–1958), beloved founder of the Boy's Club in Martinsville, born near Bowling Green, was the son of former slaves. He came to Martinsville Mineral Springs Sanitarium in the 1890s from a job as a porter at the Sennings Hotel in Louisville, and lived at the sanitarium for the rest of his life, never marrying. He worked with the children of Martinsville for fifty years, building a clubhouse on North Marion Street. Merritt Park on the northwest end of town is named for Albert.
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