Our first overnight stop on the return home from Wisconsin took us to the town of Jasper, Indiana. We chose Jasper primarily because it was just about the right distance for the day, but also because it looked like it had an interesting downtown area for us to check out.
I was initially attracted by the fact that Jasper has a train station, but we noted that the train station was an anchor for a new mixed-use development called River Centre. A brand new Fairfield Inn sits along the Patoka River and is connected to the Jasper Riverwalk, a 4.5 mile multi-purpose trail that connects several businesses and restaurants, and winds through a scenic section along the river.
Across the river from River Centre and connected by a very nice steel bridge is the historic Jasper City Mill. The current mill building is a replica of a mill that was established on the site in 1817 and was in operation until 1933. Among the customers of the mill is said to have been Thomas Lincoln and his son Abraham Lincoln, who bartered goods for corn meal in 1828.
We got into town late and left early, and it was a Sunday so not too many businesses were open. But we got a good look at the town – enough to determine that it would be worth a re-visit. It is “on the way” to a lot of places we hope to visit, so we will be sure to add Jasper to the itinerary on a future road trip!