History of our Downtowns

In downtown Elkhart the 1848 brick home of the city’s founder, Havilah Beardsley, flanks the north end of Main Street and the NYC RR Museum with rare rolling stock borders the southern end of downtown. The historic Lerner Theatre, is the cornerstone of the downtown Arts & Entertainment District. The Midwest Museum of American Art, housed in neo-classical style bank building, stands at the center of the district.

The 1870 courthouse anchors downtown Goshen with its Main Street lined with refurbished brick buildings housing shops, coffee houses and bookstores. A fortress-like police booth stands on the courthouse square as a monument to the days when John Dillinger was the bane of local bankers. Down the street a red and white stripe awning adorns the Olympia Candy Kitchen where little has changed since it opened in 1912.

The rhythms of Amish life mesh easily with modern-day small town America in downtown Nappanee. Traveling down Main Street, US 6 or the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, one passes 19th century storefronts housing businesses from antique stores to butcher shops. In the early 1900’s the Coppes brothers brought national attention to Nappanee with their ingenious “Dutch kitchenette”. A remarkable collection of these cabinets is displayed at the Nappanee Center along with other remnants of the city’s past. Amish Acres historic farmstead and heritage resort which echoes the simple life of the Amish sits at the edge of downtown.