Although our sponsored trip was short, it was amazing what Sara, of Travels with Sara and I saw during our time in Wayne County, and Richmond, Indiana. Sara picked me up from Rantoul. I left the Half Century of Progress and we began our eastward trek. Our first stop was the amazing Levi and Catharine Coffin House.
Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site
The tours begin in the Visitor’s Center. There is a short film that tells the Coffin story. This film provides a great understanding of the family and history.
After viewing the exhibits at the Center, we moved onto the house. The Levi and Catharine Coffin house was originally located in Newport, Indiana. Today the town is called Fountain City.
The Coffin’s were Quakers that traveled from North Carolina to Indiana in 1826. They opposed slavery deciding it was their Christian duty to help.
After their move, they set up a business as merchants. The Coffins knew that helping slaves was a risk to themselves. Levi and Catharine faced financial ruin and prison. Helping a runaway slave was against the law.
Coffin House Tour
The Coffin home open to tour is the 3rd the Coffin’s built. It has eight rooms. The home became known as the Grand Central Station of the Underground Railroad. Levi Coffin was called the President of the Underground Railroad. This is a term he was proud of.
The local Quaker community knew the Coffins were housing slaves. They helped keep watch when bounty hunters would come. Our guide shared that only slaves that were truly desperate would stop and seek assistance.
Slaves were often moved by the use of a false bottom wagon. In fact, there is an example of one of these wagons on display in the barn which is also open to tour.
In 1847 the Coffins moved to Cincinnati. There Levi operated a wholesale warehouse. He supplied goods to free-labor stores. They continued to help freedom seekers find their way to Canada until the war ended.
Levi then wrote a book about their story. It is estimated the Coffins helped around 3,000 make their way to freedom. Our guide shared, “When Abraham Lincoln became President, one out of every eight Americans was enslaved.”
That really puts it into perspective. The Coffin’s are true American Heroes!
You can’t go inside, but you may want to drive down the road to view the Levi and Catharine Coffin Quaker Meeting House. The building dates back to 1832. It is where the Levi and his wife built a meeting house.
Highest Point in Indiana
Sara mentioned we were close to the highest point in Indiana. After our amazing visit to the Coffin house we decided this was the perfect wrap up.
The highest point is on Hoosier Hill. It sits at 1,257 feet above sea level. Located at Elliott Road and County Line Road. This great point is marked with a rock. Then there is a mailbox.
Inside is a journal. We signed our names and where we are from. It was here we met our friend Rob, from Dayton, Ohio who took our picture!
Buffalo Wings & Rings in Richmond, Indiana
By now Sara and I were hungry. We stopped at Buffalo Wings & Rings in Richmond, Indiana. A regional chain, I had never experienced this particular restaurant’s food before.
We were greeted and quickly seated. They were expecting us, thank you Nancy of Visit Richmond! I loved the sign above the food order station. “Good Times Made to Order”.
We placed an order for buffalo wing nachos and split a ring burger and onion rings! Our server brought us a variety of sauces and the food was yummy!
This sports bar with 30 flat screens is family friendly. The food is wonderful and service top notch!
Richmond Rose Garden and downtown
After dinner with our second wind we stopped at the Richmond Rose Garden. This is one of only 139 All America Rose Gardens open to the public. It is also wheel-chair accessible. The garden is so beautiful!
There is a gazebo to sit in. I loved a great sculpture that symbolizes the Rose city partnership between Richmond, Indiana and Zweibrucken Germany. My favorite though is the lovely fountain in the garden.
Next we headed downtown and had fun taking some funky photos. Downtown Richmond has some wonderful murals!
The Starr Loft in Richmond, Indiana’s historic district
Oh my! We stayed at the lovely Starr Loft! Did I say we stayed at the Starr Loft?
This beautiful Air B&B property is the 2nd floor of a former 1865 tin shop which is now a coffee bar. Lovely doesn’t even begin to cover how cool it is. With wooden floors, there is a day bed, two huge couches, a full kitchen with a long bar and stools.
Then there is a bedroom separated by a curtain hanging from the I don’t even know how many feet beamed ceiling. The bathroom has a deep tub and a rain shower!
Plenty of room for both of us to enjoy the evening but have time to ourselves as we worked on projects and privacy later in the evening.
Only note, the steps go straight up and are steep. Don’t do like I do and bring a mammoth suitcase when traveling to this location!
I love, love, loved it and it is surprisingly affordable! Located in the Richmond historic district this is a very different stay that I want to do again!
Carver’s for breakfast
We found our way to Carver’s for breakfast. I choose the senior dinner and had half a waffle. This was perfect. Food and service were good. Just what we needed to get the morning rolling!
Wayne County Historical Society
There is so much to love about the Wayne County Historical Society! First is the art outside. The Richmond Steam engine and the painted piano are the first things you see!
Julia Garr is credited with establishing the Wayne County Historical Society. For those that read my blog for the farm connections, her family established the Gaar Scott steam engines and threshing machines!
Julia made several trips around the world and began collecting. When her collection outgrew her hotel suite, and the art museum where she was invited to display, she had to have more room. The answer was the Hicksite Meeting House, owned by Whitewater Meeting of Friends. The building was sold in 1929. The friends donated the building and Julia and the Wayne county Historical Society raised $25,000 to buy the land.
The museum opened August 13, 1929. Besides her amazing collection, there are several wonderful farm display items collectors will love. There are cars, model toys, wagons,and-so much more!
There is a general store, a blacksmith shop, log cabin and school house. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to visit this amazing museum. Julia Gaar’s collection is particularly interesting as well!
Visit Richmond and beyond
This is just a few of the things to do in Richmond, Indiana and Wayne County! Check out Visit Richmond and see there list of events and other attractions! I loved the Model T Museum and The Gaar Home and Farm Museum to name a few of things I saw on a previous visit!