Dr. James Ford Historic Home
177 W Hill St, Wabash IN 46992
P 260-563-8686 • Website
Hours : Mon - Thurs by appointment only, Fri-Sat 11a-4p, Sun Noon-4p
Admission: Adults $4, 15 and under
Group tours available - call for information
Dr. James Ford and his wife, America Holton Ford, purchased three lots at the corner of Hill and Cass Streets in 1838, at a time when this newly platted hilltop was a near wilderness. They and their infant daughter moved to this land in 1841 and built a one ~ room brick house – Among the first brick structures in Wabash. During the next thirty-five years they added to their home as their family grew and their fortunes improved.
Dr. Ford was a talented amateur architect- as well as medical doctor, pharmacist, writer, agronomist, and Civil War surgeon-and the house achieved a graceful appearance. Today’s restoration recreates the Ford home as it might have appeared circa 1875. Period furnishings complement interactive exhibits, a display of Civil War Era medical equipment, and Victorian garden.
106 W Market Street, Wabash, IN 46992
P 260-563-3272 • Website
Constructed and financed by hundreds of people through the efforts of the Wabash Eagles Lodge, the Eagles Theatre opened its doors March 27, 1906 with a live show featuring Chicago’s Miss Bertha Gallant and her touring company. Costing the sizeable sum of $60,000, the Eagles Theatre was built on the grounds of the old Hyman house at 106 West Market Street.
Structurally, the building contains a basement, four stories, 18 offices, 13 dressing rooms, and Eagles Lodge rooms. The theatre is located on the first floor with one balcony each located on both the second and third floors. Including both balconies, the theatre originally seated over 1,200 people. Offices occupied both the second and third floors while the fourth floor housed a ballroom.
Today, the Eagles Theatre is owned and operated by The Honeywell Foundation. Acquired in January 2010, the Eagles Theatre went through a vast number of upgrades. These improvements ranged from ceiling repair to installing new seating. Currently, the theatre holds 440 people plus additional wheelchair accessible seating for eight.
On November 14, 2010, The Honeywell Foundation held a ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the theatre’s revitalization and shortly after opened its doors to the public. Thanks to the countless donors who supported the revival, the region has the opportunity to experience the rich history that is ingrained at the Eagles Theatre while enjoying a large array of events, activities, and programming.
The Eagles Theatre is open for not only showings of first run movies, but for other events as well. Whether they are corporate events, birthday parties, or other private gatherings, the Eagles Theatre has many different rental options.
Frances Slocum Cemetery
Bowman Road (850 S), Wabash IN 46992 (map)
This is a very interesting grave site, with unique history!
Frances Slocum was the daughter of Jonathan and Ruth Tripp Slocum, Quakers who had settled near Wilkes-Barre, Pa. In Sept. 1778, at the age of five, she was kidnapped by Delaware Indians during a raiding party.
Although her family continued to search for her, it wasn’t until 1837, nearly 60 years later, that two of her brothers finally found her, living in a Miami Indians village near present-day Peru, Ind. In the years since her captivity, Slocum had completely adopted the Indian way of life, taking the Indian name Ma-con-a-qua and marrying a Miami chief named Shep-o-con-nah (died 1833). Their children included two adult daughters and two sons who died in childhood.
Slocum’s brothers tried to persuade her to return to Pennsylvania with them, but she preferred to remain in the Miami Indian village. Her white relatives helped her secure a grant of land for her daughters, so that even after most of the Miamis were forced to move west to Indian Territory, Slocum and her descendants continued to live in Indiana. After her death, she was buried next to her husband and sons in the Indian cemetery near her home. In 1900 the cemetery was renamed the Frances Slocum Cemetery, and a monument was erected there in her memory.
720 N Wabash Street, Wabash IN 46992
P 260-563-2326 • Website
Call to arrange a tour
The Honeywell House, home of the late Mrs. Mark C. Honeywell, is a nonprofit cultural center owned and operated by the Honeywell Foundation. The residence offers a variety of artistic, civic and educational programs ranging form solo recitals and chamber music concerts to lectures and outdoor activities as well as private tours.
