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Decatur County Courthouse in Greensburg, Indiana or What’s Up With That Tree?

Decatur County Courthouse Tree in Greensburg, Indiana

Decatur County Courthouse Tree in Greensburg, Indiana

The Decatur County Courthouse in Greensburg, Indiana certainly has a unique feature.

It’s not the great shops that lie around it, nor is it the lovely architecture. No, this Decatur County Courthouse boasts a tree growing out of the top of it!

Decatur County Courthouse Tree

So–what’s with the tree? To answer that question, you have to go back a few years. Many years.

A very long time ago, what most folks agree was around 1870, a tree was noted to be sprouting on top of the very tall courthouse roof.

But the Decatur County Courthouse roof did not sustain just one tree at the time–it had five!  The roots of a tree can do a fair amount of damage–so all but one of the trees was removed to keep the building from getting destroyed.

Greensburg, Indiana Unique Attraction

Decatur County Courthouse Tree in Greensburg, Indiana

Decatur County Courthouse Tree in Greensburg, Indiana

The tree you see on top of the Decatur County Courthouse is not the tree from 1870. After the tree grows for a time, it does wither and die. Apparently, the roof can only support a tree that’s only so large. Whether it’s due to lack of space, lack of nutrients, or something else, I cannot say.

But don’t worry–a new tree always sprouts up in its place, keeping watch over the small Indiana town like those who have come before.

No one is sure exactly how the tree got up there or how it sustains itself–though my guess to its birth would include birds. In fact, if you look very, very carefully, you may be able to see the flock of birds passing by the stately courthouse in my image that is located on the bottom left.

Go There

Decatur County Courthouse Tree in Greensburg, Indiana

Decatur County Courthouse Tree in Greensburg, Indiana

It’s certainly unusual. Go check out the sprawling Mulberry Tree for yourself.

Greensburg, Indiana is an awesome Indiana town–and the Decatur County Courthouse on its own is something to see–add in a neat story that has spanned more than a hundred years and a towering tree and, well, it’s a “must go!”

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!

Decatur County Courthouse
150 Courthouse Square
Greensburg, Indiana 47240
812.663.8223

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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

    It is a great little town! That tree is something else. I love a town with a story! :)

  2. Greensburg isn’t far from where I was born and raised. (New Castle, IN) That tree was up there for as long as I remember and each and every time we would pass by, I would twist my neck and crane my head to see that tree. Greensburg is a great little town.
    Cheryl

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+Jessica Nunemaker