Posts made in August, 2016

The Road to Freedom

By on Aug 26, 2016 in History, Steuben County Indiana, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Sometimes history seems so…well long ago, like something that happened to a bunch of dead people with no connection to our own lives. We assume the attitude common to so many pre-teens—you know the one, “I don’t have parents (substitute ancestors for adults) I was hatched from an egg,” when it comes to our heritage. But the truth of the matter is we are all here due to the deeds of those before us. Steuben County might seem like just another tiny place with a bunch of smelly, dirty trappers, soldiers, and pioneers making up its ancient history, but our area took part in something really big—like super star huge. Even better than that, our predecessors got to be the historic good guys! That’s because this area was part of the Underground Railroad. After the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 residents of both Fremont and Orland deliberately spurned federal authorities by providing safe haven to runaway slaves on their way from the South to freedom in Canada. Many of these houses are still standing today, some of private residents and some are open to the public by prior arrangement (more about this later). Russell Brown, S.U. Clark, and Captain Samuel Barry, whom all lived in the Orland area around that time all helped slaves escape. Barry an abolitionist was eventually arrested for sheltering slaves though he never was convicted. The accounts vary some saying he was fined three dollars for his crimes while others insist it was more like a thousand. Today the street Barry’s house still stands on is named after him, though it looks different. It remains private. The house of SU Clark still stands as well about a block and a half up on the main drag, while the Brown House, also private, is about a block north on 327. History buffs may be able to schedule a visit at the Erastus Farnham House, just south of Fremont at the intersection of Swagger Rd and 827. The nineteenth-century home still has the cupola that served as a lookout point and an internal cistern that allowed the house to support additional guests without raising suspicion. Current owner, Mavis Church welcomes tours by appointment. She dresses in period...

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Experience In Season

By on Aug 25, 2016 in Steuben County Indiana, Uncategorized | 0 comments

“Mom, mom what’s that?” asks my five-year-old foster son. We’re walking in the woods and he’s spotted some black raspberries. For weeks he’s been eagerly watching the green buds turn from yellow to pink to red. He’s asked every day knowing full well that deep purple means they’re ready. I smile. “It’s time.” Of course the first several berries don’t make it in the pail, but go directly in his and our dog Echo’s mouths. “Mmm, it’s good,” he gives the thumbs up. So good in fact that we spend more than two and half hours collecting berries. And that’s the thing isn’t it? We always forget how good the real, fresh stuff tastes. Somehow as autumn slips into winter and fresh local varieties are replaced by less and less flavorful substitutes. It happens so slowly we’re lulled into believing I’m still eating a “real” produce. Did you know that some super market apples are more than a year old when we buy them? Yuck! The bottom line is most commercial fruits and vegetables are clones. That’s how Fugi Apples and Bosc Pears look so flawless and symmetrical. Instead of good old fashioned pollination most commercial companies use cloned plants to replicate perfection. Sure real food might not be as pretty, but there’s something to be said for unique and oh the flavor! Fruits and veggies taste better when they’re ripe and in season and they’re better for us. Steuben County has some of the best fresh eating experiences around. No I’m not referring to restaurants (though we do have some really awesome places). I mean the real up close and personal, total food emersion events like gathering your own food. There’s a certain sweetness that comes with the experience of picking your own food. Not only is there satisfaction in the success of gathering your own food, but in the personal interactions of doing so with family and friends. It is to be a bit cliché, the stuff memories are made of. So where can these kinds of opportunities be found in Steuben County? For starters, berry season is upon us. Strawberries are coming to a close, but there are still plenty of blackberries and black raspberries growing like...

