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West College Corner

From the Crispus Attacks Tigers to the Milan miracle, the annals of Indiana high school basketball provide an endless source of inspiration and emotion. One chapter in Hoosier hoops history has also been a source of whimsy, not to mention logistical and legal confusion. A brick school building that serves the collaborating towns of West College Corner, Indiana and College Corner, Ohio sits right on the border between the states.

The original Romanesque structure erected in 1893 was rebuilt in 1926 in the same location at the end of State Line Street, placing some of the school’s rooms in one state, and some in the other, with the gym divided right down the middle. That fact has resulted in the unusual circumstance of players shooting a ball from one state to make a basket in another. From 1918-1961, the division between the Eastern and Central time zones ran down Indiana’s eastern border, resulting in an hour’s discrepancy from one side of Union school—and technically, the gym itself—to the other. Though Indiana eventually transitioned to Eastern Standard Time, its non-observance of daylight saving time until April 2006 posed the same challenge for the school, since the Ohio side did spring forward and fall back. Union High School participated in both Indiana and Ohio state basketball tournaments.

Situated on U.S. 27 in eastern Union county, the town of West College Corner, Indiana was platted in 1827 by tavern-keeper Gideon Howe, and is bisected by the state boundary. Although also parsed by three counties, the town and its Ohio counterpart have pooled some municipal services, including water, police and fire departments, not to mention postal facilities—the College Corner, Ohio post office sits on the Indiana side. The joint school district, however, has faced legislative hurdles over the years, and now operates exclusively under Indiana school laws. As of 1972, College Corner’s school no longer serves high school students, though its gym continues to serve as a landmark in the history of Hoosier Hysteria.

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