The following advertisement was found in a Plymouth newspaper dated the 17th of September, 1863, before Bourbon had a local newspaper:
M. Hissong Proprietor.
Corner of Plymouth and Tippecanoe streets,
This House has recently been thoroughly repaired
and refurnished. Every effort will be made
by the proprietor to render his guests comfortable.
The date is right in the middle of the Civil War and the papers are full of patriotism and news from the battlefields. In fact, on the 16th day of July 1863, Martin Hissong, the proprietor of the Zouave House, was number 6 on the list of men forming the Volunteer Militia Company in the Indiana Legion called the 'Bourbon Sharp Shooters".
It isn't known why Mr. Hissong chose that particular name for his establishment. In the Civil War, the Zouaves were a volunteer regiment of fierce fighters who assumed the name and, in part, the characteristic dress of the French Zouaves. They were recognized by their brilliant colored oriental uniforms with blousy-legged trousers. In France, the Zouaves were light-armed infantry men originally recruited from an Algerian Kabyle tribe.
We can only guess that patriotism may have influenced the name of the Zouave House and we can only guess that its location must have been on one of four corners: now either occupied by the downtown park, Tony's Diner, the Bourbon Pharmacy or the First State Bank.
It is doubtful that anyone has seen Plymouth & Tippecanoe streets on a map of Bourbon, but Plymouth street was very likely the current Center street. Tippecanoe street would then logically be the present Main street. Beyond town, Center street becomes what was known as the Leesburg Road. A road between Plymouth and Leesburg appears as early as 1850 on maps. The exact location has changed over the years as well as the road name. In 1919 it appears on the map as a state route #44 and by 1923 it was State Road 2. The road going south was called the Peru State
Road on the 1872 map of Tippecanoetown. The bridge and the road that crossed the river at that time was south and east of what we now know as Old Tipp Town.
Judy McCollough for the
Bourbon Sesquicentennial History Committee