The Limberlost marsh was the perfect laboratory for author Gene Stratton-Porter to study nature. At a time when most women were homemakers, Porter created a lasting legacy of northern Indiana’s vanishing natural history through her writings and photos.

In the early 1900’s the Limberlost Swamp was described as a “treacherous swamp and quagmire, filled with every plant, animal and human danger known — in the worst of such locations in the central states.” Stretching for 13,000 acres the vast forest and swampland was legendary for its quicksand and unsavory characters. The swamp received its name from Limber Jim Corbus, who went hunting in the swamp and never returned. The familiar cry locally was “Limber’s lost!” To famed Indiana author Gene Stratton-Porter, the swamp was her playground, laboratory and inspiration for her acclaimed articles, fiction and photographs. Geneva (Gene) Grace Stratton was born in1863, near Wabash. Her parents passed along a love of the unspoiled outdoors — a love she kept throughout her life as a respected author, naturalist, photographer and illustrator. In 1886 Gene married Charles Porter, owner of a drug store in Geneva. After the birth of their daughter, Jeannette, they moved to Geneva, near the Limberlost Swamp, in 1888. Gene designed a 14 room, Queen Anne rustic log “cabin” completed in 1895. The interior is finished in both Victorian and Arts and Crafts styles. The Porters lived here until the swamp was drained in 1913. She then built a new home on the shore of Sylvan Lake near Rome City. It is also a state historic site.

In the 18 years that she lived at Limberlost, she wrote six of her 12 novels and five of her seven nature books, including the best-selling Freckles and A Girl of the Limberlost. An estimated 50 million people world-wide have read her works, and many of her novels were produced as motion pictures.


Limberlost Home



Limberlost State Historic Site is open:
Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.

The Limberlost State Historic Site is open year-round, however we are closed Mondays.

From December 13, 2015 through March 27, 2016 Limberlost will be closed on Sundays.

Tours on demand. Last tour starts at 4 p.m.

The Limberlost State Historic Site will be closed on Nov. 26 and 27, as well as Dec. 24 and 25, 2016. The site will also be closed Jan 1, 2016.


Visit the Limberlost Visitor Center to purchase tour tickets.

Adults $5
Seniors* $4
Children* $2
Children under 3 FREE


Indiana State Museum members get FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop!

*Child: ages 3 through 12
*Senior: age 60 and older

Group/School Tours: Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more and for school groups. Call 260.368.7428 to schedule your group.


Get directions to Limberlost State Historic Site.

Where to park

The Limberlost parking lot connects with U.S. Hwy 27, and is free to all visitors. The Limberlost Visitor Center is located within easy walking distance of the parking lot. If you are bringing someone with limited mobility, the Limberlost Visitor Center and the Limberlost Cabin are both handicap accessible.




Movie and a Show


February 14
1 - 3:30 p.m.
$5 per person

Spend Valentine's Day at the Limberlost Visitor Center. Watch a vintage movie, A Girl of Limberlost (1934), based on Gene Stratton-Porter's most popular book, and enjoy a fun presentation of animal courtship by "Professor Passion". Win door and raffle prizes. Refreshments will be served. Seating will be limited.

Red-tailed Hawk Program  


March 20 
2 - 3 p.m.
Donations Encouraged

A live bird program in the Limberlost Visitor Center classroom.

Golden Easter Egg Hunt


March 26 
11 a.m.  
$2 per child (Ages 12 and under)

Join us for an epic Golden Easter Egg Hunt! Bring your own buck, basket, or bag to gather as many eggs as possible. Children through age 12 are invited to join in the hunt. Be on the lookout for the Golden Egg to win a special prize. After the hunt, attend an "egg class" and become an official Limberlost Egghead.

Limberlost Nature Day




April 2  
8 a.m. - 4 p.m.   
$10 per adult; $20 per family

Birding with the experts in the morning, all day nature programs at the Limberlost Visitor Center.

Creatures of the Night


April 22
8:30 p.m.   
Loblolly Marsh Pavilion
$4 adults; $3 children (Ages 4 and over)
No toddlers please!

Discover what creatures lurk around the Loblolly Marsh at night. Bring your flashlights to search for hidden "glowing eyes" animals. Hear night sounds through bionic ears and see in the dark with night vision! See what nocturnal creatures are living in the water during nighttime dip-netting.


Finish off the evening with a campfire and toasted marshmallows!

Guided Tour of Rainbow Bottom


April 30
9 a.m. - 12 p.m.  
Limberlost State Historic Site & Rainbow Bend Park
$3 per person

Limberlost naturalist leads a nature hike through Rainbow Bend Park to learn about the history and ecology of this area, how Gene Stratton-Porter used it as a setting for two of her novels, plus observe local wildlife and see a heron rookery.


Meet at the Limberlost Visitor Center.





Contact us


Randy Lehman
Site Manager


Curt Burnette
Naturalist/Program Specialist


Limberlost State Historic Site

202 East 6th St.
Geneva, IN 46740


Phone: 260.368.7428
Fax: 260.368.7007




The Limberlost marsh was the perfect laboratory for Gene Stratton-Porter to study nature. In a time when most women were homemakers, Stratton-Porter created a lasting legacy of northern Indiana's vanishing natural history through her published novels, nature studies and photographs.  


Academic topics covered:

  • Natural History 
  • Environmentalism 


Grades K – 12

Limberlost Cabin Tour


Learn about the home and natural environment that inspired Gene Stratton-Porter to write her bestselling books. Students can also learn about Indiana's original ecosystem, Gene's role as a naturalist and how technology, culture and family life have evolved since the late 19th century.  

Grades PreK – 12

Limberlost Wetland School Group Tour


Discover the plants and animals that inspired Gene Stratton-Porter to become a leading naturalist of her time. 



Grades 3 – 12

Discover Nature

Fee: $4 per person
Reservations required



August 28 from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

Homeschool students and their families move through stations uncovering the fascinating world of author Gene Stratton-Porter and the natural science behind the famous Limberlost Swamp.