• Pokagon State Park toboggan

    Toboggan Run at Pokagon State Park

    The toboggan at Pokagon State Park is open weekends the day after Thanksgiving through Sunday, Feb. 25, 2018. 

    Toboggans rent for $13 per hour, which includes tax. (The price subject to change without notice). They hold up to four people. The normal gate fee of $7 per Indiana car and $9 per out-of-state car will be assessed.

    Regular hours of operation are 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday and holidays. There are extended weekday hours during winter break. The ¼-mile track is also open Martin Luther King Day and Presidents Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

    You must use one of the park’s toboggans. Children can ride, as long as they are old enough to follow instructions. If temperatures drop to 0 degrees F, the toboggan will close. No cameras or video equipment is allowed on the ride. No group reservations, group rates or all-day rentals are allowed. A valid driver’s license is required to rent toboggans. Cash, check and Visa/MasterCard are accepted.

    On Friday nights (except during Christmas break) enjoy a discount: rent two toboggans, get one free!

    Call (260) 833-2012 for more information.

  • Our Town’s History

    Our Town’s History

    By  on Jul 19, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments


    The note came in the middle of January. At first, I thought it was a scam email offering me a million dollars if I were to send out my social security number and my bank routing information. The subject line was in large print: MEREDITH.
    Curiosity does funny things, and while I secretly wish the Duke of Any Country would find me a great recipient and care taker of money, I know better. But, one never knows. I open the email.
    I blink and read it twice before I realize the weight of the note, the importance of the note and how it was worth more than the million dollars offered to me by the Duke.
    Meredith writes that she and her mother, both from the Phoenix area, are descendants of the Hendry family and they would like to know more about them. She came across my writings of Louisa Gale Hendry through KPC. I sat quietly for a few moments letting this story sink in for me.
    It is no secret that I love my town and the history behind it. During the Angola Carnegie Library Centennial Celebration, I portrayed Louisa Gale Hendry at the library. I enjoyed researching her and learned all I could with the help of Peg Dilbone, our county historian.
    I wrote back immediately. We chatted through a few more emails until I got the note that she and her mother Yvonne and sister Claudia would come here to Angola to see their family history with their own eyes.
    I took my note up to the library and found Peg, as usual, working away. We sat knee to knee talking about this event. Peg had already made a list of all the places we should go. Even Peg’s list made my head swim a little.
    “We can’t possibly do all of that in two days!” I remarked to her.
    But Peg has an uncanny way of raising her eyebrows to adversity. I just had to smile.
    A few more emails, a few more months and the day has come. I want the day to be beautiful with blue skies, wispy clouds, and a cool breeze coming off of our 101 lakes.
    It is not to be so. It is gray and rainy with high humidity, but nothing could daunt away the excitement I feel in meeting the Hendrys. There is so much to show them and so many stories to tell them.
    Peg and I meet them at the Potawatami Inn, they are staying at Pokagon, for breakfast. When I arrive, there are two large gifts bags at the table of three women. Who needs the sunshine where there are three smiling Hendry women? We become instant friends talking a mile a minute, all of us.
    Peg tells stories. I tell stories. They tell stories. They put a photo of Yvonne’s mother on the table as a mascot. She is beautiful. We sit for two hours talking over coffee. They buy our breakfasts and give us the gifts from their home in Phoenix.
    Finally, we make a plan. We will do a drive through of Angola. They arrived late in the evening and have not even seen the town yet. I am bursting with excitement as if it were Christmas morning with packages strewn across the living room. I want to shout to our server, “The Hendrys are here! The Hendrys are here.” But I know she wouldn’t know what I was even talking about.
    We begin our drive through, starting with Trine University and weaving through the town. We stop in front of the court house and Peg and I tell stories of the circle and share stories about our monument. I feel as if I can’t talk fast enough to get all the stories in.
    We leave the square and head over to Hendry Park School. I take their photo in front of the school. I must confess that a pang of jealousy hits my heart as I wish my family had a school named after us. We go by the old Hendry site and house, the Hendry flats, the location of the old Hendry Hotel and talk about the fire. We head over to the fire station for photos.
    I am dropped off before they meet Amy Oberlin for a story as they head to the cemetery.
    Yes, the Hendrys are here. I can’t stop thinking about them, and yes, I am in love all over again with my town’s history.

