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Hesters / LeBlanc 1832 Historic Site Of Walkerton

By Jessica Nunemaker - Little Indiana

Way, way back! In 1832, before Indiana was "Indiana," Annette Hesters’ family, the LeBlanc’s, settled what would later become part of the Walkerton area. Today, you can visit Hesters Log Cabins of Walkerton which is an assortment of outbuildings restored as different vintage living spaces, and a nice big barn during one of her incredible events.

Annette Hesters poses at the Walkerton museum. (Photo courtesy of Towne Post Network)

As it very often is in small towns, sometimes finding a new place to visit happens out of the blue! Such was the case when I popped into "The New Kitchen Store" in Walkerton. When I’m revisiting a place and I’ve got a bit of extra time on my hands, I like to check in and see how things are going. Really, I just love seeing familiar faces! It’s so nice after a day spent exploring and meeting a ton of great, new people. Well, while shopping at The New Kitchen Store on Liberty St. Phyllis, the manager and I were chatting when the phone rang–and it just so happened to be the owner of Hesters Log Cabins! That gave her the idea to see if I could head out there and check it out in order to share it with all of you. Am I glad I did!

The Castle at the Hesters Farm.

Set back from the road, it’s easy to find once you know what you are doing, not that I had to make a couple calls or pull over a few times to figure things out. Pull into the long, long driveway and get ready for some great Indiana history going back to local Odawa Tribe and the LeBlanc family trapping and trading with them there. It may have been the original area trading post?

(Photo courtesy of Towne Post Network)

(Photo courtesy of Towne Post Network)

(Photo courtesy of Towne Post Network)

Irish settler cabin.

The owner, Annette Hesters is just the nicest lady. It was her birthday yet, she still took the time to not only walk us all around the property, but to answer the boys’ endless questions. She even played a few rounds of the player-piano including "Hello, Dolly!" (a phrase my maternal grandpa used to say to me as a greeting!) She quizzed my oldest kid on a few items–but after all of our travels, he knew all of them but, one! Yay!

Annette Hesters.

We got started at the small outbuildings. When they are opened, they reveal a peek into what an old fashioned school would have looked like. This one was the size of what a family of Irish folks would have lived in back in the day. Very cramped quarters indeed! Our oldest thought that was very interesting–and did not like that idea one bit.

The big barn is awesome. It serves as the focal point for the many events held throughout the year here at Hesters Farm. From the "Spring Fling" each May that celebrates pre-1840 life to the "June Berry Feis," a Medieval to 1840 event, or to the "Freedom Fest" during the Fourth of July, to the "Fall Americana 1800," an annual October event that again exhibits pre-1840 life. Her yard becomes a massive campground.

Pics from some of the various festivals at the Hesters Farm.

Folks come from everywhere to participate in the activities. Everyone cooks over an open fire, carries water, spins wool into yarn, or hammers iron into useful items. There’s still time for fun with muzzle shooting, iron skillet/rolling pin toss, hawk/knife, period music, and plenty more!

Hesters Log Cabins of Walkerton were a joy to explore without any special events! I can only imagine the fun and excitement of experiencing a rendezvous when the grounds are filled with people all dressed up and ready to go.

- By Jessica Nunemaker, Little Indiana

Hester’s Farm Museum 71880 State Road 23 Walkerton, Indiana 46574 574.586.2105

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