So named because Dr. Beardsley, who purchased one square mile of land from Pierre Morain, a Pottawaomie Chief for $1,500. Somehow Pierre Morain doesn't sound like a Pottawaomie name, does it? Well, Dr. Beardsley thought that the island at the confluence of the Elkhart and St. Joseph Rivers is said to resemble the shape of an elk's heart, so that's what he named it. Having never seen an elk's heart, I'll just take his word for it. They are very proud of that and have combined the elk and the heart wherever possible.
There are several elks around town, but it's not easy to get a good shot when the truck is speeding past and my shutter finger is too slow.
We drove the 90-mile Heritage Trail through Amish country and were captured by the Bonneyville Mill, the oldest continually operating grist mill in Indiana, producing quality flour for over 150 years. It has a horizontal water wheel, which can produce more horsepower (no horses, just water) than the traditional vertical water wheel. It's now operated by the county parks and the ranger fired it up so we could see corn being ground right before our very eyes. Al bought a bag of what they call yellow grits, but we know it's really polenta.
If you're ever in Middlebury, be sure to stop at Das Dutchman Essenhaus for lunch or dinner. It's Amish style and seats 1,100 so on a busy day serves 7,000 people. They baked a record 2,103 pies in one day. In one week they ups 2,100 dozen eggs, 2,700 pounds of sugar, 3.5 tons of potatoes, 3,600 chickens, 2,090 pounds of roast beef and 2,990 heads of lettuce. Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the beef and noodles served over mashed potatoes. In case you can't decide which starch to choose. Lemon meringue pie just happened to land on our table, too. It's just for research.
The countryside is beautiful, with green everywhere, except in the not-yet-planted fields. We saw several Amish farmers tilling the soil with six horses, right next door to a farm with all the fancy equipment, so it's interesting to see the contrast and how well they all get along.
The quilters are getting ready for their summer displays. They plant gardens in the design of popular quilts, and also hang wooden sign quilts on buildings, but it won't be ready for a couple of weeks. Maybe we'll have to return. Can you join us?