Boutique Hotel Restored to Original 1920s Form
In 1919, the citizens of Wabash, Indiana, became curious about the construction of a grand hotel. Readers of the local newspaper suggested names for the property, from "Hotel Victorious" to "The Wabash Grand" and "The Dream Hotel." The finished product, ultimately called The Indiana Hotel, lived up to its expectations with luxurious terrazzo floors, a basement ballroom, and one of only two passenger elevators in town. Unfortunately, the hotel's glamour faded near the end of the 20th century. It took new ownership and a three-year, $15 million restoration completed in 2010 to return the hotel—now called the Charley Creek Inn—to its 1920s glory. Now featuring a dramatic two-story lobby with chandeliers, a piano bar, antique furnishings, and a glass-enclosed rooftop Cloud Club, the Charley Creek Inn looks poised to reclaim its status as a Wabash landmark.
The boutique hotel decorates 30 guest rooms in regency and Victorian styles. Red-print wallpaper and silk plaid pillows create an elegant country vibe in the one-bedroom suite 405. Dedicated to local literary legend Gene Stratton-Porter, the one-bedroom suite 416 welcomes with a reupholstered Victorian chair and a kitchenette. Rooms also feature exclusive, handmade reversible mattresses with one soft side and one firm side.
On the ground floor, Twenty restaurant begins the day with build-your-own omelets and assorted pancake stacks. Come evening, New Zealand lamb chops and cedar-maple-glazed salmon complement delicious wines. The adjacent Green Hat Lounge nurtures a festive atmosphere with live piano entertainment. An art gallery, an ice cream and candy shop, and other onsite specialty shops offer diversions of their own.
Wabash, Indiana: Historical Town near Lakefront Beauty
Located about 80 miles north of Indianapolis, Wabash shares its name with the Wabash River, which runs through the town on its way east to Ohio. The town became one of the first electrically lit cities in the world in 1880, when thousands watched four Brush arc lamps light up from the county courthouse. Today, the Wabash County Historical Museum re-creates the historic event with an interactive switch. The entire town seems enamored with this time period, as turn-of-the-century buildings line the downtown area, mixed with antique shops hawking midcentury wardrobes and vintage USB drives.
Outdoor enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for hunting, boating, and fishing in north-central Indiana. Take a half-hour drive to Salamonie Lake or Mississinewa Lake, two elongated reservoirs lined with state parks and forests. There, hiking trails surround each waterfront area, rife with whitetail deer, wild turkeys, and fox squirrels.