Aragon, Indiana

Aragon is the largest city in and county seat of Teller County, located in southern Indiana. Before the Event, the city had a population of 35,372, down from 65,986 at its peak in 1959. Hopeful estimates now place the population at around 5,000, but certainty is a luxury lost with the old world.

Aragon was founded in 1874 and named for the aragonite limestone on which Teller County hoped to build its fortunes. The city grew rapidly as workers moved into the area to work in the county’s many quarries or in the booming logging industry. Thanks to the demand for limestone and concrete for public works projects, the city’s economy fared relatively well throughout the Great Depression. A new Air Force armory brought many new jobs and drew a variety of light industry to the area during WWII and into the 1960s. After 1970, however, logging slowly decreased on National Forest land, quarries closed, and the once-numerous machine plants ceased operation. A new emphasis to drawn in park tourism enjoyed only local appeal, losing out to neighboring counties with larger parks and more picturesque towns.

By the time of the Event in late 2015, the city was already struggling. Much of its aging infrastructure suffered from disrepair and its industrial landscape had lain abandoned for years or decades already. The last time Aragon was featured in national media coverage it was an example of urban decay and American towns struggling to recover in the wake of recent recessions.

Aragon, Indiana

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