Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scenes from... Kokomo, Indiana

This weekend was our first trip to Kokomo ever. We enjoyed being tourists and here we share what we found that we think are worth a look for anyone else who wants to take a day trip to the "City of Firsts".

We drove by, but didn't go into, the Elwood Haynes museum that is in his former residence. While his former home is quite lovely,

we didn't think it was a jaw-droppingly stunning as the Seiberling Mansion. We were starting to lose a little steam in the afternoon so we thought that we just might make the Seiberling a drive-by kind of visit and not go inside. We passed pretty homes along West Sycamore and we expected that it would just be a slightly more grand variation of those. However, once we came to the Seiberling Mansion, we were awestruck and knew we had to stop and go inside. Visiting hours are 1PM- 4PM, Tuesday- Sunday so be sure to time your trip so that you can visit this staggeringly beautiful place. Once you make your way from the parking lot in the back to the front door via the gorgeous wrap around porch, you just sign the register, a volunteer hands you a pamphlet about the place, tells you a little about its history, and then you guide yourself through the rooms at your leisure, reading informative plaques along the way. We appreciated that is was a self-guided tour. We also appreciated the amazing design and woodwork in the mansion. There are 3 floors to wander with the top floor being the ballroom. It was just stunning and absolutely worth the modest $4 admission fee.

The Carriage House:
Side view from the garden:
Garden statue:
Upstairs foyer:

Dining room:

Detail of one of the upstairs fireplaces:

While a relative of ours was running with the bulls in Pamplona last week (!), we decided to visit a bit more of a sedated steer. "Old Ben" is a stuffed steer in Kokomo's Highland Park. He was born just north of Kokomo in 1902 and grew to 4700 pounds! In 1910, he slipped on some ice, broke a leg, and had to be euthanized. A taxidermist stuffed him and he now rests here. It's just one of those quirky Americana attractions that we love. He's behind glass so we got the best picture that we could.
Glass lovers (or those who buy gifts for glass lovers) will want to be sure to stop by the Op Shop. It is the retail division of the famous Kokomo Opalescent Glass Company.

We ended our visit to Kokomo with some browsing (and a little Christmas gift shopping) at the expansive Treasure Mart Antique Mall at 116 Alto Road. We didn't bring home the pricey terra cotta warrior but we thought he was cool.

These are just some cute retro signs we liked near US 31:


jdb said...

Oh man, my old stomping grounds (sorta - I grew up just south of there in northern Tipton County). I never went into the Seiberling Mansion, but it IS a beautiful building.

"Old Ben" is freaking HUGE, but you didn't post a picture of the giant stump! Yeah, two of Kokomo's most famous things are a giant bull and a giant tree stump.

Nice picture of the Treasure Trash Mart Mall, which is apparently now in a building that used to be a skating rink and gymnastics center. Lots of elementary school skating parties were held there, and it was the site of me embarassing myself a) on skates and b) around girls multiple times.

LaFountain Square was the old 50's strip mall that used to house my first ISP, NetUSA1, if I remember correctly.

WYA! said...

Yes, that Sycamore stump was very impressive but it was so dark that we thought there was no way it would come out in a photo.

mheidelberger said...

Kokomo has some cool places.

I always remember the first thing I would always see when coming into town(as a kid) was a tall checkered gas cylinder that could be seen from US 31; which is now gone. Not necessarily a pretty structure, but very familiar with Kokomo.