The Great Greenway Tour 2011

May 26, 2011

Courtesy Cardinal Greenway

The weekend of July 29 and 30 marks the 11th year for the Great Greenway Tour along Cardinal Greenway.  The GGT is sponsored by local businesses and is one of Indiana’s premier rail-trail bicycle touring events.  The Greenway has grown to 62 miles of paved surface, and this summer the tour includes a newly opened segment of the greenway between Losantville and Richmond as well as a family-friendly trail in Grant County called the Sweetser Switch.

Organizers of the tour encourage cyclists of all abilities to join in.  Enthusiastic cyclists bring cycles of all shapes and sizes.  Doesn’t it look like they’re having fun?

Routings are available for rides ranging from 10 to 100 miles.  Riders can travel cross-country using both the Greenway and a few miles of roadway, or enjoy the newly opened urban White River Greenway, exploring the Minnetrista Cultural Center, and the Craddock Wetlands Preserve.

Register early and save $10 off the $40 registration fee.  Lunch at a variety of on-trail venues is included as well as a t-shirt.  Visit the Cardinal Greenway / GGT website for registration and additional information.  There’s no better way to stay fit and explore the environment.  Cardinal Greenway is a showplace the volunteers who maintain the trail can be proud of and a real tribute to the rail trail movement.

We still have plenty of rooms available for the big weekend at McDowell-Nearing House.  Mention this blog when making a reservation for the weekend of July 29-30.  Book one night at $25 off the regular room rate, book 2 nights and the second night is half off.


Fresh Produce, Anyone?

May 20, 2011

Indiana is one of those heartland states that relies on agriculture for a significant part of its income, yet after World War II most Hoosiers who moved away from the farm bought almost all of their food from grocery stores.  In the mid-90’s people began to miss having access to locally grown fruits and vegetables, and farmers’ markets appeared across the land. 

Here in Muncie we are fortunate to have the Minnetrista Farmers’ Market which was voted best in Indiana for 2010!  The Minnetrista Cultural Center hosts over 80 vendors who display fresh produce, flowers, baked goods, eggs, meat and cheese on Saturday mornings 8am to noon from May to October.  In June Wednesday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:30 are added to the schedule.

Minnetrista has added a canning demonstration on the last Saturday of each summer month at 9 am.  A winter market is held indoors on the 3rd Saturday of the month.

The Minnetrista Center offers a perfect venue for farmers to display their offerings.  There’s plenty of free parking and if you buy more than you can carry, red wagons are in abundance to help.

Here at McDowell-Nearing House we use fresh produce from the farm for breakfast as often as possible.

Muncie Civic Theater’s Joseph

April 21, 2011

Cast Photo Courtesy of


MCT’s latest is the performance of Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat with the first show starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 29. The musical tells the story of Joseph, his coat of many colors, his enslavement in Egypt and his ability to interpret the dreams of Pharoah.  Local artist Jennifer Stanley will perform the role of the narrator.

“I kind of fell in love with this particular musical and the part of the narrator,” Stanley said. “I’d been singing it to myself. I think I first heard of it when I was like 16. I love the singing that the narrator does. I love her place in the story. … When Muncie Civic decided to do it, I was just like I have to try for this.” Jennifer told Muncie’s StarPress.

This musical was written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and was first performed in 1968 as a 15 minute cantata.  The stage version went through numerous additions and revisions and was not performed on Broadway until 1982.  It has been staged in several different ways through the years.  The StarPress goes on to explain: 

It’s also a family affair for Stanley and other adults since their children are cast members. Stanley’s daughter, Anna, 8, is part of the children’s chorus, as are Pip Williamson, son of Michael and Laura Williamson, and Annie Wolfert, daughter of Matt Wolfert.

“That has made the experience just even richer for me to be able to share it with her,” Stanley said. “It’s made it tons of fun.”

The children are an integral part of the play, as director Beth Turcotte is telling the story through their eyes.

“I am their Sunday school teacher,” Stanley said. “I am opening Genesis up, and I am telling them the greatest story of all time, … and as I’m telling the story to the kids, it’s coming to life. As I put Joseph on the felt board, he comes to life behind it. The kids are interacting with the characters. It’s a really neat staging of this.”

When to see it:   Muncie Civic Theatre presents Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat on the Mainstage Theatre, April 22nd-23rd, 29th-May 1st, & May 5th-7th. Thursday through Saturday performances are at 7:30pm and the Sunday matinee on May 1st is at 2:00pm. Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for students.

We have plenty of room at McDowell-Nearing House for a Saturday night Date Night if you care to come to Muncie.  Mention Muncie Civic when making a reservation for either April 23, 30 or May 7 for $30 off your room rate… enough for tickets to the show.

Museums Part II

April 11, 2011

East Central Indiana became a center for the manufacture of glass when natural gas was discovered and became a cheap energy resource.  The Ball family moved from Buffalo, New York to Muncie to manufacture glass mason jars.  At the same time other neighboring towns also had glass factories.  Dunkirk, Indiana, 15 miles from McDowell-Nearing House, was the home of Indiana Glass Company, known for both carnival glass and depression glass.  Although Indiana Glass is no more, Dunkirk is now the home of Saint-Gobain Containers, Inc. which manufactures Budweiser bottles.  In 2009 the town hosted the famous Clydesdales.

Dunkirk is also the home of a fascinating museum, a few blocks off the main street and in an annex to the Dunkirk Public Library.  The Glass Museum is a collection of over 8,000 pieces of glass from 110 factories around the world.  It is open May through October, Tuesday through Saturday.  Volunteers make sure all the pieces stay dusted and are knowledgable about glass manufacture.

The Glass Museum Dunkirk, Indiana

The museum is well lighted, and the collection is housed in display cases so that everything sparkles. 

Cup Plate Collection The Glass Museum Dunkirk, Indiana

This is part of a collection of  over 1500 cup plates dating from the 1800’s.

Glass crowns used to adorn the gas pumps of the Standard Oil Company

This handpainted glass dinnerware set was made in Dunkirk at the Indiana Glass Company


This glass chandelier was also made in Indiana. 

This museum’s variety interests not only the serious glass collectors, but also anyone who appreciates beautiful artwork lovingly cared for.  It’s another jewel to be seen in East Central Indiana.  We would love for you to visit!