Day 6 – Bicentennial Torch Makes Trip Through Washington County

Day 6 – Bicentennial Torch Makes Trip Through Washington County


Washington County claimed its 90 minutes of fame today along with Jackson and Floyd Counties as the Bicentennial Torch continues its trip through 92 Indiana counties.

The torch started off in Corydon last Friday and will arrive in Indianapolis on

In Washington, the torch crossed the Maskatatuck River on State Road 135 and was handed to Indiana State Representative Steve Davisson.


Davisson carried the torch from the county line to Rooster Hill, in Plattsburg.

Maurice Godfrey carried the torch to Lake John Hay Rd.

Gertrude Stephenson carried the torch to Lewellen Rd.

They all rode in the back of an open air National Guard deuce and a half, passing the torch to one another at intersections.


The youngest torch bearer, 11-year-old Kaleb Tucker carried the torch to Homer St./N.Main.

Tucker passed the torch to former Salem High School Administrator Paul Scifres, who rode on the back of the old Salem Fire Truck, a 1937 Salem fire truck driven by Fire Chief Tom Day.

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Scifres walked the torch to the entrance of the North side of the courtyard and handed it to Carolyn Lindley, who was escorted up the steps of the Washington County Courthouse by a member of the military and down the south steps to hand off to John Mead.


Mead walked the torch through the Veteran’s Memorial on the courthouse lawn before giving a short speech and passing the torch to D. Jack Mahuron.

A ceremony was held at the Washington County Veterans Memorial where the Salem High School choir began opened the festivities with the national anthem.

During the ceremony, Mark Ray portrayed Abraham Lincoln’s secretary and Salem native John Hay.


Local attorney John Mead spoke, as well as Salem Mayor Troy Merry and Washington County Commissioner Phillip Marshall.

“We all wish Indiana a happy bicentennial and a safe journey across our state, “said John Mead, a torchbearer.

Mayor Merry also proclaimed it Bicentennial Torch Relay Day in the town.

After the ceremony, Mead handed the torch to D. Jack Mahuron, who walked the torch around the Salem Square followed by a group of Junior Washington County Historical Society members.


Mahuron handed the torch to WSLM Owner Rebecca White, who was with two of her daughters, Allie and Aspen White and grandson Tucker Clem, in the Red, White and Blue Model T Spinning Jalopy owned by Jeff Martin.


Her driver gave the crowd a show, spinning around and popping wheelies.

White conveyed the torch down Main Street and handed off to Raymond Lee, who walked the torch up the hill on State Road 56 to Beck’s Mill Road.

652a7356 The torch exited the county the same way it entered – on an open air National Guard deuce with the rest of the Mahuron clan who were torchbearers — Grant Mahuron took the torch to Rudder Rd. where Joe Snider carried to Skylight Rd. and passed off to Shane Mahuron who passed the torch on to Tom Snider at Short’s Corner who passed off to Meredith Peters who carried the torch the final way from Dutch Creek Rd to the county line to hand off to Floyd County.

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It was day six of the Indiana Bicentennial Torch Relay on its 3,200-mile journey across the state. The torch relay is the most far-reaching event of the Indiana Bicentennial celebration and will touch all 92 Indiana counties. Today’s festivities in Jackson, Washington, and Floyd Counties, were coordinated by local organizing committees comprised of community leaders and volunteers.

Thousands of school children gathered on the Brownstown Square, some with foam torches, but all were chanting “light the torch” as it was lit for the Jackson County leg of the Bicentennial Torch Relay. “Light my fire” by the Doors played as Dr. Jack Gillespie stepped off as the first torchbearer.

“The Bicentennial Torch Relay will go by every school in Jackson County, said Arann Banks, Jackson County Coordinator. “I want the kids to remember this.”

The torch traveled down U.S. 50 via walkers, runners, wheelchair and a police car to Seymour. Antique vehicles carried torchbearers pass the Indiana National Guard and Seymour Johnson Air Force base.

Cheers came from Seymour Jackson Elementary School as thousands more students, all in blue shirts that read “Jackson Wildcats” while the teachers and staff wore the same shirts in black.

Other students showed their support by waving on torchbearers at the Geyser Park. The students at Emmanuel Lutheran asked the caravan to honk their horns, the drivers were happy to oblige and the kids then cheered even louder!

Employees at Schneck Medical Center waved signs reading “Improving the health of our communities.” In Downtown Seymour, Emerson School students lined the fence, waving foam torches.

Seymour High School has spirit, yes they do. It wasn’t just the entire student body that littered the lawn at the home of the owls, but several people from the city joined them in wishing the torchbearers well.

Back to Brownstown via police cars, where torchbearers Salky Lawson, Dave Wiley and Amy Marie Travis ran through the town.
Wearing blue bicentennial shirts, students from Brownstown Middle School hi-fived members of the caravan.

Next it was onto Vallonia Torchbearer Mrs. Hartley whose class serenaded her with “you are my sunshine” as she carried the torch which then rode atop a tractor through the Medora Covered Bridge.



Next along the route was Floyd County, the 19th of the Bicentennial Torch Relay with stops in Greenville, Galena, Floyds Knobs and New Albany.

Torchbearer Savannah Robinson ran nearly a mile with the torch after she met the caravan at the Harrison/Floyd County line.

Torchbearers Cory and Alyssa Cochran, passed the state of the art torch back and forth during their leg before handing it off to Kaelyn Gibson at the First Harrison Bank.

Several runners and walkers continued handoffs with family and friends cheering them along U.S. 150 taking the torch through Greenville until meeting Rosie Ehalt and her horse, Sam in Galena.

Continuing the trek down Floyds Knobs, the torch traveled along Paoli Pike and then to State Street where Torchbearer Brian Wehneman ran to meet Michelle Pfeiffer who was cheered on by 100+ friends and family, who flew in from all over the country to join her on this one in a lifetime opportunity.

Torchbearer David Barksdale awaited his one mile portion of the relay at a familiar site in New Albany, the historic Culbertson Mansion. Built in 1867 by businessman and philanthropist William S. Culbertson, the three-story, Second-Empire mansion encompasses more than 20,000 square feet with 25 rooms in the heart of the downtown’s Main Street.

On October 15, 2016, the torch will be used to illuminate an everlasting light for Indiana that will serve as an homage to the state’s first 200 years and an inspiration for generations of Hoosiers to come. The everlasting light will be part of the new Bicentennial Plaza on the west side of the statehouse.