The Nappanee Center makes a logical first stop for first-time Amish Country visitors. This white building houses the Chamber of Commerce and a history museum and provides information about the summer Amish Acres Arts and Crafts Festival, the fall Apple Festival, and Amish Country Quilt Garden sites. (Kids keep busy checking out Smokey Stover’s fire engine while parents browse brochures.)
The compact museum takes in the Hartman house, a Queen Anne-style home filled with original furnishings and memorabilia from one of Nappanee’s founding families. An exhibit of original Hoosier cabinets and dinette sets made at the nearby Coppes Cabinet Factory traces the evolution of handcrafted kitchen furniture through more than 140 years. An extensive display of quilts showcases this traditional textile art form; many Nappanee families have donated quilts detailing their heritage in stitched panels.
Museum visitors can also learn all about six notable newspaper and magazine cartoonists who hail from Nappanee—the best known being Merrill Blosser, author of the long-running “Freckles and His Friends” comic strip.