Every time the Darke County Historical Society unearths a new finding, there’s a good chance that the public’s first look at it will come in the exhibition halls of Greenville’s Garst Museum. More than 300,000 American artifacts fill the museum's six wings, many of which were discovered—or rediscovered, as the case may be—over the course of the society's archeological digs, genealogical research, and historic preservation activities.
Among the century-spanning exhibits, the softer side of sharpshooter Annie Oakley unfolds in the Coppock Wing, and antique cannonballs and Humvees speak of the wartime exploits of General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Down on the first floor, a painting of Chief Tarhe, Grand Sachem of the Wyandots, presides over a collection that focuses on America during the 1700s but leaves room for anachronistic elements such as mastodon bones. The newest exhibit, "Diversity in Darke County: The Story of Longtown," celebrates local history with its visual chronicle of a tri-racial settlement in Greenville.
Aside from the main two-story brick Colonial home—which was built as an inn in 1852, according to Touring Ohio—the society and the museum maintain several properties of historic note. A free, self-guided tour of Bear's Mill and its 800-foot water channel can be capped with a cup of gourmet coffee, and the Lowell Thomas house provides insights into the childhood of the broadcaster and adventurer who once famously dined with the Prince of Wales inside an actual whale.
A fresco of French romantic painter Eugène Delacroix's Liberty Leading the People crowns The Inn At Versailles's stone fireplace. The mural's subject raises a fist clenching the French flag into the sky. Her gesture symbolizes the inn's rise from the ashes and unites its European-inspired artworks, many of which were painted locally.
A calamitous fire ravaged the village of Versailles in 1901, destroying six blocks of businesses and 38 homes. As residents rebuilt, they paid architectural homage to their town's namesake palace and to the Europe of the early 1900s. Since 1993, The Inn At Versailles has taken part in the European tradition with its vintage environs.
Local artists have ornamented nearly every room with original murals, frescoes, and prints inspired by Gallic culture at the turn of the century. The inn's guest rooms and suites join the elegance of ornate chandeliers, four-poster beds, and fireplaces with the modern pizzazz of TVs and WiFi access.
Complimentary continental breakfast every morning gives way to upscale lunch and dinner served at the onsite restaurant, Michael Anthony's at The Inn. Chef Michael Delligatta crafts upscale Italian fare bolstered by an international wine list that has garnered Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence every year since 2007. Visitors may carry their revelry to a nearby winery or one of the many other attractions in the village of Versailles.
The website iCampIndiana.com works to connect patrons with campgrounds that can be reached in an easy drive from Fort Wayne. Lines splash into the water off the fishing pier at Atwood Lake Campground, and faraway chatter drifts across the wooded hillsides from the clubhouse and game room. At Fox Lake Campground, campers pitch tents near a swimming hole on the site of a former farm. Water and electricity hookups at all locations provide a respite from primitive camping and allow campers to impress any Victorian time travelers who show up.
Jason and Jenni Blackburn of Belle Fiole Tanning take the guesswork?and much of the risk?out of UV tanning. First, they perform a skin analysis to assess the skin's sensitivity to UV rays. With that info in mind, they tailor sessions in their advanced tanning beds to individual needs. These sessions are designed to allow pigments time to develop naturally, increasing skin's resistance to UV light. This step helps reduce the incidence of burning and skin damage?both common issues for people who tan on their own.
At Aunt Katie's, the walls covered in black-and-white photos of women in baseball uniforms and team rosters filled with women's names. The eponymous Aunt Katie is Katie Horstman, who was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1988 to commemorate her contribution to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which the movie A League of Their Own made famous. The decor complements the menu of traditional cooking. Prime rib, lobster tails, and breaded pork chops comfort appetites better than a deep-fried Snuggie.
Licensed massage therapist Carmen Denham believes massages should be enjoyed by everyone, not just by the wealthy or fancy loaves of bread. That's because, for her, massages are a legitimate form of physical therapy. In addition to relaxing tension, they have been shown to help improve sleep, relieve headaches and promote blood circulation. Carmen aims to achieve these benefits by customizing each of her five modalities to clients' needs.