Because its Governor is a nominee for U.S. Vice President, Indiana has been in the news lately. Mike Pence was born in Columbus. Its #1 attraction appears to be the Zaharakos Ice Cream Parlor and Museum. At one time I started a series of blogs on the 50 states. I’ve been in all of them more than once and have traveled all over Indiana, but I’ve never been to Columbus. Because I moved from Missouri to Washington, Indiana is now a long way to go for ice cream. The last state I blogged about was Illinois. Alphabetically, the next one is….Indiana.
Some surprising people are originally from Indiana. For example, Michael Jackson was born in Gary. Larry Bird was born in West Baden. Bill Blass hails from Fort Wayne. John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars, and John Dillinger, lifelong criminal and organizer of many bank robberies, are both from Indianapolis. Lew Wallace, a name you might be hearing next month, was born in Brookville.
I narrowed my best destinations in Indiana down to 5. New Harmony is in the southwest corner on the Wabash River. Although it’s small, it has a popular resort and conference center, an opera house, and lots of adult attractions because it was once the site of a historic utopian community. George Rapp and a group of German dissenters moved there in 1814. Hank & Ruth Harbaugh used to visit New Harmony often to learn about them and enjoy this town’s considerable ambiance.
Richmond was also an early favorite of ours. This central east town was known for the Amish and architecture. Ruth & I first went there when we learned that its nickname was “Rose City”. We were seriously into roses until we learned that The Midwest doesn’t have the ideal climate for growing them. Washington does. Hill’s Roses in Richmond built greenhouses to pamper them but closed its doors forever in 2007.
Kokomo and nearby Greentown have several attraction of note. The Seiberling Mansion, the Opalescent Glass Company, and the Kokomo Automotive Heritage Museum are worth a look. The Greentown Glass Museum is fun.
South Bend’s Notre Dame Campus is prosperous and the Studebaker National Museum, which I blogged about it 2 years ago, is 5 Compass. The city of South Bend itself has seen better days. The 2 other excellent campuses in this state are Purdue in West Lafayette and Indiana University in Bloomington.
The General Lew Wallace Study and Museum is in Crawfordsville. Wallace had a distinguished military career in the Civil War and was governor of New Mexico when it was still a territory, but he probably wouldn’t be a somewhat familiar name today if he hadn’t also had a writing career. His best known book was Ben Hur. It has been filmed 4 times. The first 2 were silent. The 3rd won 11 Academy Awards and is famous for its chariot race. The 4th version will be released on August 19, 2016.