Are you ready to spend a day exploring? I found plenty of things to do in Fulton County – enough for a full day of exploring!
As part of my Explore Indiana project, the latest day trip in Indiana took me to Rochester in Fulton County, IN. Earlier in the year, I had enjoyed one of the best places to eat in Rochester, The Dam Landing and after seeing the lovely views of Lake Manitou I was eager to get back to see what else I could find to do.
There are a few historical things to do in Fulton County
Rain was predicted, so it made sense to start the day at the outdoor historical sites on our list.
Check out the Round Barn Museum in Fulton County
The Round Barn Museum is located just north of Rochester, IN. At one time Indiana had more round barns than any other state in the US. Not only is there one of the few remaining round barns in the US in Fulton County, but we also discovered the Fulton County Museum just a few steps away from the barn.
The museum was interesting, to say the least. I’ve never explored a museum quite like this one … The displays were PACKED full of just about everything you can imagine that you might find in a small Indiana town. It was for sure something to see. I get the feeling that members of the community just donated their collections (or random stuff) and someone took the time to organize them and put it on display.
The museum and the grounds around the barn were quite deserted, but the cost was free, so we poked around both for about an hour. I suspect that the only time this area is busy is when there is an event or festival happening.
Still, it was a unique start to our day of finding things to do in Rochester. I think we’ll be talking about that museum for a while.
Admire the Fulton County Courthouse
The rain hadn’t started yet, so walking around the Fulton County Courthouse was next on the list of things to do in Rochester, Indiana.
Built in 1895 – 1896, the lovely limestone building is a representation of the Richardsonian Romanesque style. There is a monument and information on the lawn about the Potawatomi “Trail of Death”. In 1838, over 850 Potawatomi Indians were forced to relocate from Indiana to Kansas. They walked for 61 days a distance of 660 miles. Many died along the way, hence the name.
The courthouse is located in downtown Rochester – a town that was obviously once thriving but now has quite a few boarded-up buildings. In addition to the courthouse, we did find a boutique and a few local restaurants. Hopefully. more will begin to open soon.
It’s easy to find a great restaurant in Rochester
As I mentioned above, The Dam Landing is an excellent choice, but since we’d visited it already, we wanted to try something new for lunch. And it was hard. Rochester has quite a few viable choices, from an old-fashioned hot dog stand to upscale pub food.
Jarrety’s Place is right downtown, just a block from the courthouse, and with high reviews on Yelp and a busy lunch crowd, it felt like the right choice.
Lunch consists of sandwiches, paninis, soup, salad, and more. Really quite an eclectic menu. We started with a cup of the Baked Potato soup that they are known for (delicious) and then split a huge Panini. Even with splitting, we still had leftovers.
The other great thing about Jarrety’s Place is that it’s also a coffee shop. Plus they have delectable (and huge) desserts. Finding something you love will not be an issue.
Round out the day in Fulton County with antiques
On the way out of town, we stopped at Green Oak Antiques to see what treasures we could find. This unique antique shop is an unusual mix of standard antiques, metal works. new (and gorgeous) wood furniture and floral displays. And much, much more.
Spanning several buildings, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something that would be perfect for your home. It was fun to poke around the place, greet the friendly shop cats and get ideas for home decor and gifts.
Although Fulton County didn’t have as many attractions as some of the other Indiana counties I’ve visited, it was a lovely afternoon, and I’d be happy to stop for a short visit again the next time I’m heading north on US31. I’d especially like to check out The Dam Landing again in the summer when Lake Manitou is hopping – I think it’d be a really fun time!
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