Paradise Spring Historical Park
351 W Market Street, Wabash IN 46992
P 260-563-4171 • Website
In 1826 more than two thousand Potawatomie and Miami Indians gathered for a meeting with government officials to negotiate two important treaties. They gathered at Paradise Spring, called Ta Kinomaong (Running Water Place), on the northwest bank of the Wabash River in the present city of Wabash.
The Miami and Potawatomi Indians ceded approximately 900,00 acres of land in exchange for much needed food, annuities, and education. The agreements opened northern Indiana and southern Michigan to white settlement and paved the way for construction of a canal through the remaining Indian reservations.
Historic cabins are located throughout the property with descriptive signs.
Thanks to the efforts of many, today the park is a viable part of the community. Walkers, joggers, skaters, and bicyclists enjoy the area daily utilizing the paved pathways and public restrooms
Rodef Sholem Jewish Cemetery
Mill Street & Bond Street, Wabash
The Wabash and Erie canal required laborers, many of which were Jewish who settled in the Wabash area. The first Jewish resident of Wabash was Michael Hyman who made our county his home in 1846. The Rodef Sholem Cemetery is the oldest Jewish cemetery in Indiana. For a wonderfully detailed history of Jewish heritage in Wabash, please read here.
Wabash County Courthouse & Lincoln Monument
1 West Hill Street, Wabash IN 46992
P 260-563-0661 • Website
Call the Visitors Center to arrange a tour: 260-563-7171
First Electrically Lighted city in the World: "From the towering dome of the Court House at 8:00 p.m. on March 31, 1880, burst a flood of lights that made world history. Over 10,000 people witnessed the event. Fora a mile around, houses and yards were distinctly visible, while far way the Wabash River glowed like a band of molten silver."
Mr. Charles F. Brush, Cleveland, Ohio, had been experimenting with a new electric arclight, known as the "Brush Light," with the hope of staging a public test in some city in order to prove its usefulness in street illuminate. Wabash City Council entered into an agreement with Mr. Brush to make a test of his light in Wabash. Four 3,000 candle-power lamps of the general Brush Light design were suspended from the flag staff of the Court House for the grand lighting.
Heralded throughout the Midwest in particular, spectators gathered from many points to view the test of the Brush Light. Reporters, representing many newspapers of the area and large cities, were present to cover the event, the result of which could prove revolutionary when it came to practical means of lighting the streets of an entire town. Officials from Wabash and other cities of Indiana, Ohio and Illinois and people from neighboring counties were assembled, numbering several thousand strong, to experience the phenomena, should the test be successful – which it was.
Today the one remaining Brush lamp is exhibited in the foyer of the Court House. The lamp has the distinction of being a part of the first municipally owned electric plant, and Wabash Indiana, of being the first town in the world to be wholly lighted by electricity.
Today, the Wabash County Court House is a favored destination among history hunters as four modern versions of the Brush Arch Light adorn the top of the Court House.
THE LINCOLN MONUMENT
Alexander New, born a Wabash native on June 2, 1861 to his Bavarian immigrant parents Isaac and Henrietta New. Isaac opened the I. New & Son clothing store in Wabash until it closed in 1933.
Alexander attended Washington and Jefferson University after high school graduation and received a law degree. Upon graduation from college in 1886, New had a successful business/ corporate law career and went on to serve as the president of Mercantile Stores Corporation in New York city in 1915. After having 15 years of outstanding success with eh Mercantile Stores he was made board chairman in 1930.
Before his death on April 5, 1931, new decided to provide a memorial in Wabash to his parents, who had the thrift, courage and energy to succeed in business and contribute to their city while raising a fine family. New became acquainted with the famous sculptor, Charles Keck, and commissioned him to create a stature of Abraham Lincoln, whom he had always admired. In 1930 New brought Keck to Wabash to select a site for the statue. During his last visit to his old home he spoke to boyhood friends of his love for Wabash and of his plans to present the statue.
The Lincoln Monument was placed on the Wabash County Court House lawn on May 31, 1932. Unfortunately, Alexander New passed away before seeing the project finished.
