story by JULIE CAMPBELL
If you’re in search of some out-of-the- ordinary attractions for your upcoming staycation, look no further than the winding roads of Wabash County.
From the look of its quaint downtown area, visitors would never guess that the charming city of Wabash was once terrorized in 1942 by a 1900-pound runaway elephant named Modoc. As the legendary story goes, The Great American Circus was in the middle of a show when Modoc was frightened by some barking dogs and broke loose from her tethers. She bolted into town, hot on the scent of roasting peanuts wafting from Bradley Brothers Drugstore (which is now the site of Modoc’s Market & Espresso Bar).
After breaking through the drugstore door, knocking over the peanut roaster, and devouring the peanuts, she continued to evade capture for the next five days. The memory of Modoc the elephant lives on at Modoc’s Market & Espresso Bar in downtown Wabash, where visitors can sample local baked goods and try
a latte with peanut butter syrup in memory of Modoc.
After your coffee has settled, hop aboard Trolley No. 85 to see a unique view of Wabash. Ongoing trolley tours feature themes like eagle watching, historic homes, a greenhouse tour, and even a St. Patrick’s Day themed adventure. The 34-passenger trolley can also be rented for wedding parties, corporate events, and private tours. Visit www.visitwabashcounty.com/trolley-tours for more information.
Two unique lodging options await travelers who are looking for an out-of-the-ordinary place to stay. Salamonie Bridle Stalls and Carriage House is a full-service horse boarding facility with a completely remodeled antique barn that includes lodging. Visitors can board their horses while they stay overnight in the Carriage House.
Just a few blocks from historic downtown Wabash, The Sanctuary is a renovated 1903 Gothic-style church turned overnight event hub.
Whether you’re searching for an intimate wedding venue, a corporate event, or a boutique style hotel experience, you’ll find it at The Sanctuary.
“Because nothing is more than 20 minutes away, our lodging options are close to ample landmarks and activities throughout the county,” explained Whitney Millspaugh, marketing manager for Visit Wabash County.
A must-stop for booklovers is Reading Room Books, Indiana’s largest used bookstore specializing in rare and unique finds. The store features three rooms full of a well-curated collection of books. You’ll also find classics, full sets, and out-of-print treasures on the shelves.
Open seasonally from May through September, the historic 13-24 Drive In Theater boasts one of the largest screens in Indiana. The 70-year-old theater is known for its Retro Reels nights on Thursdays, where for $8 a carload, visitors can see classic movies while they munch on popcorn from the original retro concession stand.
“If you are wanting to explore a unique destination where the people truly care, Wabash County is it. Taking a break from day-to-day life is necessary to refresh and regroup,” said Millspaugh. “From the beautiful downtown in Wabash that boasts charm to our expansive state parks with copious trails and wildlife, there is something for everyone, whether you’re traveling with your family, partner, or exploring solo.”