When you think of odd, weird, and just plain goofy sights in Indiana, you should think of Dick Wolfsie.
Let me rephrase that: you should think of Dick Wolfsie’s book.
Wolfsie, a humor writer and weekend reporter for WISH TV, penned the book Indiana Curiosities, as a chronicle of “quirky characters, roadside oddities, and other offbeat stuff.” A must-read for any Indiana traveler or armchair pioneer.
The book is broken up into five different sections: Greater Indianapolis, Northeast Indiana, Southeast Indiana, Southwest Indiana, and Northwest Indiana, home region of Indiana Insider’s own Jonathan Thomas.
You can read about Super Jumbos in Indianapolis, a restaurant that serves an almost five pound burger, and will give you $50 if you can eat the whole thing in under 2 hours. Or learn about Oscar, Churubusco’s (Allen County) version of the Loch Ness Monster, if the monster were a giant turtle. You can travel to Bethel, in Wayne County, to visit the highest point in Indiana, 1,257 feet above sea level. You can zip over to the Willard Library in Evansville (Vanderburgh County) and see if you can see the ghost of Louise Carpenter, daughter of the library’s founder, who has haunted the place since 1937. And then, when you need a rest, head up to Bunker Hill (Miami County) and have a seat in the 13 foot rocking chair that sits in Linda McCoy’s front yard right off US 31, near Grissom Air Force Base.
Some people use the book as a basic travel guide. They figure out where they’re going, and then check the book to see if there are any attractions in the area. Others will just use it for armchair travel, seeing if they can find the places they’ve seen or places where they can visit. And some, Wolfsie says, use the book as a map of the places they’ve been, getting signatures from the people featured in the book.
However you choose to use it, it’s a book you need to include in your travel library as you make your way around Indiana this year. The book is published by Insider’s Guide, and you can buy it online at their website or Amazon.com.