Directions to IMS - 1909

The attachments to this entry contain one article each that provide driving instructions to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for fans want to attend the upcoming first automobile races held at  the new track. Both originally appeared in the Indianapolis Star, attachment IMSDirections091509 was in the August 15, 1909 issue and attachment IMSdirections091809 appeared three days later on Wednesday, August 18.
Similar articles appear in contemporary editions of the Indianapolis during the days leading up to the race so it must be fun for Speedway fans to compare the routes in 1909 with what exists today. The articles are essentially identical done to the sentence structure.
There were two primary paths to the Speedway which the articles report as located four miles northwest from the downtown Soldiers and Sailors Monument Circle. Note that the track is described as  1.5 miles west of the Riverside Park arch bridge or Emrichville bridge, which I assume are just two different names for the same structure which is both odd and not clear from the article. As noted in one of the links it is a tragedy the arch was not preserved - what a masterpiece!

  • To reach the 50 cent ticket gate the articles instruct drivers to take Indiana Avenue to Crawfordsville Road and proceed directly to the grounds.
  • For the $1 gate drivers were told to take Washington Street to "the asylum," which was almost certainly the Central State Hospital for mental illness, and then head west on Big Eagle Creek gravel road to the main entrance of the track.

The articles report that the Speedway offered free parking space for 10,000 automobiles in the track's infield. Car owners were required to arrive prior to noon as they accessed the infield by driving across the track. In a sign of the times there were reservations set aside for 2,000 hitch racks for those using horse drawn carriages. Another article elsewhere of First Super Speedway reports that there were a total of 3,000 hitching posts.
The Big Four railroad offered service from their depots every 20 minutes and then stepping up with more frequent departures within 45 minutes of the beginning of track action at noon. The Ben Hur interurban cars were to leave their stations every 20 minutes as well, also with more frequent departures within an hour before racing events began.

IMSDirections091509.pdf247.41 KB
IMSdirections091809.pdf245.33 KB