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Churubusco: Turtle Town

Churubusco is a small town in the northeast corner of Whitley County, Indiana. It is connected to my hometown, the City of Fort Wayne, by US-33, which is also known as Main Street on the part of the highway that passes through Churubusco.

The town is best known for a legend about a giant turtle, allegedly as large as a small automobile, that was claimed to live in a local farmer's pond. The signs on the edge of Churubusco proclaim the small town to be "Turtle Town, USA." There is a concrete turtle watching over Main Street, and the town has an annual festival known as "Turtle Days."

When I was a child, my family often drove through Churubusco on the way to Chain-O-Lakes State Park. We often went camping, swimming, and fishing at the state park, which is located a few miles northwest of Churubusco in Noble County.

We often stopped for lunch and ice cream at Magic Wand, a small locally owned restaurant in Churubusco. We also stopped at the IGA Supermarket across the street to buy some of the store's fresh-baked sugar cookies.

In the summer of 2013, 25 years after the last time my family made the trip through Churubusco, my son and I began going up there to photograph the town. We visited the IGA and found that they still sell those sugar cookies, and we ate at Magic Wand. The restaurant, decorated throughout with paintings, drawings, and figurines of clowns, has not changed a bit in all those years!




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