Archive for September, 2013

The Lighthouse Lodge B&B on Lake Shafer

September 30, 2013 Leave a comment
The Lighthouse Lodge B&B on Lake Shafer.

The Lighthouse Lodge B&B on Lake Shafer. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Bob Burchfield, Editor, LLC

Life can be a routine of the mundane and ordinary if you let it, going along from day-to-day with nothing special to look forward to. Or as it has been said, “A rut is just a grave with the ends knocked out.” But then every once in a while, if you get lucky, you can break out of that rut and have a memorable and unforgettable experience that lasts a lifetime in your heart and soul.

So it was last weekend in White County, Indiana, on the occasion of my younger daughter’s wedding. But that’s not what I want to discuss herein (that’s the topic for another blog). I want to talk about the venue: The Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast on Lake Shafer. With no disrespect to anyone or any other place, this is the nicest place I’ve ever visited anywhere in Indiana.

Before I go any further, let me make it clear that there is no conflict of interest here: I didn’t receive a room discount or any favoritism of any kind. I paid my bill like any other guest. My thoughts here are simply the way I feel after enjoying three days of some of the best Hoosier hospitality I’ve ever experienced.

When it comes to hidden Hoosier treasures, The Lighthouse B&B on Lake Shafer has to be right up there at the top of the list. Owners Mike and Bonnie Triplett have taken a dilapidated and distressed property that was near the point of demolition and over the course of 20 years turned it into a little piece of Heaven on the east shore of Lake Shafer. Who knew there was such a gem just 100 miles north of Indianapolis?

The Lighthouse Lodge waterfall.

The Lighthouse Lodge waterfall adjacent to the boat dock and deck. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

The Lighthouse B&B on Lake Shafer is the Triplett’s home, but it’s also a glorious setting — right on the waterfront — for a quiet and relaxing weekend getaway. In my opinion, it’s ideal for a family reunion, weddings, business meetings, retreats, or just about any kind of gathering up to 125 guests or so.

The main building has seven tastefully decorated contemporary suites. Across the yard are four cottages that can accommodate a couple or as many as nine, including handicapped-accessible facilities. The Honeymoon Suite with a balcony overlooking the property is breathtaking. There’s a boat dock with a pontoon, a large deck for outdoor parties and other special occasions, a fire pit, a sandy beach with playground equipment and toys for the kids, a pier, a big yard with a waterfall, and that distinctive lighthouse on the point (see photo below) that gives the property its name and defines its character.

The Lighthouse Lodge after dark

The Lighthouse Lodge after dark. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

And then there’s the Rec Room (see photo below): gathering place, breakfast nook, living room, kitchen, movie theater, darts, poker, bumper pool, and restaurant all rolled into one. I can’t compare it to any other place I’ve visited. I sat at the counter and watched Bonnie make breakfast for 35 visitors on both Saturday and Sunday. Cracked five dozen eggs each morning by hand — fresh eggs just delivered by an area farmer. Blueberry syrup for the banana pancakes — from scratch. Homemade biscuits from scratch. Nothing out of a can; everything made fresh.

Lighthouse Lodge Rec Room

Lighthouse Lodge Rec Room. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

I noted Bonnie’s attention to the needs of guests who required gluten-free menu items. And I admired her easy-going, almost casual pace. Not hurried or harried, not frenetic or frustrated, but quietly and confidently in control. Great stories and conversation. Great atmosphere and friendliness. For his part, Mike is quietly efficient and attentive to the needs of his guests. Together they make a great team!

It’s one of those rarest of places where you are welcome behind the counter to pour your own coffee or get a cup of milk out of the fridge. It has a comfortable homey feeling to it. The Tripletts are there to welcome you into their home, attend to your needs, and create an unforgettable experience.

Enjoying the fire pit in front of the lodge.

Enjoying the fire pit in front of the lodge. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

I could go on, but the pictures speak for themselves. It’s not inexpensive, but hey, this isn’t a chain hotel with frozen waffles and OJ for breakfast. This is an experience. It’s worth a visit, and it’s open year-round.

Blue Roof Cottage

Our cottage at the Lighthouse Lodge: the Blue Roof Cottage on the waterfront. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

The Lighthouse B&B on Lake Shafer is located at 4866 North Boxman Place, Monticello, Indiana, a few miles north of Indiana Beach on the east side of the lake, the non-commercial side of the lake. Quiet. Serene. Peaceful. Splendid.

