Start your day off in Claypool, Indiana at Red’s Sweets! Experience the amazing, wonderful world of a small town sweet shop.
Kosciusko County’s secret cakeball recipe is kept in the 1900 bank vault of the former Peoples Bank of Claypool. Guests will hear from Connie (aka “Red”) about her passion for baking and how and why she started making cakeballs. During her demonstration, she gets railroaded by a train engineer as he shares with guests the train history of the town of Claypool.
Red’s Sweets serves fresh donuts, donut holes, cannoli’s, cupcakes, delicious pastries and coffee daily. All treats are made with the finest quality and each and every cakeball is hand-rolled. Their sweet treats are a delicious way to say thanks or celebrate. Each guest will take with them sweet memories and a box of cakeball samples.
Located on the outskirts of Claypool is the world’s largest integrated soybean processing biodiesel plant. Louis Dreyfus Commodities proudly converts American soybeans to fuel that feeds the world.
Due to safety and liability reasons, your group will not be able to tour the facility; however, a representative of the plant will step onto the motorcoach and talk about when this facility opened in 2006. You will learn how they process 50 million bu of soybeans annually, produce 1 million tons of soybean meal (animal feed) and produce 90 million gallons of biodiesel. Located on 275 acres, they utilize 2 locomotives and 1000 rail cars, have a waste water treatment plant and unload 500 semis of soybeans per day.
Your third stop of the morning will be just a few miles down the road in Silver Lake at Splendor Boats, LLC. Splendor Boats is a small family business that manufactures and sells full-planing catamaran deck boats factory direct.
Splendor Boats is home of the original catamaran boat. Your group will start in the show room and get to look at the different finished deck boats, cubby cabins, runabouts, and pontoon boat options on display.
Then they will take your group through the factory where you’ll get to watch craftsmen and women demonstrate how a fiberglass boat is made. You will see each station from start to finish and be able to ask questions along the way.
After leaving Silver Lake, head into Warsaw and have lunch at Creighton Brother’s Crazy Egg Cafe. The lunch options at the Crazy Egg Cafe offer a wide selection of salads, tasty entreès and sides, including their famous Not Your Mama’s Meatloaf. They have daily bakery items and the coffee bar features many coffee, tea and smoothie selections. They also offer nut-free and gluten-free options!
The Creighton family arrived and began farming and other jobs in the greater Atwood area around 1850. Three generations later Hobart & Russell Creighton invested their families’ future in 1200 white leghorn pullets. Since that time, the farm has continued to grow conservatively to a capacity of 3 million laying hens, over 9,000 acres of farm ground, our own feed mill, egg processing for over two million eggs daily, and 5 generations of family ownership!
After your group has finished eating, they will watch a video and learn about the history of how the family farm began. Before you leave, take time to browse the gift shop full of fun t-shirts, sweatshirts, baseball caps, travel mugs and much more! Or just enjoy the ambiance and relax by the fireplace with a salted caramel mocha or a pumpkin spice latte.
Then your group will end their first day at Explorer Van Company. Explorer Van, Inc. is a leader in the conversion van industry, that makes America’s #1 Chevrolet, GMC, and Ford conversion vans. Explorer Van produces over 250 vans a month. Your group will visit all twenty stations from start to finish and watch how a hollowed-out shell of a van transforms into a beautiful luxurious conversion van.
After a long first day, your group will be ready to head back to the hotel to rest just long enough to get ready for dinner. Dinner for tonight will be at Stacy’s in Leesburg. Stacy’s is a family-owned bar and restaurant for over 40 years. Serving the “lakes area” and surrounding cities with steaks, seafood and home cooking. Your group will feel comfortable wearing a shirt and tie or shorts and t-shirt in this friendly hometown atmosphere.
On Day 2, your group will visit with Robert Kline, a model train collector, and see what started as a small hobby of model trains has evolved into one of the rarest model train collections in the area. The layout encompasses a 25′ X 40′ space with 932′ of track, 5 digitalized sounding boards and hand painted murals displaying 1,000 square feet of space.
