The Barker Mansion and Civic Center is one of Michigan City’s historical treasures. It is a turn of the twentieth century museum erected during the same time as our bed and breakfast, Tryon Farm Guest House. Charles C. Tryon built our farmhouse in 1896. The Barker Mansion, owned by John H Barker, was completed a few years later in 1905. One gentleman was a farmer, the other a millionaire industrialist, who made his fortune in freight railcars.
This innkeeper enjoys being a tourist in my own hometown so I visited the Barker Mansion over the recent holiday. When you live like a local, you gain an appreciation for places to recommend to guests. This visit is highly recommended. I loved seeing the opulent furnishings and original period valuables brought back by the Barkers from their European travels, the french china, large tapestries, and original light fixtures. The Tryon house was one of the first homes in Michigan City with indoor plumbing, one bathroom. The mansion has ten bathrooms.
The enthusiastic tour historians share what life in our northwest Indiana region was like during this period. Economic modernization and rural agriculture created a life of contrasts not unlike what we see today. The Indiana Dunes at the north end of Michigan City had a mile high sand dune called the Hoosier Slide. In the early 1900’s it was the most significant natural landmark in Indiana, and rose two hundred feet tall. Over a period of thirty years this sand was mined by glass companies removing millions of tons of sand. The dune is gone today. If you visit the Barker Mansion you’ll learn about the legacy of the Hoosier Slide.
Our region has a fascinating heritage, which local officials are happy to celebrate a promote. A trip to Michigan City can be more than shopping, beaches, wine tasting, and great restaurants. Although those things are pretty special, a look at what helped create the blessings we call HOME is a very wonderful way to spend the day. We’re happy to share it with you. Visit https://www.barkermansion.com to learn more.