story by GLENDA WINDERS
Big happenings are going on in Wabash County this summer, and the Hopewell House in Lagro is at the center of it all. The historic home was built on land given by the government to Miami Chief Le Gres and after his death to Senator John Tipton. Constructed around 1860, the house passed through several hands until the Williams family owned it. They were the grandparents of Shelley Long, who came to visit as a child from her home in Fort Wayne and later gained celebrity as a star of the “Cheers” and “Modern Family” television series.
The historic home had been in disrepair for several years when Hopewell Renovators bought it in 2021 and lovingly restored it to its original glory. Today it is a guesthouse rental that combines vintage elegance with modern amenities, accommodating 12 to 16 people with five bedrooms and four bathrooms.
It is available for wedding parties, family reunions, and the like, and many visitors stay here when they are attending events at the Rustic Barn at Hopewell — where several fun shindigs are to happen this summer.
“Hopewell Renovators saw a need to restore this old house back to its original glory,” said Tammy Keaffaber, co-owner of The Hopewell House. “We are so proud of how it turned out and love that it has such a positive following among Lagro residents. Plus, the town is a great place to live and visit!”
Lagro is home to the live music event, Bluegrass at Hopewell, which takes place on July 29. The event, now in its third year, takes place in the Rustic Barn at Hopewell with this year’s theme being “Bluegrass, Blue Jeans & Brandy.” The music, featuring Rock Bottom Boys of Madison Co., Brad McCord, Cornfields & Crossroads, and Wabash County’s own Barrel Scrapers from North Manchester will start at 6:30 p.m., with participants enjoying it in several different ways. Take your own seating to watch from the lawn or reserve a table and order dinner from a local food truck, Rusty’s Chicken, and drinks from a full bar service by Moon Dog.
Your ticket will include free trolley rides to the Antique Boutique at Hopewell, where you can browse in a restored church for antique furniture, vintage items for your home, and crafts. And this is where the brandy comes in. While you’re here, enjoy tastings for $2 each from Moon Dog, before hopping on the trolley to go back to the Barn.
Come September 10th, the 14th annual Dam to Dam (D2D) bicycle ride from Mississinewa Dam to Salamonie Dam will buzz past The Hopewell House. Cyclists will take to the road beginning at 7:30 a.m. and finish by 5 p.m., and they will have the choice of going 15, 30, 50, 62, 80, 100, or 150 miles. The price of registration also includes breakfast, lunch, and a commemorative t-shirt, and during the rain-or-shine event, seven SAG stations will provide drinks and snacks as riders pass by. Visit Wabash County is providing training tips on their website at www.visitwabashcounty.com/dam-to-dam/ details so that the ride can be safe, healthy, and fun for everyone.