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The Middle of the Road

JOHNSON COUNTY, INDIANA - By traveling all over the state, I get to meet a lot of different people that call this great place home.

I enjoy those that seem to be stuck in time, always sharing memories and past treasures. I can sit and talk with them all day. It's makes me feel good that I document so many of my thoughts and experiences at different stages in my life.

I meet those that are most excited for what is yet to come. They tell stories of things they've never seen and they can become so clear you start to believe it's already happened. I love discussing my future and the future of Indiana.


Nancy Kerlin Barnett was one of the earliest to move to Johnson County when she did in 1821. In fact, Johnson County wasn't even established until 1823, the same year that the county seat of Franklin was platted.

Nancy married William Barnett in February of 1808! William happens to be the great, great, great Grandson of Pocahontas and John Rolf. Before Nancy died, she asked that she be buried on a hill that overlooked Sugar Creek, and that's exactly where she remains today.

There was once an entire cemetery where County Road 400 runs now. It was 1905 when the county decided to relocate the remains in the cemetery for the new road, however, Nancy's family had other plans.

Indy Star - According to local lore, when crews arrived, Barnett's grandson, Daniel G. Doty, stood vigil, shotgun in hand, and dared workers to disturb the grave.

The grave, and Doty remained untouched and crews began building the road around the two. When crews finished their work, and Nancy was still there. If you simply search "Grave in the Middle Road" on Google, the name Nancy Kerlin Barnett will rise to the top of the page.

A few years ago, Johnson County wanted to make the area a little safer in an effort to preserve and protect the Historic grave that rests in the middle of the road.

IndyStar - Johnson County Highway Department, University of Indianapolis archaeology students and the Johnson County Museum joined together to improve the road, preserve the remains and rebuild the grave mound.

The remains of seven members of the Barnett family were discovered underneath the surface, scientists and historians believe they have discovered what is most likely to be a small family plot. They have all been returned to the site.

Where I'm standing in the photo below is now the site looks now. I'm defending the grave just like Nancy's grandson!


I like where I'm at, simply because I know where I want to be. Everywhere I go is exactly where I want to and need to be. I am just as enthralled with history as I am fascinated with the future, I think that's what allows me to enjoy each and every moment so well.

Sometimes I feel as if I can process life as it comes in both directions. The middle of the road isn't a bad place to rest.


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