Sunday, December 22, 2013

Abandoned airport at Jefferson Proving Ground, Madison, Indiana

Located on the site of the old Jefferson Proving Grounds in Madison, Indiana, this is the first abandoned airport that we here at EI have explored.  A strange relic of history, it really is a sight to behold.  Join us today as we check out what's left.

Aerial shot of runway, hanger marked with red arrow.  (Bing maps photo)

Located just north of Madison, Indiana, the old Jefferson Proving Ground was a testing site for ammunition of all times.  Feature both a bombing and artillery range,this facility was instrumental in making sure that American soldiers received only the best possible munitions.

View out across the abandoned runways, now growing over with grass.
While the base was closed in 1995 during a realignment, a place such as this never really "goes away." Of the 56,000 acres making up the facility, only about 6,000 be reused for other purposes.  The remaining 50,000 acres are so saturated with bombs, shells and depleted uranium that they are simply unusable.  The land was fenced off and turned into a nature preserve.  I suspect the wildlife had very little say in this decision.

Another view across the airstrip.  Its really huge..
When the base was closed, so too was its runway and the associated facilities.  Aside from the runways, all that is left is a hanger building.  We could find no evidence of an air traffic control tower.

The hanger still retains its artwork, but the large bay doors have been removed and blocked over.

Office area attached to hanger, with large bay windows.  Was this the controller station?
Other side of bay door.  The damage to the bricks looks to be caused by gunfire.
A steel door blocks off this area, and it looks to be period.
The interior is filled with metal racks.  Perhaps this was a magazine?
Another shot down the runway.  Yea, most of the place looks like this.  Its huge.
While the hanger has been re-purposed rather than torn down, it wasn't really preserved all that well.  It barely resembles its old self, but at least its standing I suppose.
Another shot of the building as we leave.

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  1. i really like this site thanks for sharing with me

  2. We lived on JPG in the 70s. The airport was not being used then. I don't know when they stopped using it. I used to ride my bike all over the runways. There were bunkers nearby for the ammunition.

  3. My dad worked there during WW 2 and Korea
    They fired around the clock which shook a lot of houses apart. Every so often they fired something bigger than usual and the windows would dance around in their frames.

  4. As a kid, we lived in Milan Indiana, probably 30 miles from JPG. Windows and the ground would shake almost every day.