The Lighthouse Lodge

The Lighthouse Lodge. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

For more information, visit, or call 574-583-9142.

Symposium on Civic Leadership at UIndy, Oct. 8-9

September 27, 2013 Leave a comment
University of Indianapolis

University of Indianapolis. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Scott Hall
University of Indianapolis

National policy experts, respected U.S. statesmen and rising local officeholders will gather Oct. 8 and 9 at the University of Indianapolis for the inaugural Richard M. Fairbanks Symposium on Civic Leadership.

Two of Indiana’s most respected voices in Washington, Richard Lugar and Lee Hamilton, are among the speakers for the event, presented by UIndy’s Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives in partnership with Indiana Humanities and with support from the Richard M. Fairbanks Foundation.

Activities will begin at 6 p.m. Oct. 8 with The Great Debate: Is Action in Syria America’s Least Bad Option? Registration is requested, but admission is free to this foreign policy panel discussion moderated by veteran congressman Hamilton, director of the Center on Congress at Indiana University and co-chair of IU’s International Engagement Advisory Board. The nationally known panelists will be:

  •  Lugar, former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and distinguished professor of political science and international relations at the University of Indianapolis;
  • Doug Bandow, senior fellow, Cato Institute;
  •  Joshua Landis, director, Center for Middle East Studies at Oklahoma University; president, Syrian Studies Association;
  • Robert Zarate, policy director, Foreign Policy Initiative. 

Oct. 9 will bring a series of discussions and presentations on issues facing local leaders and the seemingly lost art of civility in political discourse. Registration is $25 for the day, which culminates in a noon-1:30 p.m. lunch and keynote conversation between former Indianapolis Mayor Lugar and current South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg. Other second-day highlights will include:

  •  Young Guns Roundtable Discussion: Gary Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson moderates a discussion with three recently elected Indiana mayors younger than 35: South Bend’s Buttigieg, LaPorte Mayor Blair Milo and Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes.
  • Debunking the Civility Myth: Historians James Fuller of UIndy and Ray Boomhower of the Indiana Historical Society explore the long legacy of incivility in U.S. politics.
  •  Behind the Scenes of City Government: Melina Kennedy moderates a conversation on how things get done in Indianapolis, featuring fellow former deputy mayors Michael Huber, Mike O’Connor, Anne Shane and David Frick. 

More information is available at or

2013 Photography Show at the Honeywell Center

September 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Honeywell Center in Wabash

Honeywell Center in Wabash. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Scott Fulmer
Honeywell Center

Photographers, both professional and novice, are invited to submit their work for the upcoming Clark Gallery’s 2013 Photography Show at the Honeywell Center, a juried annual event that has been a popular tradition for decades. Borders and Beyond Gallery & Framing are sponsoring the Photography Show, with additional support from Wabash County Arts Council.

Photographers may enter up to three pieces in the categories of Altered Images, Color, and Black and White (including sepia tones). Entries, which may be in one or all categories, will be received between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, October 7, at the Honeywell Center Skating Rink (below the former gym).

Judging will take place after 2 p.m. October 7, with the selected photography on display from Wednesday, October 9, through Sunday, November 10. The Clark Gallery is open daily from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. A public reception and awards ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Sunday, November 10.

For a full list of guidelines, including submission details and list of prizes, call 260-563-1102 ext. 502, or visit

The Photography Show competition is just one way that the Clark Gallery supports the visual arts. The Clark Gallery hosts more than ten exhibits per year and features students, amateurs, and professionals. Exhibits include the Wabash County Schools, Themed Art Competition, and Wabash Art Guild.  Because the Gallery encompasses the semi-circle of the Honeywell Center Porter Lobby, foot traffic exceeds 150,000 guests per year! Nearly every exhibit hosts a reception to introduce the public to the art.

The Honeywell Center is north central Indiana’s premier arts and entertainment facility with more than 3,000 events and 150,000 visitors annually. Concerts, conferences, charity galas, art exhibits, and educational outreach programs are among the diverse events at the Honeywell Center.

All programs and activities are supported by gifts from individuals, businesses, the Indiana Arts Commission (a state agency) and the National Endowment for the Arts (a federal agency).  The Center is located at 275 W. Market Street in Wabash, Indiana.  For a complete program listing, visit the Honeywell Center Web site at or call 260-563-1102.

