NOBLE COUNTY, Ind. (WANE) – Explore a dairy barn-turned-winery, 1840s-era home and more landmarks on a tour that highlights history in Noble County.

Tour five sites in Albion, Rome City and Wolcottville on the Noble County Ramble June 17. During the tour, you can enjoy food and drinks from local shops at every stop.

The ramble includes showings of Howard’s Opera House in Albion; the Sower House, Gene Stratton Porter Historic Site, and Sylvan Cellars in Rome City; and the Wolcott House in Wolcottville.

Indiana Landmarks, a nonprofit that restores and repurposes historic spots throughout the state, was involved in preserving several of the sites being featured on the tour, organizers said.

The nonprofit provides some background on each tour stop:

  • Howard’s Opera House, Albion: Constructed in 1884, the Albion Opera House included commercial space on the first floor with a large public space on the second floor that hosted high school graduations, social events and entertainment. Today, the site is home to Newman & Newman Law Offices. Enjoy coffee and sweet and savory pastries provided by The Fox Den at this location.
  • Sower House, Rome City: The Sower House retains all original woodwork and pocket doors from the 1880s, with a restored exterior. Sip iced tea and nosh on fresh strawberries from Wawaka’s Mast Strawberry Farm and pastries from Kendallville’s Whatchama Cakes at this site.
  • Wildflower Woods – Gene Stratton Porter Historic Site, Rome City: Gene Stratton-Porter—a noted author, conservationist, photographer, and illustrator—helped design “The Cabin at Wildflower Woods,” her home on Rome City’s Sylvan Lake, completed in 1914 and situated on 120 acres purchased with money from her writing royalties. The lake and adjacent woods inspired her novels, nature studies, poetry, children’s books, magazine articles, and photography. Refresh yourself with lemonade, savory pinwheels and charcuterie from Avilla’s C & D Catering.
  • Sylvan Cellars, Rome City: Sylvan Cellars began life as the dairy barn for the adjacent Kneipp Springs Sanitarium and Convent. Beginning in 1901, Catholic nuns took over a health resort above Sylvan Lake, operating a spiritual health spa promoting spring water treatments, exercise, and herbal remedies to cure tuberculosis and other maladies. Guests bathed in the springs, drank the waters, and prayed in the chapel and outdoor shrine. The event center will be providing chicken salad sliders, chips and queso, and soda.
  • Wolcott House, Wolcottville: George Wolcott founded his namesake community after settling in the area with his wife, Margaret, in 1837, constructing his home along the Little Elkhart Creek c. 1840. Ever industrious, Wolcott also established several businesses including a sawmill, blacksmith shop, store, farm and cooperage. He also founded a young ladies’ seminary. Enjoy pastries from Shipshewana’s Rise’n Roll Bakery and Middlebury’s Country Lane Bakery and cheese from Middlebury’s Heritage Ridge Creamery.

Tickets for the event are $35 per person. Get details online. Check in at the first stop, now known as Newman and Newman Law Offices, at 107 W. Jefferson St. in Albion to get a map and a program of the tour.

The sites open at 10 a.m. and close at 3 p.m. Tourists should plan on about two hours total to visit all the locations, including the traveling time it takes to get from place to place. Street parking is available at each site, organizers said, and public restrooms are available in Rome City at the Sower House and Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site.