Mooresville is a small, Midwestern town located just 25 minutes southwest of downtown Indianapolis, smack-dab in the heartland of Indiana. Mooresville enjoys an excellent school system, with a graduation rate well above the national average, a solid real estate market, and a strong, family-oriented community.
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But make no mistake, what this small town of just 9,300 residents lacks in size, it more than makes up for in history, natural beauty and charm.
Downtown Mooresville, for example, with its many mom-and-pop shops, restaurants, boutiques and antique stores, is a favorite destination among west-siders seeking to escape the hustle and bustle of the “big city.”
The Midwest is known for its vibrant art scene, and the town of Mooresville is no exception. Here are a few examples of art-related establishments, which will appeal to both art admirers and aspiring artists.
Color Works Art Gallery
Located at 51 E. High Street in Mooresville, Color Works Art Gallery is a neat, little art gallery that and picture framing establishment that offers custom picture frames, original art and custom orders.
Color Works is owned by Mooresville artist Jeanne McLeish, who has painted for over forty years in both oil and watercolor, and whose paintings were included in IPAPA’s third publication “Heritage of Place” which was released in 2013. McLeish has taught since 1977, including art instruction at the Indianapolis Art Center between 1985 and 1990. She offers various outdoor workshops.
Here gallery displays numerous original paintings by local artists. Jeanne McLeish’s artwork is on display in both public and private collections, including the the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology Collection, the Indiana Governor’s Residence Collection, the Swope Museum of Art in Terre Haute, St. Francis Hospital in Mooresville, and the Indiana State Museum’s permanent collection.
Monrovia Mudworks Pottery
The front lawn, outside the main entrance, displays various pieces made at Monrovia Mudworks. Classes are taught for a variety of media, including clay, stained glass, watercolor and drawing.
For a town as small as Mooresville, there are a surprising number of things see, including several historic attractions. Here are a few of the more popular attractions in Mooresville.
Academy Building & Museum
Located at 250 North Monroe Street in Mooresville, the Academy Building & Museum is a local history museum and one-room school room that was built in 1860 at a cost of $1,625. By the year 1867, as many as 150 pupils attended the school.
Visitors can get a glimpse of what life was like for students in the 1800’s through various displays, artifacts and resources. The 19th century classroom, featured above, has been beautifully preserved in all its glory.
Artifacts like the Old Academy Bell (above) capture the imagination and harken back to an earlier time in local history.
The Mooresville Friends Academy was an active school in Mooresville through 1971. Many famous local citizens, like Robert Indiana, took classes at the Academy.
An antique desk, complete with a quill pen and ink is on display at the Academy Building.
The Academy Building is one of the more popular historic destinations in Mooresville.
Eagle Pines Golf Course
Eagle Pines Golf Course is an 18-hole, regulation length course located at 9373 N Country Club Road, just two miles south of Mooresville, off State Road 67.
The course sits on several acres of gentle, rolling terrain, in addition to water features like lakes and streams.
This is a family owned and operated course what exudes the charm of an old farmhouse.
Course amenities include a putting green, chipping area, practice bunker, free GPS units on all golf carts, and a fully stocked pro shop. They also offer food and drink, including beer.
John Dillinger House
Located at 456 Northridge Drive in Mooresville is John Dillinger’s boyhood home. Dillinger’s father moved his entire family, including the soon-to-be notorious John Dillinger Jr., to this unassuming, little, white house in 1920, just three months before “Johnnie’s” 17th birthday.
Dillinger easily ranks among the most notorious of Depression-era criminals, like “Baby Face” Nelson, “Pretty Boy” Floyd, and Bonnie and Clyde. His exploits as an American gangster and bank robber, however, ended in 1934, when upon returning to Chicago, he was shot and killed by Federal agents led by Melvin Purvis and Samuel P. Cowley.
Mooresville Public Library
Located at 220 W Harrison Street, the Mooresville Public Library is a quiet, yet stimulating, place to read, learn, interact and reflect.
Inside, soaring vaulted ceilings with decorative wooden trusses confer an almost cathedral-like quality. The library offers information in multiple formats, including book, online, DVD, newspaper, magazine, etc.
The “Indiana Room” offers numerous historical treasures and is an excellent source of information on local history. The Indiana Room offers insights into the life of several historic figures, primarily on the history of Mooresville and Morgan County, Indiana, like Hoosier artist, Robert Indiana.
