Art Murals & Sculptures
The murals of LaGrange County are a favorite of both locals and visitors.
LaGrange County, Indiana is home to over two dozen beautiful murals, most of which can be found in the town of Shipshewana. The murals are an important part of the tradition of artistry in this area, and each mural, whether painted by a single artist, or a group, has its own story to tell.
Many of the murals recall the days when the town of Shipshewana was young, commemorating town leaders, business owners, or important locations. Others celebrate what still makes Shipshewana great all these years later. All of them combined create a living history of this area, and make for a wonderful afternoon of searching, finding, and photographing. When you post photos of yourself with the murals, you become part of the narrative yourself, and help spread the word about these somewhat hidden treasures.
Shipshe General Store – 420 N Van Buren St.
Miles and Willard Bennett were a father-son duo that shod horses for locals from 1902-2954. While blacksmith shops aren’t as known today, there are many local men that provide this kind of service and carry on the Bennett spirit.
A Thankful Heart – 310 N Harrison St.
The Pumpkinvine Railroad was not only built before the town of Shipshewana, but it was also the reason for the town! The tracks were laid in 1888 for a railroad running east and north from Goshen to Middlebury, then up through Northeast Indiana into Sturgis, and finally into Findlay, MI. Soon after, the town of Shipshewana was founded. Now a biking trail has been implemented along the old railroad route from Goshen through Middlebury/Shipshewana.
Hubbard Feed Mill – 135 Main St.
This mural actually has a mini biography painted into it It reads, “Edward A Wolfe was born January 20th, 1890 on an 85 acre farm at CR675 & SR120. Ed was the youngest of 7 children and died 80 years later, after achieving much during his lifetime. He was a strong backbone in the community with his grain elevator business (now Hubbard Milling), served as the President of the Shipshewana State Bank for 25 years, and served as an Indiana State Senator.”
M.Y. Miller’s General Store
Forks Country Line Grocery Store – 7900 E North Village Dr.
The mural on Fork’s County Line Store depicts Mahlon Y. Miller, who originally worked as a clerk in the general store of J.E. Sunthimer. Eventually (sometime between 1920 & 1925), Mahlon opened his own general store. Although he had help from his wife, Mahlon devoted nearly all of his time to his store. His work ethic exemplifies the hard work of Shipshewana business owners.
Wolf Building/Town Hall
The mural on the side of the Wolfe Building pays tribute to Joseph E. Sunthimer. He was the owner of his own general store, selling dry goods, clothing, boots, shoes, hats, groceries, and more.
Morton Street Alley
Wesley Reifsnider was the owner of a high-quality harness store in the early days of Shipshewana. He set very fair prices and specialized in making custom, handmade leather for both horse and rider. He was well respected among the people of Shipshewana during his time.
Morton Street Alley
This mural was dedicated to the most important man in the town of Shipshewana’s history. Hezekiah Davis moved to Lagrange when he was just a young boy, and his impact on the community was felt not long after. In 1888, he founded the town of Shipshewana. Without Mr. Davis’ influence, who knows where our town would be.
Greetings From Shipshewana
Morton Street Ally
Shipshewana’s newest mural is located in the alley near Teaberry and Cherry Pickers, and is one of four art projects funded by a grant from the IDDC (Indiana Destination Development Corporation.) Completed in September 2023, the mural was designed and painted by Indiana artist Cassi Graber.
Davis Mercantile – 205 Harrison St.
What now stands as the Davis Mercantile originally served as a beautiful hotel. The hotel burned down in 2004 and was replaced by the new Mercantile.
Cherry Pickers – 160 Morton St.
The Shipshewana Indians were a baseball team of local players formed in 1906 by Elkhart businessman H.E. Bucklen. Mr. Bucklen constructed a resort near Shipshewana Lake which included a baseball field and stands. The team played games on Sunday afternoons and drew fans from all over Northern Indiana and Southern Michigan, many of whom would take the train to see the games. It is unknown exactly when the Shipshewana Indians stopped playing, although it’s speculated that World War I and the closing of the St. Joseph Valley Line led to the dissipation of the team.”
