Hancock County’s tracks have storied past

Periodically, we have had inquiries about the McCordsville Dog Track.

Ronn Berry comes to our rescue.

“The track was built in the late 1930s for dog racing but the owners were never able to get a gambling permit because — some say — of mob connections. It never opened for that reason,” Berry said.

Later, midget-racing became a big deal, and the track was bought by Armscamp Speedway. One of the owners was named Scampleton, and the track was called Raceland. It was asphalt. It cost 85 cents for general admission and 60 cents for the grandstand.

The McCordsville Sport Park was eventually built on the location. As late as 1966, you could still see outlines of the track on satellite photos. There was a drive-in theater built on the site after the track closed in 1949.

There also was a speedway in Fortville called the Outlaw Speedway off of State Roads 36 and 67. It was torn down in 1986. It was a dirt track.

There was also a track for midget-racing next to Riley park. Myron Fohr in a Marche family car raced midgets on this track in the 1940s. Mr. Fohr was a big-time midget racer from Wisconsin. The Marche family from Milwaukee were big players in auto racing in the 1940s and promoted many racers at the Wisconsin State Fair.

I went to visit the just-opened New Palestine Museum in the old Phares building the other day. The Phares building used to be the old library, the Legion Headquarters, the post office and the Phares store.

If you get time, go take a look.

The driving force of the operation is Becky Gaines, the former publisher of the New Palestine Press. Other papers in New Palestine were the New Palestine Star, the New Palestine Courier, and the New Palestine News with the Press starting circa 1943. If you’re doing some research, there are copies of later papers in the museum.

In other news, don’t forget that Green Township Community Days will be 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 25 at the fire department on State Road 9. Be sure to attend if you are from Green Township.

Enough. I have told you everything that I know and some things I don’t. Talk to me.