  • Wild Winds Buffalo Preserve

    buffalo runningWild Winds has more than 400 acres of rolling Indiana prairie, natural waterways, lakes, birds and is home to approximately 250 bisons. Tours are available via open-air vehicle or by horseback. The log-hewn bed and breakfast offer unique lodging, along with safari tents out in the fields. Stop in the gift shop for buffalo meat and hand-crafted items. Each spring and fall, Wild Winds hosts a free popular 1840's encampment rendezvous. 

  • Angola Balloons Aloft

    The Little Bees and the Butterfly return!

    10906308 766647100057175 7851383218980243677 nWelcome to the 8th Annual Angola Balloons Aloft Official website.  The Balloons Aloft Event Committee is planning another exciting year with some amazing entertainment in the sport of hot air balloons and family fun.  The balloon pilots returning to Angola this year are some of the country's finest pilots and will be competing for cash and prizes in this annual invitational while they fill the sky with their dazzling display of colorful balloons. Phil Clinger, Competition Director, will be putting together another exciting Hot Air Balloon Competition for 2017!

    Other entertainment for 2017 will include remote controlled aerial displays, an expanded Kid's Fun Zone, helicopter rides, skydiving, classic car and tractor show and food and retail vendors.   Weather conditions permitting, there will be launches on Friday and Saturday mornings and evenings, with night time illuminations scheduled on both Friday and Saturday. 

  • Sandbar

    There’s a well-known hangout in Steuben County that’s like no other. From a distance it looks like a rag-tag armada has assembled on Lake James. The Sandbar,well-known to locals, is one of those something-for- everyone kind of places. Think tailgating meets three and a half feet of water in a good way. Okay sometimes it’s a little deeper depending on where you park. But the point is, it’s a huge party all summer long.

    Best of all it’s free, you’ll always find friends (whether you bring them with you or make them there), and best of all it’s open just about any time and any day of the week-- though weekends are the best of all.

    In between the dogs in life jackets, jet skis, and barrage of foam floats, you can find everyone from bikini-clad co-eds partying it up to grandchildren and Papa barbecuing on the boat. Packing a cooler before you head for the hotspot is a must. But if you don’t bring your own snacks— it’s not a problem. That’s what The Galley is for. The aquastaurant—a floating drive thru—has all sorts of beachy foods to temp the taste buds from bacon burgers, to chicken, hotdogs, and drinks.

    Very often live music plays on a floating stage—but even when the musicians go home there’s always plenty of music blasting.

    The best way to visit is in your own boat or that of a friends’. Barring that (pun intended) you can always rent a boat for the afternoon or better yet the whole day. The Corner Landing rents pontoons and fishing boats. Potawatomi Inn Beach also has a few pontoon rentals. Worse case scenario, there paddleboats for rent too. So one could always peddle on over. This is how my son and I first discovered The Sandbar about 10 years ago. Though, doing this is a last resort as rentals are timed could get expensive. But hey, it’s a way to get an up close look and make plans for a longer stay.

    As with most lakes, Lake James has several great little sandbars perfect for anchoring and getting out for a swim. But ‘The Sandbar’—the one that gets its own ‘the’ in front of it, is located just west of Pokagon State Park’s Potawatomi Inn Beach east of the public beach at Pokagon State Park. (You must go by water. There is no public route by land.)

    Steuben Sand Bar bErika Celeste is an award-winning journalist who has worked in radio, print, television, and marketing. She owns and operates New Moon Media Group where she’s written several documentaries and books.