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Madison in Jefferson County, Indiana — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Bill Cantrell Memorial Race Course

Site of the Madison Regatta Since 1911

 
 
Bill Cantrell Memorial Race Course Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 26, 2021
1. Bill Cantrell Memorial Race Course Marker
Inscription.  
Wild Bill “Pappy” Cantrell
Boat and auto racer 1908-1996
Four time Madison Winner
1949 Gold Cup Winner
Two time National Champion
Inducted Unlimited Hall of Fame
and Motorsport Hall of Fame
Raced in Indianapolis 500 1948-49-50
Stunt driver in racing films
”To Please a Lady” and “The Big Wheel”
Cantrell retired to Madison in 1976
Dedicated July 7, 1996

 
Erected 1996.
 
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: EntertainmentRoads & VehiclesSportsWaterways & Vessels. A significant historical year for this entry is 1911.
 
Location. 38° 43.97′ N, 85° 22.735′ W. Marker is in Madison, Indiana, in Jefferson County. Marker is on East Vaughn Drive just west of Mulberry Street, on the right when traveling east. Marker is mounted at knee-level on a boulder overlooking the Ohio River. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 114 East Vaughn Drive, Madison IN 47250, United States of America. Touch for directions.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Madison Regatta / Steamboats (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line);
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Madison Historic District (about 500 feet away); William Hall (about 700 feet away); From Pork to Port (about 800 feet away); Eagle Cotton Mill / Gas, Coal & Tobacco (approx. 0.2 miles away); John Paul / Early History (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Chartered Bank in Indiana (approx. 0.2 miles away); Michael C. Garber (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Madison.
 
Also see . . .
1. The Saga of "Wild Bill" Cantrell. Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum website entry:
Pinpointing the exact origin of Bill’s long career in boat racing is difficult even with Cantrell’s help. He began competing sometime around 1924. As the story goes, he was christened "Wild Bill" when an Outboard he was racing went out of control on the Ohio River and crashed through anchor chains and moored spectator vessels. (Submitted on September 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 

2. A Brief History of the Madison Regatta. Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum website entry:
The earliest documented power boat regatta at Madison took place in 1911. The steamship PRINCESS from Coney Island tied up in the middle of the river. Power launches ran an
Bill Cantrell Memorial Race Course Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 26, 2021
2. Bill Cantrell Memorial Race Course Marker
(race observation platform and Ohio River in background)
oval track roughly around the boat. This was also one of the earliest examples of competition as it is currently characterized around a closed course. The winningest driver at Madison during the years between the World Wars was popular “Wild Bill” Cantrell of Louisville. Cantrell, who would become a racing legend in the post-war Unlimited Class, won the 725 Class title three times — in 1934 and 1935 with BIG SHOT and in 1936 with WHY WORRY. (Submitted on September 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.) 
 
Milton-Madison Bridge across the Ohio River (<i>looking east from near marker</i>) image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Cosmos Mariner, August 26, 2021
3. Milton-Madison Bridge across the Ohio River (looking east from near marker)
The Madison Regatta is run along a circular course here on the west side of the bridge, where the Ohio River is nearly ˝ mile wide.
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 7, 2024. It was originally submitted on September 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 179 times since then and 34 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on September 2, 2021, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.

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Jun. 21, 2024