‘Christ of the Ohio’ Rises High Above Troy, Indiana and the Mighty Ohio River
In 1956, prior to entering the funeral business, my dad was a full-time ambulance driver. That's how he met my mom. (Oh wait, that could be a CBS sitcom.)
And before that, he drove for a cookie and cracker company. That's what he always called it; I never asked him the name. I guess if it had been well-known, he would've mentioned it.
He took one more part-time run for the cookie and cracker company in '56 and noticed a big statue of Jesus while driving down Highway 66 in Troy, Indiana. Later, after my sister and I came into the picture, he took us up there to get a closer look at it.
Now, I've heard you can actually see "Christ of the Ohio" from the highway. I cannot. But I know how to get there, so it's not an issue.
'Christ of the Ohio' -- a Perry County Beacon
"Christ of the Ohio" was erected in 1956 and has been somewhat of a beacon for river traffic for 65 years. At night, it really IS a beacon because it is illuminated. I've never seen that and need to figure out how I can.
The St. Meinrad Connection
"Christ of the Ohio" is located in Troy, Indiana, and was created by German sculptor Herbert Jogerst, who later went on to work at the St. Meinrad Archabbey, where he created other works of art that are part of why the southern Indiana Benedictine monastery is so beautiful. But the 11-foot tall statue of Christ--which stands on a 7-foot tall base and weighs more than three tons--is arguably his most famous work.
How to Get to 'Christ on the Ohio'
But keep in mind, "Christ of the Ohio" is not ON Indiana SR 66. To get to it--and it IS open to the public Monday through Sunday from 7 AM to 8 PM--you need to turn off of 66 onto Spring Street, then take the first right which is Market Street.
Now, once you're on Market Street, you'll get to a driveway on your right and from that point, you'll be able to see the statue. But you'll also notice a sign that says "private drive." That's because it's a private residence. So just take the next right and you're there. I point that out because the first time I went up there by myself, I thought it had been closed to the public when I saw that sign. So don't let it trip you up.
'Christ on the Ohio' -- a Peaceful Photo Op
Once you're there, you'll be able to read the history of "Christ of the Ohio" and you'll have an opportunity to just sit and relax and enjoy an amazing view of the Ohio River. There's also what amounts to a "widow's walk" that allows you to take some great pictures of the statue.
I didn't think it was much of a secret until I ran it by some friends and none of them had ever heard of it.
But I've been a few times and it is so peaceful.
"Christ of the Ohio," greeting river travelers from high atop Fulton Hill in Troy, Indiana and Perry County for more than six decades.
Make it part of YOUR Tour de Tri-State.