Fairmount, Indiana


Fairmount has to be one of the most isolated cities in all of America. Yes, Interstate 69 isn't too far away, but you know that you're headed for "middle of nowhere territory" when county roads with nondescript numbered names lead up to it! I traveled here in March 2016 to visit the resting place of one of Hollywood's most iconic actors, the great James Dean.

James Dean’s resting place is the big draw. Situated in a rather large cemetery called Park Cemetery, Dean lies underneath a very humble tombstone. Compared to the other monuments in the immediate vicinity, it’s definitely the most austere. But, it’s certainly the only one adorned with lipstick stains and cigarettes!

Standing there, I could not help but think of California! I was amazed how one of the most iconic actors ever to grace the silver screen was lying right beneath me, in the middle of nowhere in Indiana! Two years ago, I visited the Griffith Observatory in LA where a bust of Dean is situated. It’s a popular thing to see! Several folks queued up for their pics with Dean. Here’s mine:

But today, I visited his resting place, and it was a much more subdued affair. A car driving by honked at me (I’m sure Fairmount’s citizens see folks just like me every day), but for ten minutes, it was just me and the rebel.

I also traveled to the Fairmount Historical Museum, but alas, it was closed for the winter! Apparently Fort Ticonderoga, the Great Escape, King’s Island, and the Fairmount Historical Museum all hibernate for the winter! Interestingly, Jim Davis, the creator of Garfield, was also raised in Fairmount. Garfield in James Dean’s garb welcomes visitors to the museum. It’s super cool.