Get away from life in the big city for a while. Head about 20 miles west down Highway 24 to the town of Huntington and visit the Sunken Gardens. The gardens are set in the remnants of an old stone quarry. A long series of steps lead down to a beautiful garden of stone, water, trees, and fountains. Beautiful stone bridges cross fish-filled ponds, a gorgeous gazebo sits next to a small fountain, and picnic tables allow a nice place to stop for a snack or lunch. A truly unique experience. The Sunken Gardens is actually a small part of the large Memorial Park. At over 48 acres, the park has playgrounds, gardens, several walking paths, volleyball courts, basketball courts, and much more! The park is located along West Park Drive and Bartlett Steets in Huntington, Indiana.
The current popular use of icons became prevalent when Apple Computers started using them on their first computers. Brand names became popular when trying to market products over 100 years ago. But one of the first brand names and icon came about during the War of 1812 in the United States, sometimes called the 2nd Revolutionary War.
A man by the name of Samuel Wilson was a successful meat packer who shipped his products to the U.S. Army during the War of 1812. On every one of his barrels of meat his crews stamped U.S. which he jokingly said stood for Uncle Sam. From that point forward the soldiers used to refer anything that was government issued as it coming from "Uncle Sam." As the story goes the name came to symbolize the federal government.
I wonder if Samuel Wilson knew he was such a trend setter.
Anyway, on the book I read on the Lincoln Highway it showed a picture of the grave of "Uncle Sam" Wilson located in the town of Merriam on the original Lincoln Highway and about 9 miles north of the current US 30. Part of the fun is trying to locate the grave which I found after about 5 minutes of searching.
If you can't read the marker from the picture here is what it says:
Soldier of 1812
May 7, 1865
100 Years and 3 Days
He was a grand old man that Uncle Sam.
Barr Street Market was founded in 1837 and is located at the corners of Barr and Wayne.
Historically, it was operated as an outdoor market until it closed in 1957.
Recently, it has opened on the weekends as a farmers market and also for other special events during the summer.
It is still a place where you can relax on a bench with a coffee and newspaper, even when there is nothing going on there.
Fort Wayne has a art program called "Mastodons on Parade, and you can see in the photo, Mastodon #36(MAST"er" Builder) is located at the Barr Street Market.
Located about 45 minutes from Fort Wayne in downtown Pierceton, Indiana, the Blue Lion is much more than a coffee house. Decorated in antiques and set in an old buliding, the Blue Lion also serves lunch and dinner as well as coffees, teas, lemonade, and deserts. They occasionally host local bands as well. You can order their coffees and teas on their website. To get there, follow U.S. 30 west out of Fort Wayne to State Road 13 south. Cross the railroad tracks into downtown Pierceton and immedately turn right. The Blue Lion is there on the left at 105 W Market St.
This beautiful woodland became a nature preserve in 1994 to put it under the protection of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. The 110 acre park features a pond, 4 hiking trails (one of which is wheelchair accessable), a pavillion, and plenty of oppritunities for birdwatching and photographing nature without having to leave the city. The park is open in the spring and summer Tuesday-Saturday 9am-6pm and Sunday noon-6pm. Closed Mondays. To get there, take I-69 to exit 102 and head east into Fort Wayne and follow the signs to the University of St. Francis. The park will be on the left across from the large cemetery just before you get to the university.
Ouabache State Park is located about 30 miles south of Fort Wayne near Bluffton. While the park can still be crowded during the summer, especially holiday weekends, during the school year it's a very quiet relaxing place! Climb the old fire tower, one of the few still remaining in Indiana, and enjoy the wonderful view high above the treetops! This kind of view is very rare in the flatlands of Indiana. I also recommend the 6-mile Wabash trail that covers the perimeter of the park. The hike takes about 2 hours to complete and it utilizes parts of every trail in the park. Also don't miss the 20-acre American bison exhibit! Very cool! For pictures, check out my travelogue!