Summer seems to get shorter and shorter with the new balanced calendar being used by the county school systems. With sports teams, summer camps, 4-H and arts programs all calling for our participation and attention, sometimes weekend or even day trips are the best way to fit in summer travel. Don’t fret. Indiana has plenty to offer.
Step back in time with the history buffs
If you grew up in Indiana, no doubt your fourth-grade Indiana history lessons touched on the Levi Coffin House, located at 113 U.S. 27 in Fountain City, which, during its time, became known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad.
The Coffins, Levi and Catharine, were Quakers who opposed slavery and did not feel bound to respect “human laws that came in direct conflict with the laws of God.” Did you know that more than 2,000 slaves passed through there on their way to freedom in Canada? Did you know that the History Channel has named the Levi Coffin House one of the top 10 most historic places in the U.S.?
Story continues below gallery
The unusual design of the house features two entrances (or exits) from most rooms, a well in the basement of the house for easy access to water and a large attic and storage garrets on either side of the rear room of the house. A tour through the famous residence includes being able to crawl into the hidden garret where slaves were hidden sometimes for hours.
Take in a unique and interesting local festival
Little Vevay, Indiana’s, claim to fame is Fred, the runaway goat, who escaped from the Switzerland County 4-H Fair many years ago and took up residence on a hill in the woods overlooking State Road 56.
Fred was able to avoid capture and took up residence in an abandoned house and was often seen on its front porch, or so the story goes. Fred had his own Facebook page and documenting a Fred sighting became a pastime for local residents.
However, in 2013, Fred went missing. Vevay’s police chief and the county coroner were called in to investigate and discovered that Fred died in the abandoned house he called home.
Fred’s passing is marked by a white concrete goat statue mounted on the hillside where he once roamed, and this year marks the inaugural Fred the Goat Festival on July 11.
The festival will include live music, a kid (goat)-calling contest, pin the tail on the goat, a goat mural project, a “Goats Love Oats” cooking contest, and a “Goats Gone Wild’ art and literary competition. For more about the Fred the Goat Festival, visit switzcotourism.com.
Muncie is home to unique model airplane museum
The National Model Aviation Museum is located right here in the state of Indiana in Muncie.
Dedicated to the preservation of aeromodeling history, the museum displays more than 200 years of aeromodeling artifiacts, from early pull-string helicopters that predate the Wright Brothers to modern ducted-fan jet aircraft.
The museum traces changes that have occurred in all aspects of the hobby. Interactive exhibits allow visitors the opportunity to see what it is like to fly model aircraft, and the research library offers a wealth of historical documentation. The Cloud 9 museum store offers aviation-related memorabilia, clothing and toys for sale. Visit modelaircraft.org for museum hours and admission fees.
For more ideas for Indiana travel and day trips, go online to visitindianatourism.com.
This is the third in an occasional series of ideas for summer travel throughout the state of Indiana.