By JD Dotson


I visited Lanesville in the previous issue of Extol. This time, I ventured to Madison. It is a town I thought I knew from years spent visiting family, going to the annual art festival and visiting Clifty Falls. I was taken aback by how little I knew of Madison. My family lives up on the hill. The festival is near the river, and you don’t even really get into Madison proper when visiting the beautiful state park, which is why I wanted to explore. My first stop was the Attic and Coffee Mill Cafe right as you pull into town. The owner was a lovely woman who knows my aunt and uncle and has owned the business for more than 40 years. My exploration took me all through the beautifully-preserved Main Street and the neighborhood from Main to the river. I loved hiking a bit of the Heritage Trail, which starts at the river and goes up the old train tracks to the old state hospital and looks out over the town.

I was lucky enough to catch two of my favorite people who chose Madison as the perfect place to raise a family. Aunt Jane and Uncle Glenn love their town and its rich history. So do I.

I am a huge fan of the preserved, old neon signs; the corbels (a structural piece of stone, wood or metal that juts out from a wall) on nearly every building of Main Street; and all of the old architectural details. I love the ghost signs, the faded paint of advertisements on the side of a building that hint to the past life of a town.


Explore Madison a

(Clockwise from top left)
1. Hinkles on West Main Street n 2. Greiners Building on Park Avenue n 3. Main Street
4. Sticker on the Monroe Lodge n 5. Broadway Fountain n 6. Madison Railroad Station
7. Fabric Shop on East Main Street 8. Monroe Lodge on Mulberry Street 9. The Heritage Trail 10. East Main Street n 11. East Main Street 12. Chicken sign off Main Street 13. Blue Cerebus Dog Boutique 14. Main Street 15. Shipley’s Tavern • Mural by Tiffany Black
16. The Attic and Coffee Mill Cafe 17. The Heritage Trail 18. Car just off the bridge

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