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Join the Herd

By on Aug 25, 2016 in Steuben County Indiana, Uncategorized | 0 comments

There’s a place in 101 Lakes County like no other. When you step out of your vehicle, even the crickets and birds sound different. Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve has a deep sense of peace about it. From the grapevines winding up the path to the gift shop to the gigantic crystals in the garden calm encompasses this place in a way you might not understand until you visit. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing owner, Dr. John Trippy for Voice of America several years ago. Since then, whenever I’ve been feeling especially stressed or wanted calm the children I care for, I’ve taken them to Wild Winds. Something magical happens when you visit. The world falls away and somehow no matter how long or short the visit, we come away feeling centered and balanced once again. Of course the highlight of the visit is always seeing the buffalo. This year, they have more than 40 babies. The light brown/orangey babies can easily be spotted frolicking with the herd or maybe cuddling up with their mothers. The ride out to see them takes only a few minutes and is filled with plenty of buffalo trivia and information from the driver and guide. Visitors must stay in a canopy covered open truck, for safety, but are often driven into the center of the herd. It doesn’t take long before the more curious members of the herd wander up for a closer look. Others could care less and go about their business oblivious to the “Ooo’s and Ah’s” from the truck bed. Before heading back the tour makes one last stop taking visitors by a sacred memorial of the female ancestors of the herd. When it’s time to leave visitors are taught a Native American saying often applied to the buffalo, “Your life is now a part of my heart.” For many the sentiment will have lasting implications of peace, tranquility, or maybe just happiness. Wild Winds located at 6975 N. Ray Road in Fremont Indiana is open from 8 to 4 daily, though they ask for appointments only on Monday and Tuesday. Tours run on the hour from 10 to 3. Adults are $10 each, children under 7 are...

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What’s SUP?

By on Aug 21, 2016 in Nature, Steuben County Indiana, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The silhouetted figure of a young woman with a dog perched in front of her drifted silently by. The golden light of sunset cast them in a glow that’s usually reserved only for movies. This was the way I first encountered an ancient tradition that’s making a come back on the lakes of Steuben County. It’s called Stand Up Paddle Boarding or SUP for short. Others call it paddleboarding. No one knows for sure when the idea of standing on a water craft while paddling began, but the likelihood of early Native Americans using this method to traverse what would one day be called Clear Lake or perhaps Crooked Lake is more than likely. Ancient cultures dating back more than 3,000 years have used this technique for everything from fishing and travel to getting the upper hand in battle (by sneaking up on enemies). Modern SUPing has its roots in Hawaii in the 1940s when three surf instructors in Waikiki used paddles with their surfboards to get a better view of those they were teaching. Today SUPing can be found on just about any lake in Steuben County. Equipment can easily be found locally for under $200 everywhere from Walmart to Dunham’s and more. If you’d rather take a test drive before diving in full throttle, there are plenty of rentals creeping up around the area. Potawatomi Inn’s boathouse (at Pokagon State Park) now rents paddleboards. Stand Up Paddleboard Rental at Clear Lake (1299 Sailor’s Cove, Fremont IN) also rents SUPs. SUP 101 Lakes on Crooked Lake has a variety of services to fit your needs. It caters to all the lakes in the area, delivers SUPs, and provides free lessons with each sale or rental. For those interested in more advanced SUPing SUP 101 Lakes offers regular SUP Yoga and SUP Fitness too. Classes are $15 Monday through Thursday For those who want to see the area lakes in a new way, SUP 101 Lakes also offers a sunset SUP tour on a different lake each weekend. Participants hop on a board and paddle toward the sunset. For more information call...

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Antique Car & Boat Show

By on Aug 16, 2016 in Events, Family Fun, Steuben County Indiana, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The days of summer in 101 Lakes Country conjure memories of lazy days baking in the sun, bobbing on a foam float, and sipping tall cool glasses of lemonade (or perhaps something a little harder). Along with those sweet remembrances, is annual event that harkens back to a more nostalgic time. The Lake James Antique Boat & Car Show takes place at the end of each August, in an area of the county fondly refer to as Four Corners. Technically speaking it’s the Old Boat House Marine on Lake James near Jimmerson Lake Bridge across from places like Tom’s Donuts and Jimmy’s in the field right next to Mad Anthony’s. At first glance the show looks like any other festival. But it doesn’t take long to realize this is something special. An assortment of old cars straight out of the 50s and 60s stand guard over the event. Live music helps visitors feel like they’ve gone on a short vacation to the tropics, while a beer tent and plenty of tasty food, from burgers to ice cream temp the tummy. But hold on to your hats, because the real fun hasn’t begun…on the way down to the water, show goers are greeted by local artisans selling everything from jewelry to pottery. Down by the channel beautiful old boats with names like Mahoganus, The Office, and Floats In line the dock. Highly polished Chris Crafts older than many of the visitors compete for prizes. Sight-seers take them in from land and water as pontoons full of people ooh and ahh as they putter by. A submersible car silently glides by for a closer look. All the while, two remote control boats, one filled with a crew of Barbies, zig-zag through the water traffic. But the piece de la resistance for this event is an old outboard motor, built in 1910 that still works! A crowd gathers as the owner of the engine hand cranks her to life. The Antique Outboard Motor Club always has several unique finds to show off during the event. Be sure to click on the video with this blog to see the antique motor and other great sights from the annual day-long event. Then bookmark www.indianaacbs.com...

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