Wabash Carnegie Library
188 w Hill Street, Wabash, IN 46992
P 260-563-2972 • Website
Hours: Mon -Thurs 9a - 8p, Fri-Sa 9a-5p
As early as 1848 there was evidence of a library in Wabash. The librarian, John U. Pettit was personally responsible for the 300 books, and had to pay for those that were not returned. In 1890, the Woman's Library Association organized by the Round Table Literary Club was opened in the Probate Court Room in the Wabash County Courthouse. The services of the first librarian, Mrs. Anna Zeigler and her assistants were donated.
In 1895, the books were moved to the old Wabash High School building and in 1900, the Women's Library Association was dissolved due to a consolidation with the high school library and the new Wabash Public Library was organized. Crowded conditions in the high school forced the library to move again, this time into Memorial Hall where they stayed until the opening of the Carnegie Library.
Word of success of other towns in securing funds from the Carnegie Foundation for library buildings moved members of the local group to seek help for a building in Wabash. A number of letters were written without much success. However, one written by the late Warren Bigler, then president of the school board, and another by Mrs. Cowgill, who gave the history of Round Table's efforts to foster and maintain a library, brought response from James Bertram, Mr. Carnegie's secretary.
The terms were that Mr. Carnegie would give $20,000 for the erection of the building, provided the City of Wabash would furnish the site and agree to spend $2,000 a year on its support. This transaction occurred in 1901 and the Board of Library Trustees was organized under the Indiana Library Law. On April 30, 1901, the Board resolved that the cost of the new building was to be limited to $17,000; the actual contract (awarded to John Hipskind & Son) amounted to $17, 795---without heat. That problem was taken care of later by the Honeywell Corporation. The building was completed in 1903 and 3000 volumes were installed.The building is a Neo-Classic design with Grecian lines and is one of the oldest Carnegie libraries in the state.
Before added construction in the 1970's, twenty-three steps led up to the main doors of the library where inside six 20-foot pillars still grace the area under a beautiful stained glass dome, which is protected on the outside in copper. The stained glass dome is the highlight of the library with pure colors of green, cream, brown, red and shades of lavender, blues, and greens. A fireplace is an added attraction along a north wall. Built on solid limestone rock with thirty-six inch walls, the Wabash Carnegie Public Library continues to stand strong and tall. The firm foundation and formidable construction accounts for the library's withstanding years of the passage of rumbling trains.
Remodeled in 1972, an addition was constructed, expanding the facilities to 14,000 square feet from 5,000. Now, at the beginning of the 21st Century, the Wabash Carnegie Public Library stands at the forefront of the electronic age. Our WebPacs have replaced the card catalogue, and videos and DVDs have replaced 16 mm films. CDs have replaced records, while CDs have provided another format for books. The library's collection contains over 82,800 items, of which 90% are books, over 190 periodicals, over 7,300 audio-visual materials, including CDs, DVDs, and videos. The library subscribes to several online databases and an e-library. The library is fully automated with Polaris library system.
Wabash County Historical Museum
36 E Market Street, Wabash IN 46992
P 260-563-9070 • Website
Hours: Tues - Sat 10a-4p
Admission: Adult $5, Children 6-12 and Seniors 60+ $3
The Wabash County Historical museum is no ordinary county museum. In fact, it has been called the best county museum in the State of Indiana! With two floors of interactive exhibits, an extensive research and archive area, and a spacious meeting room, this museum is one of our county’s great treasures. Learn the history behind being dubbed the First Electrically Lighted City in the World!
770 W Hill Street, Wabash IN 46992
P 260-563-4391 • Website
In 1889 the Wabash County Commissioners commissioned the building of an Orphan's Home for the City of Wabash and its surrounding areas. This building was designed to house 60 orphans. In 1905 the building was remodeled and a hospital established.
In 1919 the hospital moved to its present location on East Street leaving the building vacant until 1930. At this time the Wabash City Park Board leased the building to the Woman's Clubhouse Association. The Woman’s Clubhouse Association is a non profitable club and continuing Adult education. The Clubhouse sponsored a series of Sunday afternoon programs. Events are still regularly held at this facility by members and general public alike. Call ahead to arrange a tour.
