On a quaint country road in Johnson County, just outside of Indianapolis, travelers can find something quite peculiar: a gravestone in the middle of the road.
The grave of Nancy Barnett sits smack in the middle of Hill's Camp Road, a country road about 20 miles south of Indianapolis.
It's been there since 1831 when she was originally buried. To give Mrs. Barnett some credit, the area used to be a full-blown cemetery, so it wasn't always such a strange location.
According to historical information at the grave site, Barnett picked the spot out herself and told her children that was exactly where she wanted her final resting place to be. This, of course, was before any road plans were ever made.
So when the county decided to lay a new road right over the cemetery in the early 1900s, her family refused. As the other bodies were relocated to a nearby area, Barnett's burial plot stood its ground.
"The family guarded the grave site and would not let anyone move the grave to make room for the new road," explains Rocky Stultz, the assistant superintendent of the Parks and Recreation Department.
The story goes a little something like this: Barnett's grandson, Daniel G. Doty (1846–1934) protected his grandmother's grave by setting up camp with a shotgun across his lap. Like any decent grandson, he patiently sat there until the county relocated the entire cemetery and paved the new road in 1912.
"All graves were removed except Barnett's," says Linda Talley, genealogy librarian at the Johnson County Museum of History
Doty even took it upon himself to pour a pretty piece of concrete slab over the burial ground, she explained.
"Eventually, the town decided to just split the road and go around the grave site on either side," says Stultz. "That left Nancy Barnett right in the middle of the road."
Since then, the grave has been a popular tourist destination, luring more than just relatives and locals.
"I have been contacted by many who want directions so they can see the grave themselves," says Jackie McGinnis, a woman who has been intrigued by the grave for years. She even posted the grave site on FindAGrave.com
. "People have traveled from all over to see it."
Although the site brings tourists from near and far, its strange location does have a few downsides.
"People have actually hit the marker with their cars," Talley tells Asylum. "After all, the grave is located right in the middle of the road."
Though the grave has caused a few accidents, the county has no plans to remove it any time soon.