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Saturday, August 25, 2012

Berne, IN

Berne is a small town located in Adams county, Indiana with a population of just over four thousand. The town was founded in 1852 and is very proud of it's Swiss heritage.  Many of the commercial buildings in Berne have a "swiss" themed facade, lots of chalets style buildings with half-timbered exteriors. Even the Mc Donalds has a "swiss" look with it half-timbered siding. In the center of Berne is the clock tower, it is a new construction, and is a replica of the Zytglogge in Bern Switzerland.  The clock tower in Berne, IN is called The Munsterberg Clock Tower, after the first group of Mennonite settlers who hailed from the Jura region in Switzerland.
There are many things to see and do in Berne which  makes it a good destination for an afternoon trip.  Yesterday Emily and I took the boys to Berne. When we arrived in town we stopped at a locally owned grocery store and picked up some yogurt, bananas and granola bars for a picnic and then asked for directions to the town park.  We stopped at Lehman park, a pleasant tree shaded space with plenty of picnic tables and lots of fun stuff for children to play on. There is a nice mix of old and new playground equipment,  the boys enjoyed the old style stuff the best, the very tall slide, the witches hat spinning thing, the teeter-totter, after a bit we left and headed to the Berne Chamber of Commerce/Visitors Center. The lady at the Visitor Center was very helpful and thought we would enjoy the Swiss Heritage Village, she also mentioned that there is a splash pad by the clock tower and good ice cream available at The White Cottage ice cream shop. We headed off to the Swiss Heritage Village, the boys were free, adult entry was $6/person.  We joined in the tour and had a pleasant stroll around the grounds.  All of the buildings were moved to the site, a school house, doctors office, church, farm house, cheese house, cider mill, barn, and log cabin. Many of the buildings were moved in one piece even the huge barn!.  The cider press was impressive, hand built at least 150 years ago, it is said to be the oldest, largest, working cider press in the world and the Smithsonian was going to take it for exhibit.  The main part of the press is the press, a 4000 lb chunk of oak that is raised and lowered by a hand carved wooden screw that is at least 8 feet long and probably a foot in diameter.  On September 8 they will be making apple cider with the press.
As it was a very warm day we were ready for some refreshment after our tour so we headed back to town sample the ice cream at The White Cottage, we each enjoyed a cone.. The shops claim to fame is that they have twenty-four flavors of soft serve ice cream! I stuck with plain vanilla, Emily tried the german chocolate cake flavor and said it was good.
On the way out of town we stopped at the Cheese Shop, it is the retail outlet for a local cheese maker, unfortunately due to board of health regulations there are no longer tours of the cheese factory. I picked out a few cheeses, Gouda, and then a couple of cheeses with extras added, one had cranberries and slivered almonds added, and the other sun-dried tomatoes and pine nuts. I have to mention here that my most favorite cheese ever found on an outing  is Fruit Cake cheese, my sister and I discovered this amazing cheese in a grocers shop in Lavenham, England. Oh how we enjoyed that cheese with some good bread and  a glass of wine on the train ride back to London, but that is another story for another day.
Here are some pictures of our outing to Berne, IN.

The brick school house, moved in one piece to this location, still with the original bell.
The windmill to pump the water.

Fels Naptha Soap box, I like this because I use Fels Naptha soap to make our laundry detergent.

The very pretty fenced "four square" garden in front of the farm house.

What a glorious beast of a cook stove, I would love to have an opportunity to cook on one of these things.

A nice example of an English pieced quilt.

Emily and the boys took advantage of the golf cart on the tour.

The massive wooden screw to lower the 4000 lb press.

The press log, made of white oak taken from a tree that was at least 350 years old when it was cut down.

The cutesy cabin in the woods.

Emily enjoying her german chocolate cake ice cream cone.

The post office in the "chalet" style.

Bixler Insurance Agency getting into the "swiss" style.

The White Cottage ice cream shop proudly announcing it has 24 flavors of soft serve.

The clock tower.

And last but not least, the Cheese Co.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Now that was a nice visit! I enjoyed it greatly!

Pen Wilcock said...

Oh, that wonderful cook stove!

Rebecca said...

I haven't been down there for quite some time - lots of new stuff, apparently! (My sister married a man from Berne.....)

Re. the gardens - Right along 37/Stellhorn where you turn into the IPFW campus. They really ARE wonderful. You'd like it!

Bean said...

Hi Everyone,
I will certainly pay a visit to the gardens, now I have directions I know exactly where they are.

Went to the Old Fort Wayne, in Fort Wayne today and watched a cool reenactment of a battle from the mid 1700's put on by the Fort Miamies. Lots of fun, lots of black powder muskets and cannons going off. I took lots of pics and will upload to the blog in a day or two.


A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

I think it would be fun to live in a small town. Our town is probably around 65,000. It seems small to me.. compared to where we've lived before. You can get from one side to the other in less than minutes. :-)

Rebecca said...

Any chance that you have the Hawk and the Dove books (or the one volume trilogy)? I'd like to read them. I can check the library if you don't have them available for loaning out :)

I read an excerpt on Amazon and think I'd REALLY like to read these books.

Bean said...

I don't own any, but they do have them at the main library, they are well written and a good read.
I plan to order the trilogy in the near future.


kat said...

Wow, you've just reminded me of some cheese I had in New Zealand, many years ago. It was called cassata and had bits of candied fruit in it and was delicious, I've never seen it again so make do with Wensleydale and Cranberry!!
Love that beautiful stove, though I suspect feeding it fuel would be a hard task!

A Woman that Fears the Lord said...

Bean.. I've been unable to post replies on my blog. Do you know how I can contact someone to fix the problem?

Bean said...

Hi Living on Less Money,

I do not know who you could contact. I am not sure if there is a blogger help line. You might try doing a google search, simply search your question, I did this once for another issue I was having and found my answer.