On April 1, 1809, 700 acres of land were established as the town of Madison, named after President James Madison. At the turn of the nineteenth century, pioneers trickled into the area to take full advantage of the bountiful land considered part of the Northwest Territory. During the 1820s, Madison had 123 homes, and the population had passed the 1000 mark. Also during that time, stores and businesses lined the often-muddy dirt streets, while livestock were frequently herded down Main Street. Construction of Michigan Road in the early 1830s made Madison an important transportation hub, linking the Ohio River with Indiana's interior and the rest of the Northwest Territory. Madison's Golden Age occurred during the middle of the nineteenth century when it rivaled any other city in the state. Business and financial institutions flourished, while mills and foundries were at full production. With the Mammoth Internal Improvements Act of 1836, Madison developed into a major cog of the regional economy. With the introduction of the railroad in 1847, farm products were easily transported to Madison for processing and shipping up and down the Ohio River. Today, Madison, Indiana is a bustling, tightly-knit community that is home to 12,083 (est.) people. We are known for our abundance of festivals and events throughout the year, as well as our historic downtown area that is filled with rich history and unique businesses and shops. While many communities boast of a historic downtown, our historic district is composed of 133 city blocks, which is one of the largest national historic landmark districts in the United States.
We are located in the middle of a "golden triangle" between Louisville, KY, Cincinnati, OH, & Indianapolis, IN. We are served by four state highways, are located within 30 miles of two interstates (I-65 and I-71), and are within a day's drive to two-thirds of the population of the United States.
We have a lot to offer visitors and residents, including great educational opportunities, amazing recreational options, and an unmatched quality of life. Whether young or old, coming for a weekend or a lifetime, Madison has something for you. Once you come here and experience all of Madison's opportunities and the city's beautiful setting, you'll never want to live anywhere else!