Ben Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum
last 19th century saddletree factory stands suspended-in-time at 106 Milton
Street in the Madison, Indiana National Register Historic District. For 94 years
workers at the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Company crafted tens of thousands of
wooden frames for saddle makers throughout the United States and Latin America.
It was the nation’s longest lasting, continually operated, family owned
Recognized by historians as one of America’s premier industrial heritage sites, the Schroeder Saddletree factory has been restored to allow visitors to Madison to tour through this vintage workplace. Belts turn and the original antique woodworking machines spin into action. Sawdust is whisked from machines into the boiler room, where it once fueled the steam boiler that powered the equipment. Saddletree patterns hang, cobweb covered, from the ceiling.
Madison is a fitting place for this museum. At one time home to thirteen
saddletree factories, this Ohio River community was recognized as a leading
center of saddletree production. Hundreds of thousands of saddle frames poured
out of Madison by steamboat and rail to all parts of the globe during the late
The Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum is open to the public Mid-April through
October, Saturdays-Sundays 1-4:30 and Mondays 10-4:30. The last tour begins at 4:00.