State officials are warning curious sightseers to stay away from an abandoned town that is usually submerged by Salamonie Lake.
Monument City got its name when the townspeople hung a giant monument honoring all those from Polk Township who fought in the American Civil War, according to Phil Bloom, spokesman for the Department of Natural Resources.
The town was abandoned along with a few others in 1967 when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers created Salamonie Lake as a flood-control project for the upper end of the Wabash River, the DNR said.
An old road, building foundations and other remnants of what once was Monument City are visible because of the drought conditions and the lakes water level, which is 14 feet below its regular level.
Media attention spurred public interest in the site that borders Huntington and Wabash counties. While visitors were originally allowed at the site, the DNR became concerned when people started looking for and collecting artifacts in violation of state and federal laws, the DNR said.
On Sunday, the site was shut down to allow Army Corps anthropologists in to survey the site.
Those who want to look at Monument City still can from a distance – at the Lost Bridge East State Recreation Area boat ramp. Sightseers should bring binoculars.