Breaking News
Home / Play / Attractions / Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County: Italian Roots Run Deep

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County: Italian Roots Run Deep

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

Clinton, Indiana has an amazing, very lengthy downtown for a town with less than 5,000 people!

Here in this Vermillion County town, you’ll find block after block of gorgeous architecture, history, and neat family-owned shops.

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

This Central Indiana town is sharp. It’s just one awesome building after another! Clinton buildings had plenty of unique features and intricate scroll-work.

But that’s not all. There’s historic sites here, too. According to The Daily Clintonian Bollittino Edition that I picked up while in Clinton, the large bronze statue, the Voice of the Immigrant (North 9th St.), is found at what is known as the Piazza Del Immigrante. It is a nod to Clinton, Indiana’s Italian heritage.

The Voice of the Immigrant bronze statue shares the space with a very unusual bull-head fountain and tall granite fountain. As a coal mining town, with plenty of Italian immigrants, the fountain stands as another reminder of Clinton’s Italian roots.Now, the bull-head statue is unusual in that that particular style of bull is an image that is normally associated with Torino, Italy, which is a far cry from little Clinton!

Two residents of Clinton, Indiana, Joe and Mary Airola, gave the face pattern to the Little Italy Festival Town (or LIFT) back in 1970–and it is quite a story!

Things to Do in Clinton, Indiana

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

Ready for a little Indiana history? Hundreds of years ago, the poor little town of Torino, Italy fought one war after another. The people just about lost hope and so decided to stampede their little town with bulls. Lots and lots of bulls.

The evil invaders were run down by the masses of bulls and the town then became known as Torino. Toro is Italian for, you guessed it, bull! The good people of Torino do not sell any of their bull-head fountains. Instead, the Airola family, through a series of connections in the town, were given permission from the Mayor of Torino himself to use for a replica in little Clinton, Indiana.

At one point, so I have read, this fountain contained the only piped water in the town for years!

Italian immigrants made up the majority of mine workers (both deep-shaft and strip coal mines) in Clinton, Indiana. Who knew there was a mine around here? As a lasting tribute to Clinton’s Italian heritage, the Airola family made another contribution, this time commissioning a statue by Italian sculptor Carlo Avenati. The Airola’s also brought this one back in 1970.

While the mines have long been closed, the town has not forgotten where it came from.

Go There

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

Clinton, Indiana covers a wide range of interests.

This one town could make the history buff, shopper, or general food-lover pretty happy!

Small Towns: Destinations, not Drive-Thrus! I’m Jessica Nunemaker and THIS is little Indiana!

Find pictures in Indiana on my Flickr photostream or on the new little Indiana Tumblr blog.

Just don’t forget to tell ‘em that  little Indiana sent you!

Clinton, Indiana in Vermillion County

View Larger Map

Don’t miss a moment. Subscribe to little Indiana and receive instant updates to stay on top of everything “little.”

little Indiana: Where to Stay, Play, and Eat in Small Towns in Indiana. Discovering Indiana’s best small towns! Now get little Indiana on your Kindle.

Targeted. Relevant. Affordable! little Indiana advertising.

About Jessica Nunemaker

Jessica Nunemaker is the little Indiana owner, Host of a little Indiana segment state-wide on PBS and Publisher of the little Indiana Quarterly magazine. Sometimes, she even sleeps. You'll usually find Jessica gallivanting around Indiana towns (population 15,000 and less) with her husband, Jeremy, and two boys (ages 7 and 3) in tow in search of where to stay, play and eat in small towns across the state! Small towns: destinations, not drive-thrus!

2 comments

  1. Jessica Nunemaker

    That is really interesting! My paternal grandmother hails from San Benedetto, Italy in the South. :)

    I can’t imagine picking up coal all day!

  2. Great site. Surprised about the history but learned quite a bit. My father Giuseppe Baldisseri arrived in Clinton in 1922 by way of Ellis Island. My uncle Dominic was already there working the coal mines. He was his sponsor. They told stories of that time but the most vivid one was about having to stoop over to pick at the coal. They worked that way for hours. Also the Italian immigrants there in Clinton were from northern Italy. In fact in the ship’s manifest at the end of the information line they would write a “N” or “S” to show if the person was from the North or South of Italy. My father was from Sandrigo, Vicenza, just west of Venice. Sincerely, Remo Baldisseri

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

+Jessica Nunemaker