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Photographer's Note

I really need to go back to this lovely little town, when the weather's better (!), because these old buildings would be gorgeous with a bright blue background, or at sunset... it was pouring rain that day, so I was lucky to get these rather grainy shots, between cloudbursts! They're certainly not the best photos, as I wasn't walking around, trying to get a decent angle, but I thought I would post them as this historic, little town, very representative of "Smalltown America," is so underrepresented here on TE.

One of the original old buildings in the diminutive town of Fairmount, IN. You can see from the photo the date of 1889, so it's been around a while! This structure can be seen in some of the famous photos of James Dean.

Fairmount, Indiana, is a (very) small town (there's only one stoplight in town, about halfway down Main Street!), about an hour north of Indianapolis. The fist settler was John Winslow, who cleared land on a plot about four miles north of what is now the town, in 1830. The site is the same place where the Marcus Winslow farm is now situated, where James Dean spent his childhood. The working farm is still home to Marcus and his wife: Marcus appears in several very famous photographs of James Dean, who frequently visited his home town. The first home built within town limits was constructed by John Benbow in 1831, and was completed two years later. The community grew over the next several decades, and had become a thriving town by 1850. The town was reportedly named for Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, by one David Stanfield, a prominent citizen. Their surveyor, who had just returned from visiting the original Fairmount Park, agreed. Joseph Baldwin opened a store at the corner of Main and Washington Streets in 1851, and other merchants quickly followed. In 1887, the Fairmount Mining Company was founded, which focused on natural gas extraction. The well caught fire in 1888, however, which brought some notoriety to the town, but the supply ran out about ten years later. Prominent residents since have included James Dean, of course, Jim Davis, the creator of the comic strip "Garfield," Phil Jones, a CBS Correspondent, and Olive Rush (1873-1966), an artist and a pioneer in Native American Art Education.

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Photo Information
  • Copyright: Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1146] (2026)
  • Genre: Places
  • Medium: Color
  • Date Taken: 2019-05-22
  • Photo Version: Original Version
  • Date Submitted: 2020-07-31 21:00
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Additional Photos by Terez Anon (terez93) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 92 W: 78 N: 1146] (2026)
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