Parke County, Indiana
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Parke County Communities


Bloomfield, as it was first named, was started about 1825 or 1826, south of the present site of the village, where the first store was opened in a log building by William Pickard, his son John opening a drug store. The population at the time of the 2000 census was 319.


Bridgeton, Indiana is listed as a National Historic District and is home to the Bridgeton Covered Bridge which was rebuilt in 2006 after an act of arson.  
Bridgeton Grist Mill is the oldest continually operating mill in the Midwest.  Bridgeton serves as host to several annual events throughout the year.



This mill town village is home to the Mansfield Covered Bridge and many special events throughout the year.  The Mansfield Roller Mill which is operated by Indiana DNR is a seasonal operated tourist attraction in the village.


The town of Marshall was incorporated in 1903 with a population of nearly 400. At that time, the community boasted of a street-lighting system, a brass band, six churches and a township graded school. The town was founded in 1877 with the completion of the old I.D. & S. Railroad. Because of the liberality of M.W. Marshall, a pioneer citizen who to donated a tract of land for the railroad station, the town was named in his honor. The estimated population in 2003 was 364.


Mecca was founded in 1835 by Jeptha van Vickler who erected a water-power saw mill which was the town's first industry. Mecca did not make any big growth as a town until William E. Dee, of Chicago, purchased a tract of land and started a sewer pipe factory in 1895. During its most prosperous era, the population of Mecca was approximately 1200 but has since been reduced. The estimated population in 2003 was 361.


Montezuma is situated in the southwest corner of Reserve Township, on the Wabash River, and was early a place of considerable importance, being the principal shipping point in this part of the county during the early years of settlement, when the Wabash was the great commercial highway of this western country. On the completion of the Wabash and Erie Canal in 1850, the town took a fresh start and from that date to 1860 was the most prosperous period it ever experienced. On the closing of the water highway business gradually languished and fell away until 1873, when the Indianapolis, Decatur & Springfield railroad was constructed through the township and a station opened at this point. The estimated population in 2003 was 1,166.


The estimated population, in 2003, was 2,722. Rockville was laid out in the fall of 1823, and became the permanent county seat of Parke County in 1824. Pervious to that, courts had been held in Roseville and Armiesburg. The donors of the land on which Rockville is situated were the first settlers of the town, namely Arthur Patterson, Andrew Ray, Aaron Hand, and James B. McCall. The circumstance of a large number or rocks of the boulder description, lying on the site, gave it the name of Rockville. It is said that the name was dedicated by breaking a bottle of whiskey on one of those boulders.


Rosedale was originally settled in 1811 by John Doty and the town was named Dotyville. The name changed when Chauncy Rose offered to pay for the town's incorporation if they named it Rosedale. The town became a recognized community in 1860 when the Terre Haute & Logansport (later the Pennsylvania R.R.) was completed and a post office was established. The peak population was between 1200 & 1500 in the 1800s during the coal mining and railroad era. The estimated population in 2003 was 754.


Tangier is located in Liberty Township. The beginning of the town occurred in the spring of 1886, when the Indiana Coal Railroad established a station here. It was platted and named by Captain J. T. Campbell, the name being suggested by current events at Tangier, Africa. A flour mill was built here prior to 1900. It was a steam-power mill, sufficiently equipped for doing good work, but since the milling business was declining, the life of the mill was short. Around 1900, there was a hotel, a canning factory, a grocery and dry goods store, and a good hardware store which burned down in 1924. The railroad became bankrupt on December 31, 1921s and ceased operation.


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