Fall Events at Whitewater Valley Railroad in Connersville

September 25, 2013 Leave a comment
Whitewater Valley Railroad Train in Metamora

Whitewater Valley Railroad Train in Metamora.
Photo provided by the railroad and used with written permission.

By William Gray
Whitewater Valley Railroad

Travel Through Time On Indiana’s Most Scenic Railroad

The Whitewater Valley Railroad (WVRR) is an authentic, historic train offering recreational train excursions and events for its 40th operating season in 2013.

Ride the 40th year of the Canal Days Limited to the 45th Annual Canal Days Celebration in Metamora, Indiana on October 4-6, 2013 (see photo above). No need to worry about parking in Metamora. Special excursions will depart Connersville’s Grand Central Station at 10:00 am on Friday October 4 for a two hour layover in Metamora to enjoy the festivities. On Saturday October 5 and Sunday October 6, two trains each day will depart from the Connersville’s Grand Central Station station. The 10:01 am train departure will give passengers four hours to enjoy the festivities and the 12:01 pm train will offer two hours in Metamora. Ticket fares are $22 for adults and $14 for children ages two through twelve.  Tickets are available online at or by calling Connersville’s Grand Central Station at 765-825-2054.

The Canal Days Excursions have become a traditional fall time activity for many local area residents. The WVRR has operated special trains to Metamora Canal Days its entire existence with the first trains being operated in 1974 as a part of the WVRR’s inaugural season. During the 1973 Canal Days Celebration, the recently formed WVRR debuted it forthcoming service by placing one its newly acquired coaches on display near the Metamora Mill. We are very proud to be a part of Canal Days for the past 40 years and look forward to the next 40 years.

The Canal Days Limited is not the only exciting events happening this fall at the Whitewater Valley Railroad during the 40th season.

  • Fall Foliage Flyer – Enjoy the beautiful fall foliage in the Whitewater River Valley between Connersville and Metamora on one of our Fall Foliage Flyer Excursions. This special excursion runs every Thursday and Friday during October, departing the Connersville station at 10:01 am. In Historic Metamora, Visit the working grist mill, restored canal and lock, operating replica horse drawn canal boat, historic covered aqueduct, and over 40 shops and restaurants during the 2 hour layover before your return trip to Connersville. The round trip fares for this train are $22 for adult and $14 for children, one way fares are $16 for adults and $9 for children. 
  • Valley Flyer – Connersville-Metamora – Visit Historic Metamora, Indiana as this train departs from our Connersville depot at 12:01 pm on every Saturday and Sunday in October. Platted in 1838, Metamora is a restored canal town. Visit the working grist mill, restored canal and lock, operating replica horse drawn canal boat, historic covered aqueduct, and over 40 shops and restaurants during the 2 hour layover. Trains consisting of vintage equipment depart Connersville’s Grand Central Station at 12:01 pm on Saturdays & Sundays in October. The Valley Flyer departs Metamora for the return to Connersville at 3:30 pm, arriving at the Connersville Station at 5:00 pm. The round trip fares for this train are $22 for adult and $14 for children, one way fares are $16 for adults and $9 for children. 
  • Twilight Limited Train to Dinner – October 4 and 18, 2013 – The Train to Dinner departs Connersville’s Grand Central Station at 6 p.m. on the first and third Friday during the regular operating season, and travels to the Laurel Hotel. The cost is $29 per adult, $15 for children (special child’s menu) and includes the round trip train ride, the meal, tax and tip. Reservations required. For reservations and schedule call: (765) 825-2054 (Prices may change without notice). 
  • The Statesman with Mr. Lincoln – October 12, 2013 – Travel through time on The Statesman as you spend the day with the 16th President Abraham Lincoln on a relaxing train excursion through the Whitewater Valley. Mr. Lincoln will be riding along as you travel along remnants of the Whitewater Canal to the historic town of Metamora. Ask the former president questions and have your photos taken to preserve the memories. Listen to Mr. Lincoln as he delivers a memorable speech before the train departs Metamora for the return to Connersville. The round trip fares for this train are $22 for adult and $14 for children, one way fares are $16 for adults and $9 for children. Caboose tickets are also available for $25 adult and $16 child on this excursion. 
  • Overland Limited – Wild West Train – October 19-20, 2013 – All Aboard with a western twist. Join the Circle D Rangers as they protect the Metamora bound train on the 3rd Saturday and 3rd Sunday in October. Come and see Bandits, Marshals, Robber Barons, Fancy and some Not So Fancy Women as you roll through the scenic countryside. Trains depart Connersville at 12:01 PM. The round trip fares for this train are $22 for adult and $14 for children, one way fares are $16 for adults and $9 for children. 
  • Pumpkinliner – October 26-27, 2013 – Bring the family out for an afternoon of fun. Enjoy a round trip from our Connersville Grand Central Station to our pumpkin patch. Your train ticket includes round trip service to the pumpkin patch, a hay ride to the patch, and a pumpkin from the field. Trains depart at 10:00 am, 12:30 pm, 2:30 pm and 4:30 pm. Ticket includes a pumpkin for children age 12 and under. Tickets are limited and reservations are recommended.

