LAND OF THE LIMBERLOST
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 State Historic Site is open:
Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, 1 – 5 p.m.
From December 14, 2014 through April 11, 2015 Limberlost will be closed on Sundays.
Tours on demand. Last tour starts at 4 p.m.
Visit the Limberlost Visitor Center to purchase tour tickets.
|Children under 3||FREE|
Indiana State Museum members and members of other State Historic Sites Friends Groups 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.
DIRECTIONS AND PARKING
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.
Midwinter Movie Night
Spend Valentine’s Day evening at the Limberlost Visitor Center watching a vintage movie based on a Gene Stratton-Porter novel, A Girl of the Limberlost (1934). Before the movie will be a fun and informative program on animal behaviors. Refreshments are included.
Peregrine Falcon Program
Learn about the fastest bird on earth from award-winning young birder and naturalist Alexandra Forsythe.
Golden Easter Egg Hunt
Join us for an epic Golden Easter Egg Hunt! Bring your own bucket, 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 “bunny class” and become an official Limberlost Harebrain!
Creatures of the Night
Discover what creatures lurk around the Loblolly Marsh at night. Enjoy night-time activities and bring your flashlights to search for hidden creatures. Hear night sounds through Bionic Ears! Learn more about the sights, sounds, and calls of nocturnal animals in a wetland habitat. No toddlers please!
Guided Tour of Rainbow Bottom
Follow a Limberlost naturalist in your vehicle to Rainbow Bend Park for a hike through the area that Gene Stratton-Porter knew as Rainbow Bottom and was the setting for two of her first books.
Spend time with a Limberlost Naturalist or a guest speaker and get up close and personal with some of Indiana’s wildlife found in the area.
Loblolly Wildflower Safari
Join a Limberlost naturalist for a stroll along the Loblolly Marsh trails focusing on the beautiful and varied spring wildflowers – what they are and how man and animal use them.
Event starts at Loblolly Marsh Pavilion.
Guided Tour of the Loblolly Marsh
Attend a wetlands restoration overview at 10 a.m. in the Limberlost Visitor Center classroom, followed by a guided tour of the marsh.
Event starts at Limberlost Visitor Center.
EDUCATION EVENTS & STANDARDS
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
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
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.