Hanging Rock rises about 80 feet above the surface of the river and offers a flat surface on its pinnacle. The surrounding countryside can be viewed for miles. Because of years of undercutting, Hanging Rock juts out over the river and was historically used as a reference point in navigating along the Wabash River.Hanging Rock consists of silty dolomite and limestone.
There are very few fossil remains in their original growth positions because the central part of the reef has been eroded away, and because many of the fossils were altered beyond recognition when the rock was converted to dolomite. The Hanging Rock of today is only a small part of the original reef that undoubtedly extended well across the present Wabash River, but the force of the Maumee Torrent and subsequent post-glacial erosion by the river removed the northern flank and central reef core, leaving behind the smaller remnant we see today.
“Beyond its geological significance, Hanging Rock is a landmark that is culturally important to current and past generations of Wabash County,” stated Kissel. Hanging Rock has inspired the Legend of Hanging Rock which tells the story of two native American braves fighting to the death on top of the rock over a maiden, who in the end throws herself off the rock after her true love was thrown off during the fight. Numerous poems and songs also use Hanging Rock as their focal point.
The U.S. Department of the Interior designated Hanging Rock as a National Natural Landmark on May 23, 1986. This designation is given only to areas of national significance in order to preserve America’s natural heritage.
The Kerr Locks are easy to visit: located on Washington Street in downtown Lagro. Visitors can walk right up to the old locks. Open to the public from dawn until dusk.
Locks were an ingenious device used when canals were an important method to transport products. Water levels would often be of different levels. Locks "held" the canal boat in place so that it could be raised or lowered to the following water level. Early on, horses and mules were on either side of the canal and pulled the boat through the lock.
There were four locks near Lagro. The Kerr Lock, the McDonald Lock, the Ditton Lock, and the Hayes Lock. They were named after their locktenders. Locktenders were the people that took care of the locks. They opened the gates for the canal boats to pass through. Some of the locktenders also had stores by the locks so they could sell things to the passengers on the boats. For an interesting history on the locks, please click here.
Saint Patrick's Catholic Church
940 Main Street, Lagro, IN 46941
Mass is celebrated on the first Sunday of each month at 12:30 pm
Built in 1870 by Irish immigrants, this breathtaking church speaks for itself. Victorian Gothic style, the original bell and organ is still in use today.
The St. Patrick's Cemetery is located on 400E/Walnut street.
Center for History
122 E. Main St. North Manchester, IN 46962
P 260-982-0672 • Website
Hours: M-F 10-4
Other times by appointment.
$3 Admission; free for NMHS members
The Center for History is a non-profit museum managed by the North Manchester Historical Society that features the history of North Manchester and the Eel River Basin. Run primarily by volunteers, the Center for History occupies almost 20,000 square feet of the former Oppenheim's Department Store. The building serves not only as a museum for the Historical Society’s collection of over 20,000 items, but also as a center for adult and youth educational programs, local and family historical research, festivals and community events such as the Spring Bunny Hop, antique appraisals, wine tastings, and art exhibit. The Center also provides educational tours and hosts reunions and meetings.
While you're visiting the Center for History, stop and peek at the Miller Farm Collection. Harold and Eleanor Miller and their family lives on the same farm for four generations. Several other related families lived in this area long before that. Harold had an intense interest in the tools of the farmer, and collected many items used by his ancestors on this and nearby farms. He assembled his collection in a room in his barn, which he called his “museum.” When the children donated this huge collection to the North Manchester Historical Society, it number over 1,200 items. Since they had been stored in the barn, the items were in exceptionally good condition. There were a few household items, children’s toys, photographs and letters, as well as some clothing.
North Manchester Covered Bridge
109 North Market Street North Manchester, Indiana 46962 (Map)
P 260-982-7644 • Website
The North Manchester Covered Bridge, one of the town’s best known historical landmarks, is one of the two remaining covered bridges which span the Eel River. The bridge underwent structural renovation with special attention to replacement of decayed and weakened structural members on the underside of the bridge, new flooring, and reinforcement of the east end. When repairs were completed the maximum load capacity of the bridge increased from three tons to five tons.