About the WVRR

Travel through time on Indiana’s most scenic railroad, voted Indiana’s Best Scenic Railway in 2011 and 2013 by The Official Best Of at Established in 1972, the Whitewater Valley Railroad is a nonprofit 501c3 railroad history organization. It is an operating railroad museum dedicated to the preservation of a historic branch line railroad, the restoration of railroad equipment, and to the conduct of railroad educational programs. The railroad is operated by trained volunteers and all proceeds are used to further the organization’s mission. Train operations began in spring 1974 with trips between Connersville, Metamora, and Brookville, Indiana.

Come to Connersville, Indiana and return to a time when the railroad moved the nation and the short line railroad was a small town’s best friend.  The WVRR attracts passengers and railroad enthusiasts from all across the United States and Canada. Connersville is situated 65 miles from Cincinnati, Dayton, and Indianapolis, conveniently located in between the three metro areas.

About Metamora, Indiana

Metamora is Indiana’s treasured 1838 canal town.  Nestled in southeastern Indiana’s beautiful countryside, Metamora is steeped in history and famous for its preservation of Indiana’s oldest and still operating water-powered grist mill. Located 60 miles east of Indianapolis and 35 miles west of Cincinnati, A must see town that retains all of its traditional charm and languid atmosphere. Shop in stores housed in buildings dating back to the early 1800s, eat and above all else… Enjoy the slow relaxing pace of the past! For more information on Historic Metamora, visit Metamora online at

Call 765-825-2054 for more information and reservations or visit the Whitewater Valley Railroad’s web site

‘Fearless Furniture’ Opens at the State Museum, Oct. 5

September 24, 2013 Leave a comment
Indiana State Museum

Indiana State Museum. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Bruce Williams
Indiana State Museum

Daring designs and unparalleled artisanship best describe the fine art furniture presented in Fearless Furniture, the first juried exhibition of its kind opening to the public on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013 at the Indiana State Museum.

Thirty benches, tables, chairs, clocks and more will be featured in this remarkable range of spirited designs by 21 juried and three invited artists all with Indiana connections.

“The show illustrates not only the immensely diverse talent associated with our state, but also the artists’ fearless approaches to making a living from something they love doing,” said Indiana State Museum Decorative Arts and Furniture Curator David Buchanan.

Fearless Furniture will feature several designs that will excite your imagination, including a very modern red aluminum concept chair titled Star Chair, designed by Indianapolis-based furniture maker Glen Fuller and Fluxus, a poplar, glass and steel table inspired by the ebb and flow of the White River by Ball State University Assistant Professor Dustin Headley.

Buchanan tapped internationally-renowned furniture designer Wendy Maruyama to jury the exhibition. As part of the judging criteria, all of the artists needed to have an Indiana connection: either as a native or current resident of the state or trained at one of Indiana’s well-known design programs. Applications were submitted from across the country with the final selection including artists from as far away as Hawaii and Maine.

Maruyama will present a lecture at the museum on Friday, Oct. 11 at 4 p.m. followed by a reception celebrating the opening of the exhibition. Both events are free and open to the public. Due to limited seating, please RSVP to the museum at 317.232.1637.

For more details on the exhibition, please call Indiana State Museum Fine Arts Curator and exhibit spokesman Mark Ruschman at 317-232-1633, or visit the museum Web site at