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Indiana Bicentennial Celebration 2016

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Explore County Bicentennial Activities > Wabash County Wabash County

Wabash County Courthouse
Q&A with County Coordinator Christine Flohr

What do you consider the key accomplishment(s) of your county’s Bicentennial celebration?

  • The Bicentennial celebration engaged communities throughout our county to develop events that represented all Wabash County is proud of.  From town festivals to special programming, Wabash County organizations put aside any competition or differences to support the Bicentennial and focus on Wabash County's rich history in telling the story of the state.

What Legacy Project do you most like to tell people about, and why?

  • The Town of North Manchester created a legacy project in which organizations and businesses painted concrete bison that are displayed throughout their community.  These bison not only represent the business they are placed in front of but also show the artistic talents our county holds.

Describe a highlight or most memorable moment related to your county's Bicentennial celebration.

  • The celebration that concluded the torch relay in Wabash County faced inclement weather including a cold, steady rain.  The memory I have, which is captured in a few photos, are the number of people standing out under umbrellas with smiles on their faces.  This reminds me of the resilience our community has and that our pride for Wabash County and the state of Indiana can't be stopped by a little rain.

How/where are you preserving information and artifacts related to your county's celebration?

  • The Wabash County Historical Museum is housing the county's artifacts and archival material for future generations to enjoy.  This includes an exhibit that is currently being designed that will feature the torch, artifacts, and other items that highlight the event.

Total number of volunteers who participated.

  • 36.

Estimated total attendance.

  • 250.

Estimated dollar amount spent.

  • $1,100.

Wabash County Legacy Projects

Wabash County Facts

Wabash County, named after the Wabash River, was established in 1835, when settlement increased after the American Revolution. The name “Wabash” is an English spelling of the earlier French name for the river, Ouabache.

French traders derived the French version from the Indian name for the river, Wabashike (pronounced “Wah-bah-she-keh”) (meaning “pure white”.) Much of the river bottom is white limestone, now obscured by mud.

Wabash – A Stellar Community
Wabash is designated a 2014 “Stellar Community.” Wabash Mayor Robert Vanlandingham said, “This is a very exciting time for the City of Wabash on our second attempt to secure the designation as a “Stellar Community.” We have been working diligently for quite some time on various projects. Now, having a partnership with Stellar, we can complete these projects in four years instead of the anticipated 15 years.”

The Indiana Stellar Communities program is aimed at helping Indiana cities and towns accomplish long-term community planning and development projects.

Wabash, Indiana was the first electrically lighted city in the world. The Wabash Weekly Plain Dealer’s, April 9, 1880 issue tells the account of the moment in history.

Both World Wars drew from Wabash County, which provided personnel and war materials.  The Service Motor Company: ambulances, engines for planes during WWI. The Honeywell Company made bomb sights and  tank periscopes during WWII. The General Tire Company: Produced rubber products.

Wabash County is proud of her role in the defense of our country. The memory of these sacrifices is perpetuated with an eternal flame shrine in front of the courthouse.

The Honeywell Performing Arts Center

Honeywell CenterFrom main stage productions to local dance recitals, enjoy performing arts inside The Honeywell Center.  The onsite restaurant with an executive chef on staff provides outstanding meals in an inviting atmosphere.

Nearly 300,000 visitors enter the doors of the Honeywell Center to enjoy world-class performances, dining and other community events.

The revived version still has the beautiful lobby and mezzanine, but 80 utilitarian rooms became 30 luxurious ones. Courtesy:

The Lap of Affordable Luxury in Wabash

Charley Creek Inn guests enjoy the restored elegance of the main lobby and the 20th century décor in each of its 30 guest rooms and suites. The Inn is the perfect place to rediscover history, romance, culture & the arts.

Visit the Cloud Club Room, a 573-square-foot glass-enclosed, multi-purpose room. It features an outdoor terrace, a piano for entertaining, and a “green” rooftop.

People-watch from the lobby mezzanine, dine at the restaurant Twenty, and enjoy the Green Hat Lounge, a piano bar. Even the tipping Green Hat neon sign, long gone but well-remembered, is back.

Manchester University – “Great School Great Price”

Year after year, Manchester receives acclaim from popular guides for college-bound students for its exceptional academic program. The 2013 America’s Best Colleges guide of U.S. News & World Report ranks Manchester University fourth in the Midwest in its “Great Schools, Great Prices” ranking. MU has received the “Best College” ranking for 19 consecutive years. The Princeton Review college guide also consistently ranks Manchester as a “Best in the Midwest.” Learn more about Manchester University at

Hanging Rock is an impressive natural exposure of fossilized coral reef dating back 400 million years. This limestone reef deposit stands over 80 ft. above the south bank of the Wabash River located on Division Road, Lagro, Indiana.

Kokiwanee Nature Preserve

Kokiwanee features bluffs along the Salamonie River and streams tumbling down waterfalls to flow into the river. This 139.5-acre preserve has many species of trees; wildflowers, including snow trillium; and many birds from wood ducks on the river to great blue herons wading where the water is shallow, and many woodland species.

The Wabash County Historical Museum is no ordinary county museum. In fact, it has been called the best county museum in the state of Indiana! With two floors of interactive exhibits, an extensive research and archive area, and a spacious meeting room, this museum is one of Wabash County’s great treasures.

Also, learn the history behind being dubbed the First Electrically Lighted City in the World! 

County Seat: Wabash
Year Organized: 1832
Square Miles: 412.43

Wabash County Bicentennial Committee

  • Mary Chrastil
  • Brooke Duecker
  • Karen Fawcett
  • Mitch Figert
  • Christine Flohr
  • Howard Kaler
  • Jennifer Long-Dillon
  • Shelby McLaughlin
  • Beth Miller
  • Whitney Millspaugh
  • Laura Rager
  • Madison Rebholz
  • Deanna Unger
  • Bev Vanderpool
  • Tenille Zartman