Pletcher’s Horse Racing
Trading Place Pavilion – 368 S Van Buren St.
This mural is on the north side of the Farmstead Event Pavilion. Lester William Pletcher, along with his wife Irma, founded Pletcher’s Pacing Acres in 1935. Lester reportedly raced many top horses all throughout the midwest. He was admitted into the Harness Horse Hall of Fame in Indiana & Illinois. (Stop in to the Visitor Center next door while you’re checking this mural out!)
You’re the I In Shipshe Sculpture
Farmstead Inn Entrance –
The sculpture, measuring 40 feet long, and up to 4 feet tall, is made up of a metal buggy on one end, and the profile of a horse at the other, with “SHIPSHE” in the middle. However, the “I” is omitted, replaced instead by a space for anyone to stand on, in order to complete the name by becoming the “I.” It makes for an impressive pic and a wonderful homage to the town of “Shipshe.”
Mechanized Mail Carriers
Yoder’s Red Barn Shoppes – 445 S Van Buren St.
Originally, Shipshewana mail was delivered by bicyclists. By 1915, these mail carriers were delivering mail via early model cars.
Blue Gate Performing Arts Center – 760 S Van Buren St.
This mural is found indoors. This mural depicts Hudson Automobiles, one of the true treasures of Shipshewana. Although they weren’t created in Shipshewana, a young Amish boy’s love for these beauties is to be credited for the incredible assortment of Hudsons once inside the Blue Gate Performing Arts Center at Hostetler’s Hudson Museum. That young Amish boy (Eldon Hostetler) grew up to become the famous inventor and passed away in January of 2016
South Park Campground – 1105 S Van Buren St.
Willard Francis Heminger was the owner of a mechanic shop in the area. His love for cars was expressed through the countless hours that he worked at his garage.
Countryroad Fabrics – 1205 S Van Buren St.
This mural odes to the Klondike Saw Mill, founded in 1864. The original mill was steam-powered and looked “something like an old locomotive.” Supposedly, the sawmill was first located south of where Shipshewana now stands, but the Farver brothers (Johnathan and William) moved their business into town when the railroad came and built a switch line back to the mill. Their lumberyard and sawmill were located on the east side of town where the town park is today.
Welcome to Shipshewana
Shipshewana Flea Market
One of Shipshewana’s newest murals is located right near the entrance of the Shipshewana Flea Market, and is one of four art projects funded by a grant from the IDDC (Indiana Destination Development Corporation.) Completed Summer 2023, this amazing 40 foot mural was designed and painted by one of the vendors selling in the market, Amy Psinas. Check out all the detail inside the letters that captures beautifully everything that Shipshewana has to offer our visitors, shoppers, and guests.
Town & Country Building – 305 S Van Buren St.
This mural is a simple dedication to the Amish of our area. The Amish first settled in Shipshewana in 1841, most came from Somerset County, Pennsylvania. These were the “Dutch Amish” who has come to PA from Europe in the 1700s to escape persecution, and then moved westward into Ohio and Indiana in the early 1800s. Since coming to the area, the Amish culture of strong values pertaining to family and religion has influenced all.
Welcome to Howe
Howe Fire Station – 500 3rd St.
The Welcome to Lima Township Mural – Howe continues to grow in popularity, and have become favorite backdrops for many social media posts and selfies.
Howe Train Depot
Bookstore – 500 4rd St.
Welcome to LaGrange
612 Detroit Street
Completed in 2022 this mural is part of a statewide Public Arts Project through the IDDC (Indiana Destination Development Corporation.) The project consists of more than 40 art projects (most of them area-specific murals) across 33 Indiana counties. Completed by artist Mike Bowers and MBS Creative Theming & Design.
612 Detroit Street
LaGrange County Town Hall mural is located at the corner of W Spring St & IN-9.
Betsy & Molly
#Besty&Molly is one-of-a-kind Selfie opportunity is just 15 minutes from Shipshewana. Enjoy the beautiful blues, greens, purples and yellow for a unique stop during your stay.
#visitshipshewana #visitshipshe #shipshewana #artintheheart
Don’t forget to tag us when you post your pics!