This town is just laid out, with spacious streets, public squares, markets, etc. It is situated on the bank of the Ohio River, at the crossing place from Louisville to Vincennes, about two miles below the falls, in the Indiana Territory, and affords a beautiful and commodious harbor.  The beauty of the prospect is not surpassed by ANY in the Western country…” 

(This is part of an advertisement that the founders of New Albany; Joel, Abner and Nathaniel Scribner used to advertise their new town in 1813.)

Two years later there were 68 buildings located in the town including a post office, sawmill and gristmill. In 1818, New Albany constructed its first of many steamboats. And by 1850, and for almost 30 years, New Albany was the largest city in the state of Indiana, not only in population, but also in commerce and wealth! During this period of time, the downtown was home to numerous wholesale and retail establishments and fortunately, many of these business houses remain today in the Downtown New Albany National Register Historic District

Some of the businesses in New Albany in its first century of existence:

Steamboat building (only Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania built more steamboats than New Albany in 1856)

Boiler shops


Crupper manufacturing (A crupper is a a strap buckled to the back of a saddle and looped under the horse's tail to prevent the saddle or harness from slipping forward.)

Glassworks (1st pieces of American-made plate glass in the nation manufactured in New Albany)

Ironworks including; rails, sheet iron, cast iron and brass foundries

Machinery works

Tin manufacturing

Hames, Chains & Single tree Harnesses

Grain & milling

Textiles including; woolen, cotton, hosiery & cotton-batting mills

Clothing manufacturing

Merchant tailors

Fertilizer manufacturing

Cigar manufacturing

Breweries & bottling works

Brick works


Stone, marble & granite works

Woodworking of all kinds

Furniture manufacturing

Plywood & Veneer manufacturing

Carriage & wagon works

and automobile manufacturing