Middlebury is a small historic town in Indiana with a population of about 3,500. Located 130 miles east of Chicago, the town is in the heart of Indiana’s Amish country and situated on the Little Elkhart River. With rolling hills and rural farmland, it’s a far cry from the hustle and bustle of a big city.
The Middlebury area was originally home to the Miami and Potawatomi Native American tribes. In 1832, the first settlers arrived from Vermont; they fell in love with the rolling hills that reminded them of home. By 1841, Amish families had begun to arrive from Pennsylvania and settled in the Middlebury countryside. The town was incorporated in 1868, and by 1888 the railroad arrived, opening the door for manufacturing in addition to farming.
The town of Middlebury remains a farming and manufacturing town, but tourism figures into the economy as well. Jayco and Coachmen Industries, both centered in Middlebury, manufacture recreational vehicles. Culver Duck Farms ships over 70.000 birds around the world every week. Meijer Central Kitchen provides the Meijer department stores with sandwiches, cookies and sub buns.
The Amish-inspired Das Dutchman Essenhaus receives more than 750,000 visitors annually. It includes an inn, restaurant, conference center and shops. The Essenhaus also houses a wholesale food operation where homemade products are prepared and shipped.
Middlebury has plenty of tasty dining options. Visit Aunt Karen’s Cafe on Thursdays for better-than-mom’s meatloaf. Pop in at Das Dutchman Essenhaus for broasted chicken or sample rich biscuits smothered in sausage gravy at the Pumpkinvine Cafe.
Don’t miss the Tulip Tree General Store if you’re in the mood to purchase charming gifts. Stroll over to Legacy Home Furniture to find Amish handcrafted hardwood furnishings, then stop by the Cinnamon Stick to find outfits for every occasion.
The Pumpkinvine Nature Trail is the best trail in Indiana, and it’s perfect for running, walking, hiking and biking. Take the Heritage Trail Auto Tour in your vehicle and experience Amish life up close. Explore the back roads and discover special attractions and unusual finds. The Heritage Trail has been called “One Of America’s Most Scenic Drives” by LIFE Magazine.
The Middlebury area has four distinct seasons with hot summers and cold winters. Rex’s Heating and Cooling, Inc. is a family-owned-and-operated HVAC company and a Factory Authorized Carrier Dealer. Rex’s employs NATE-Certified technicians who can replace and install top-of-the-line Carrier HVAC as well as providing AC repair, furnace repair and HVAC equipment maintenance for all product brands.