The library offers plenty to do for teens and kids, including special, designated areas with books and learning programs specially designed for kids of different ages, such as a “Teen Area”. For little kids, the “Mad Summer Scientists” program offers fun and interactive experiments.
Mooresville Family Aquatic Center
The Mooresville Family Aquatic Center is located at 1101 Indianapolis Rd in Mooresville. It is a part of Pioneer Park.
The center is open 7 days a week during the summer, and features a swimming pool, a huge, coiling water slide, lots of patio recliners and umbrellas.
The facility is open May through September.
A fun, “splash park” area is popular among youngsters, who enjoy cooling off during the hot summer months.
Soaring Eagle Zip Line
Though the Soaring Eagle Zip Line is technically a part of Pioneer Park, it stands on its own as a fun tourist attraction. It is located at 1101 Indianapolis Road in Mooresville.
The ride is unique in that it can safely accommodate two passengers in a seat.
The entire zip line runs 600 feet in length, and soars to lofty heights!
This is a fun ride for all ages, one you’ll want to ride over and over.
Mooresville offers a good variety of shopping and dining establishments, as well as a plethora of small, independently owned businesses, many of which can be found in downtown Mooresville. Here are a just a few examples…
Allen and Son Barber Shop
Few things call to mind images of small-town America more than the iconic red, white and blue barber’s pole that has traditionally hung outside barber’s shops to signify that they perform their craft inside. Located at 16 N Indiana Street in downtown Mooresville, Allen and Son Barber Shop is a place where locals come to ‘sit a spell’ and enjoy a good haircut from a locally owned barber shop.
Biffs Bakery and Restaurant
Situated in downtown Mooresville is Biff’s Bakery and Restaurant, the self-dubbed “Home of the Bismark.” This quaint little establishment has been a part of the downtown scene for nearly 60 years. It is a place locals have come to know well.
Blueberry Hill Pancake House
Located at 460 Town Center Street in Mooresville, the Blueberry Hill Pancake House is a delightful hometown pancake house that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It is an especially popular place among locals on Sundays, after church. They serve a good variety of food, including pancakes, gyros, catfish, and even open-face turkey sandwiches.
Located at 410 N Monroe Street in Mooresville, Breakout Billiards is a fun billiards establishment that offers several pool tables, tournaments, and other fun games, including darts and arcade games.
Inside, the walls are filled with colorful graffiti that makes for a fun and stimulating environment.
Bud & Bloom Florist & Gifts
Ralph & Ava’s Cafe
Situated in the heart of downtown Mooresville, at 6 W. Main St., sits Ralph & Ava’s Cafe. This independently owned establishment is reminiscent of an English bistro on the inside. This is one of those places that has a regular following of customers, and a popular choice among visitors in search of anything but big chain-type restaurants. They serve a variety of food, like salads, sandwiches, wraps, wings, deserts, and even beer.
Route 67 Bar & Grill
Located at 600 S State Rd 67 in Mooresville, Route 67 Bar & Grill is a locally owned establishment that serves a variety of food, like steaks, breaded tenderloins, salads, beer and sodas. They host a variety of things to do on different nights, including poker, karaoke, and live music. There are also several pool tables and other games scattered throughout the bar.
Located at 390 E High Street in Mooresville, Squealers Barbeque is one of the most well-known BBQ places in central Indiana. The restaurant started as a 30-foot enclosed trailer that was used to compete in barbeque contests across the country, as well as serve their BBQ product to customers. They have won 65 awards at assorted National barbecue, World barbecue, and Ribfest events through the South, East, and Midwest. The Mooresville location represents the first sit-down restaurant, which opened in 2001 with 175 seats, a full bar, and a banquet room.
Located at 25 W Main Street is a locally owned niche bakery known as Sugar Mama’s. opened in 2004, Sugar Mamas is owned and operated by Executive pastry Chef Emily Kimmel, who holds a degree in baking and pastry arts and graduated magna cum laude. The shop specializes in custom cakes, baked from scratch with fresh butter and real vanilla extract.
Value Market is an example of that increasingly rare breed of local grocers that have somehow managed to stay in business, and even successfully compete with the big chains like Walmart and Kroger. Located at 243 E High St in Mooresville, this small, neighborhood grocer that was started on July 6, 1989 by Billy and Robert Grider. They offer a full-service meat department, where patrons can get customer cuts of red meat, fish and poultry. They also have all kinds of fresh produce and other grocery items.
