Where can you find a best-selling author, a perfumer, an animal sanctuary, windmills and a chain of lakes? In Noble County, of course!
Where can you find a best-selling author, a perfumer, an animal sanctuary, windmills and a chain of lakes? In Noble County, of course.
On the shore of beautiful Sylvan Lake near Rome City sits the Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site.
Known as the Cabin at Wildflower Woods, it’s the home of Indiana’s best-selling female author, Gene Stratton-Porter. And do not confuse it with Limberlost in Geneva, where Porter first lived. Moreover, the cabin is surrounded by 148 acres of woods, trails and beautiful gardens.
Porter is famous for her 12 novels. She was a woman ahead of her time and self-taught in all that she did. Porter was naturalist, inspired by her picturesque surroundings. She’s a famed nature photographer, who had her own dark room. She even started her own production company.
Eight of her books evolved into movies. Nearly 100 years after her death, she is still an amazing role model. In fact, J.K. Rowling — author of the famed Harry Potter series — was inspired by Porter.
Another inspiring Hoosier woman is perfumer/entrepreneur Renee Gabet. Gabet and her family started hand-blending fragrances in her Ligonier kitchen. She’s been creating world-class perfumes for Annie Oakley Perfumery since 1980. Gabet named the company after Annie Oakley because the Wild West sharpshooter was one of the nation’s first female celebrities.
From the kitchen to a big factory that you can now visit for a little aroma therapy and see how the process works, Annie Oakley is the only perfumery in the United States. And if there’s time on the tour, one of the perfumers can create a fragrance just for you. The perfumery also makes lotions, essential oils and men’s cologne.
Mid-America Windmill Museum
You will really enjoy the Mid-America Windmill Museum in Kendallville. There is a total of 52 windmills that have been restored and are on exhibit in the museum barn or outside on the grounds. A highlight of the museum is a replica of the Robertson Post windmill. It is a single stone grist mill with a 52-foot diameter wind wheel. The original Robertson was shipped from England and erected on the James River near Jamestown, Virginia, in the 1620s.
Black Pine Animal Sanctuary
Meet the animals up close and personal at Black Pine Animal Sanctuary in Albion. The animal sanctuary provides a new home for displaced, captive-raised exotic animals. But not just big cats. It houses bears, monkeys, reptiles and parrots as well. Scheduled tours are recommended. Educational programs happen year-round to teach about exotic species in danger and to encourage responsible pet ownership.
Chain O’Lakes State Park
The wilderness and waterways of Chain O’ Lakes State Park is not to be missed in you’re in Albion. The park contains 13 lakes, with nine connected via a central waterway, hence the name. Hence, it got the reputation of Indiana’s lake country and a small boater’s paradise. There’s something for everyone here. After all, there are 2,178 acres. Chain O’ Lakes has forested hiking trails, fishing areas, boat rentals, a beach, campgrounds, cabins and a nature center.
Welcome to Noble County
“Come to our swamp in its glory, Its joys we invite you to share.” That line closed out a poem Gene Stratton-Porter wrote from the Cabin at Wildflower Woods. Most noteworthy, it provides a great summary of the experience that awaits you in Noble County.
That’s Honest-to-Goodness Indiana.