Arts Along the Heritage Trail
We took a tour almost in our own backyard, combining Amish Heritage and The Arts.
We first made a stop at the Elkhart Visitor's Center to pick up our step-on guide and see the unique quilt exhibits inside the center. Our next stop was Bonneyville County Park. With this lovely park being so close, I'm almost ashamed to say I had never been there. They have magnificent Dahlia garden which consists 3 specimens each of 100 varieties of Dahlias.
All along the way, we were treated to viewing several of the Stewart sculptures strategically place throughout the county, as well as some of their quilt gardens.
Our next stop was at one of my favorite artisan's woodworking shop who make coffins and caskets. You are more than welcome to make your purchase there at wholesale prices and not pay the markup at the funeral homes. One of our local funeral homes purchase their caskets from this Amish man.
If you lift the lining, you will see the "bedding" is shredded paper - furnished to him by Cardinal Buses.
A Jewish coffin.
Some of his stock on hand.
We then hopped over to The Carriage House in Topeka or lunch. The Joneses is my favorite Amish home at which to eat. Lunch consisted of homemade bread, peanut butter spread, apple butter, 2 salads, and chicken noodle soup, followed by ice cream and homemade caramel sauce.
I always start digging in before I remember to take pictures. These are two wonderful salads!
A Clydesdale out in the back.
Our next stop was Crystal Hope Workshop for special needs adults. These adults do small tasks for some large corporations, such as folding cardboard corners to put on doors, mirrors, etc. to be shipped.
Package mud flaps and instructions.
Then it was on to Bender Camel Dairy Farm. They not only sell camel milk, but also camel milk lotions, soaps., etc. Did you know that a baby camel must be standing next to its mother before the mother's milk will drop for milking?
Our next stop was Teaberry Wood Products where they make magnificent wood puzzles and baskets.
This basket was Basket #4,000 that she had made. It was given to Karleen, our step-on guide, for encouraging them to start hosting tours and for Karleen bringing so many groups to their woodshop.
Next we made a stop at Dutch Country Market and Katie's Noodles for a little shopping break and to view a quilt garden.
Our next stop was Linton's Enchanted Gardens.
It was then time for dinner at the coolest eclectic restaurant - Wood and Gage, named after the street corner. It was whimsically decorated and has little nooks and crannies with dining tables.
En route to take Karleen back to the visitor's center, we saw several more sculptures and quilt gardens.
Note where they have placed the below sculpture.
Marcia shows the height of this sculpture.
Who knew there was so much talent in our own backyard!