The bridge was built in 1872 by the Smith Bridge Company of Toledo, Ohio, for $3,515, exclusive of stonework on abutments. The entire structure is built of wood, put together with pins, iron bolts and square cut nails. It is a single span over the river with no center supports. For the Indiana Sesquicentennial in 1966, the bridge was extensively repaired with steel pylons near the west end, new flooring, and general renovation.
The North Manchester Historic Society monitors the bridge, marshalling resources to assure its preservation. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a major artifact in the town’s outdoor museum. With continued vigilance the bridge will stand for many more generations as a reminder of how our ancestors lived. That is, after all, what our historical society is for.
Video of the 2013 Bridge Restoration Project
Thomas Marshal Birthplace
409 N.Market Street, North Manchester, Indiana 46962 (Map)
P 260-982-0672 • Website
Hours: The Thomas Marshall Home is open to the public from 1-4pm on the first Saturday of each month from April through December. A fee of $1.00 will be charged as admission and you will be guided through the home by knowledgeable staff who can tell you the stories of the time period when the Marshall's resided there. Tour lasts about 30 minutes. Call the North Manchester Historical Society to arrange visits.
Thomas R. Marshall was our Nation's 28th Vice President. Tour this historic home located in charming North Manchester, Indiana. In February, 1853 Daniel Marshall and his brother, Joseph, purchased lot 23 in North Manchester. In June of that year he was appointed Postmaster in North Manchester as part of political patronage under President Franklin Pierce. March 14, 1854 his son, Tom, was born in the house on lot 23, which was probably built soon after their arrival. Judging from a comparison of the value of the property when purchased and when sold, it appears that there was no house on it when the Marshall's bought the lot.
In 2012, the N. Manchester Historical Society completed a 17 year endeavor to restore this home to the 1850's era. Thomas Marshall was born here in 1854 to Dr. Daniel and Martha (Patterson) Marshall. The Daniel Marshall family moved to Illinois in 1856 and later to Missouri when Tom was still a youngster. In 1860, on the eve of the Civil War, the Marshall family returned once again to Indiana, settling in Pierceton and later in Columbia City.
Roann Covered Bridge
Where there once were twenty-nine covered bridges in Wabash County, the Roann Covered bridge is now one of the only two
remaining. The bridge is known as a Howe Truss constructed bridge which was a common covered bridge type in Indiana. Built in Toledo, Ohio, in 1877, by the Smith Bridge Company, the bridge was disassembled and transported to its site in Roann; a common building practice for covered bridges at that time.
The bridge was built to serve as part of the trail leading from Wabash to Rochester. At various times in the past, several covered bridges have stood in, or near this site. The first was built in 1841, the second in 1845, the third in 1856, and of course the current bridge built in 1877. This last bridge, reconstructed after an arson fire in 1990, is a well know landmark for the people of Roann and all visitors.
Standing firmly on the banks of the Eel River near Roann, Indiana, the Stockdale Mill welcomes visitors to experience a bygone era and witness the collective efforts of a community to restore a noted landmark.
This historic mill is all that remains of the neighboring town of Stockdale. In 1839, Thomas Goudy platted the town of Stockdale, the first town in Paw Paw Township. Stockdale was the settlement of Native American tribes like the Potawatomi and the Miami. Also known as Squirrel Town, or Squirrel Village, the settlement quickly grew to include a store, blacksmith shop, two mills, wagon shop, public school, church, post office and lodge; however, when a new train route, the Detroit, Eel River and Illinois Railroad, was located through nearby Roann in the early 1870s, the town of Stockdale soon ceased to exist.
The original grist mill was erected in 1839, and when it was later washed out, the current mill was built between 1855-1857. The Mill continued to produce flour until 1964, much longer than its competitors. In 1860, there were seventeen grain mills in Wabash County, however, it is now the only one that remains. After years of deterioration, the Mill was purchased in 2011, and restoration was undertaken by the Stockdale Mill Foundation. Today the mill opens seasonally for tours of all four floors.