Ward’s Apparel was founded by Jack and Carolyn Ward in 1972. Located located next to Gray Brothers Cafeteria in Mooresville, at 1 Moore Street, this cowboy apparel shop carries a wide selection of clothing, including jeans, jewelry, boots, cowboy hats, etc.
A photo of cowboy boots at Ward’s Apparel.
Cowboy hats aren’t exactly standard merchandise in northern states, like Indiana. Ward’s Apparel is one of the few places in central Indiana that still carries cowboy hats like the ones featured above.
March 2015 marked the 43rd anniversary of Ward’s Apparel. This is a local shop that is part of the fabric of the local Mooresville community.
White Flag Games
Owned by Joe McNeil, Scott Andrews and Nathan Brown, White Flag Games is a local game store that offers a large selection of games, plus regularly scheduled events for games, a large play area and snacks for sale.
White Flag Games is located at 410 N Monroe Street in Mooresville.
Willowfield Lavender Farm
Willowfield Lavender Farms located at 6176 E Smokey View Rd in Mooresville. The origins of this unique, organic lavender farm date back to 1992, when owners Kieran and Elizabeth O’Connor purchased 28 acres of land that contained lots of open space and woodlands.
In 2001 they planted their first 100 lavender plants. Their store offers a variety of products, such as aromatherapy products, bath and body; fine art and photography; lavender-blended and gourmet flavored teas; pottery, and provincial linens & fabrics.
Zydeco’s is a very popular Cajun-style restaurant located at 11 E Main Street in Mooresville. The place has been featured on the Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, with host Guy Feri. Inside, the decor is reminiscent of the Fremch Quarter in New Orleans, or maybe even Bourbon Street. They serve all the Cajun-Creole classics like Jambalaya and Gumbo, as well as popular dishes like blackened catfish, Cajun stew, bearnaise beef tenderloin, crawfish étouffée, deserts and more.
Indiana Apple Festival & Craft Fair
The Indiana Apple Festival & Craft Fair is a fun 2-day event that takes place each year, in late September, at the Anderson Orchard in Mooresville. Located at 369 E. Greencastle Road, the Anderson Orchard sits on 150 acres, nearly all of which is dedicated to apples — 28 varieties to be exact. The festival is held, rain or shine, and offers festival-goers a chance to pick their own apples, indulge in house-made apple cobbler, and taste some delicious cider.
In addition, there is a pumpkin patch, dozens of “crafter” tents, lots of food and drink, straw piles, picnic areas and a variety of homemade cobblers, ice creams and breads.
Morgan County Farmers’ Market
The Mooresville Farmers Market season is open rain or shine on Tuesday afternoon, from 3-6pm. The market runs from May through September and takes place on the Northwest side of the town square, at the corner of Main and Indiana Streets in downtown Mooresville.
Hadley Park is the smallest park in town. It is located at 11 East Main Street. It is classified as a “block park,” and consists of roughly 1,200 square feet land located in downtown Mooresville, at corner of Main and Indiana Streets. The park commemorates Paul Hadley, who designed Indiana State Flag. The park features a small memorial and a park bench and is a nice place to sit and enjoy a view from the town’s business district.
North Park is located at 11 Sunbury Drive, in the Highland Meadows subdivision. It is a neighborhood park that sits on 5 acres of land, and features picnicking, a picnic shelter and play area, in addition to a basketball court and volleyball court.
Old Town Park
Old Town Park is a neighborhood park located at 390 East High Street in Mooresville, at the intersection of South and Park Streets. East Fork White Lick Creek cuts through the 7 acres of land on which the park sits.
It is the oldest park in town, with a history that dates back to 1877. An old log cabin is often used by local Boy Scouts.
Other Park amenities include a picnic shelter, playground, restrooms and water fountains.
Pioneer Park sits at the intersection of Indianapolis Road and Old State Road 67, at 1101 North Indianapolis Road. The park offers 7 picnic shelters, several playgrounds, 6 baseball diamonds, soccer fields, 3 horseshoe courts, a sand volleyball court, and a paved walking/jogging trail around the majority of the park site. Many seasonal activities and festivals also take place at the park.
The Aquatic Center is without a doubt the most popular feature in the park. It features a huge pool and water slide.
The Soaring Eagle Zip Line is also an incredibly popular.
Rooker Run Park
Rooker Run Park is located at 1201 Hadley Road in Mooresville. A local developer donated the 18 acres of land on which the park sits to the town in 1995.
It is a low-lying open area on the East Fork White Lick Creek, and a raised area at the park’s entrance.
A playground was added to Rooker Run Park in 2006.