Here are some interesting tidbits, facts, and trivia that might help you come up with story ideas or when you’re looking for that extra something to kick start an article. Did you know…
- Elkhart County is considered the Recreational Vehicle Capital of the World. For every two RVs you see on the road, one was built in Elkhart County. Its humble beginnings were in 1935 when Schult (the first producer of trailers in Indiana) began producing one trailer per day, each selling for $198. Today, the RV industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. In fact, nearly 1,000 manufacturers of RVs, RV supplies and parts are located in Elkhart County.
- C.G. Conn is credited for Elkhart becoming the Band Instrument Capital of the World. A cornet player, legend has it he became involved in a street brawl that left him with a badly cut lip and scar – making it difficult for him to play his instrument. So, he invented a special mouthpiece cushion out of rubber for himself, which drew great attention. He soon began manufacturing these mouthpieces for the public, his business grew rapidly, and it evolved into the manufacturing of band instruments. In fact, in its heyday, the CG Conn Company manufactured most of the world’s band instruments. As a sidenote, Conn also founded the Elkhart Truth, a local newspaper still in publication today.
- Bonneyville Mill is Indiana’s oldest continuously operating grist mill.
- Speedy Alka-Seltzer, the character symbolizing the product Alka-Seltzer, is a notable native. Alka-Seltzer was produced in Elkhart by Miles Laboratories – now Bayer Corp, which holds the trademark on Speedy. Originally known as Sparky, his name was changed to reflect the promotional theme: Speedy Relief. Radio actor Dick Beals was the voice of Speedy.
- Nappanee boasts the most native cartoonists for a city of its size. Information on these cartoonists and displays of their work can be found at the Nappanee Public Library.
- The spelling of the town called “Nappanee” is a rarity. Every letter appears exactly twice.