L. B. & W. C. Rail Lines and Museum (Laid Back & Who Cares) is a H.O. scale model railroad museum that opened in 1997. Upon entering the room, your group will see a city come to life with digitized train tracks accompanied with sound effect buttons that you push at each section of the tracks. As your group walks around the actual railroad struts and tracks, they will hear the sounds of the train engines blowing their whistles and chugging along. Both steam engines and diesel locomotives are displayed. The layout is fully landscaped with detailed scenes, included a harbor with a ship yard.
Kline’s passion has attracted school kids, church groups and senior citizen tours, from around the world for two decades. The building is heated and air conditioned with a restroom that is handicap accessible. There is ample parking for buses. Storyteller, Gary Miniear, is also available for railroad and train story-telling at the L.B. & W.C. Rail Museum from his experience working for Eerie, Eerie Lackawanna, Conrail, Tippecanoe, and Logansport & Eel River. Gary dresses up in a full conductor’s outfit that belonged to his uncle who was a train conductor.
The second stop of the morning will be at the Warsaw Cut Glass Company. Opening its doors in 1911, the master glass artisan painstakingly hand-cut each piece of crystal on belt-driven wheels. This technique of free-hand design makes each piece a true original. The technique and equipment have remained unchanged and so has the product.
Warsaw Cut Glass has only changed ownership three times in the company’s history. Always remaining inside the firm, always in the hands of practicing craftsmen dedicated to preserving the art. Today, Warsaw Cut Glass, it is one of the last American facilities practicing the art of cutting glass. Known by celebrities, Presidents, Kings and Queens world-wide, all the famous have purchased pieces from this local artisan store.
Your group will be able to watch a demonstration in small groups of 8-10 people at a time while the rest shop through the vast pieces of etchings in nature; blue heron, dragon flies, birds, and many varieties of flowers of all types with reasonably priced glass pieces.
Your group will then venture just a few blocks away into downtown Warsaw to MudLove, the third stop of the morning. MudLOVE is a clay product shop where you can see their unique process of creating handmade wristbands, jewelry, mugs, and more! Your group will hear their story of how they got started in a tiny garage in 2009 and has now grown into what you will see today. You will get to see the staff work on their craft while you shop!
If you want to place a custom order, MudLOVE will happily customize a band and have it mailed to you. 20% of all sales support new and the repair of water wells in the Central African Republic. This helps give thousands of Africans clean drinking water! This company is truly one-of-a-kind with a fun, young-spirited atmosphere and inspiring products that Starts with Mud and Ends with Love.
Your group will then load the bus and leave downtown Warsaw and head to North Webster for lunch at Maria’s House of Pancakes & Restaurant. Maria’s lunch offers a variety of salads, burgers, sandwiches, fruit platters, and specialties from around the world. Breakfast is served all day!
After lunch, your group will enjoy a boat ride on the DIxie Boat! There’s no better way to spend the afternoon than on a boat ride tour of Webster Lake. You will take a leisurely cruise aboard the Dixie Boat, Indiana’s oldest sternwheel sightseeing boat that’s been plying the waters of Webster Lake since 1929. You will enjoy the narration (with music) of historic facts and intriguing legends as you learn about Lake Webster’s hidden treasures. Such as the island house where a Governor once lived, the island cottage with a tree growing through the roof and the locations of legendary visits by famous gangesters Al Capone and John Dillinger!
You never know what you might see while on the Dixie! You might possibly even see a barefoot water skier during your cruise! The Dixie is totally restored and now on the National Register of Historic Places. The Dixie can accommodate groups of up to 130 people and offers public cruises Memorial Day through Labor Day.
After the boat docks, your group can walk or load back on the bus to head two blocks away to Sheila’s Ice Cream Parlor. What better way to end your day with an ice cream treat!
Have a safe trip home!
To view a current Kosciusko County Group Planner with a complete listing of attractions, entertainment, dining prices/options and lodging options, please click here. Contact Tina to discuss this tour and to customize a tour for your group!