Abandoned River Ridge Neighborhood

In the middle of Charlestown State Park in Charlestown, Indian rests a neighborhood that is no longer occupied by humans, but by nature. This area was once home to the Indiana Army Ammunition Plant, a site that we were allowed to photograph back in 2016. The plant was placed under modified caretaker status in 1992, and all three main buildings were leveled to the ground in 2014.

Michael believes that the 12-18 houses in River Ridge were connected to the plant in some manner. Possibly management homes, families who were 100% dependant upon the ammunition plant, and when it shut down, the neighborhood (part of the plant) was abandoned, just like the plant.

The neighborhood has completely been claimed by nature. Even the streets look like walking paths instead of streets that use to have traffic traveling in both directions.

You can tell by the style of the streetlights that the neighborhood has not been upgraded since at least the mid-'90s. This supports the idea that the neighborhood could have been abandoned during the time that the plant was placed under modified caretaker status in 1992.

At the very center of the neighborhood is the community center. Still standing, yet taken over by nature, this community center could have held multiple dances, birthday parties, and special events.  

Next to the community center sits an abandoned basketball court. We believe that the large area next to the court was once a field for soccer, football, or family events. But, it has been completely claimed by nature.

Houses that were once home to many families, now either stand claimed by nature or in a pile of scrap on the earth. Not every house was different than the others, as normal in the 1990s. Some houses were the exact same model as previous houses in the neighborhood, just sitting on a different plot. Something that became quite common after 2001.

This neighborhood has a deep history. Thousands moved to Charlestown, Indiana seeking work at the plant from 1940 to 1941. The plant was in full operation for World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and the Cold War. By May of 1941, there were three fully operating plants with a total of 27,500 employees. This neighborhood is a part of that history. We may never know the answers to any of our questions about this neighborhood.