GSP cabin

Students visit the Gene Stratton-Porter site in Rome City that the author built on Sylvan Lake. The historic home was highlighted on Indiana’s 20 IN 20 list recognizing historic places in the state.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Gene Stratton- Porter State Historic Site in Rome City is one of 20 historic sites in Indiana to be named to Visit Indiana’s fifth “The 20 IN 20” list.

Visit Indiana is encouraging Hoosiers to explore Indiana in 2020 by doing 20 things from 20 lists of the state’s unique destinations. New lists of things to do and places to visit will be revealed during the year.

Stratton-Porter, the 20th century’s leading female author, was a pioneer in nature photography, conservation and women in business, forming her own movie production company in the 1920s to take her novels to the big screen.

The Rome City site is one of two historic sites that honor Stratton-Porter by preserving her homes. The Rome City historic site is open from April through November for cabin tours, but the grounds are open year-round for walking and hiking.

The author’s first home, south of Fort Wayne in Geneva, is known as the Limberlost State Historic Site, named for the large swamp that once existed there.

After Stratton-Porter was saddened by the draining of the Limberlost Swamp, she built the “Cabin at Wildlife Woods” on Sylvan Lake near Rome City in 1914. She fell in love with the property of more than 148 acres of prairies, gardens, woods, lakes, and wetlands. The Carriage House Visitor Center gives visitors the opportunity to learn all about nature topics such as moths, wildflowers and woodpeckers. The gravesites of Gene and her daughter are located on-site.

Indiana’s story stretches well into history, with significant events happening before statehood was granted in 1816. With Visit Indiana’s fifth list of The 20 IN 20 featuring historic sites, visitors can experience the people and places of the past firsthand.

“Indiana boasts a surprisingly rich history. Three presidents and six vice presidents have called Indiana home or have Indiana ties,” Lt. Governor Crouch said. “Our great state is also home to two national memorials, 11 state historic sites and hundreds of landmarks and significant homes.”

The Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial was voted as Indiana’s Best Historic Destination in 2017.

Indiana is where Abraham Lincoln spent the formative years of his life before becoming the 16th U.S president. At the memorial in Lincoln City, visitors can walk in Lincoln’s footsteps on the Trail of Twelve Stones. The trail begins at the Lincoln Living Historical Farm and ends near Pioneer Cemetery where Lincoln’s mother is buried. Visitors can also spend time at the Memorial Visitor Center, which features five sculptured panels, marking significant periods in Lincoln’s life.

The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites have 12 locations around the state, offering something for every interest, including gardens and nature to explore, gorgeous mansions and a stop on the Underground Railroad.

“Visitors from all 50 states come to the Indiana State Museum each year,” said Misty Weisensteiner, director of Indiana Office of Tourism Development. “At the historic sites, enjoy the grounds and tour the sites for free on Feb. 17 in honor of the holiday.”

The Indiana State Museum is also free to visitors.

Currently open historic sites around the state include Angel Mounds State Historic Site in Evansville, Corydon Capitol State Historic Site in Corydon, Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site in New Albany, Lanier Mansion State Historic Site in Madison, Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site in Fountain City, Limberlost State Historic Site in Geneva, T.C. Steele State Historic Site in Nashville and Vincennes State Historic Sites in Vincennes.

When visitors visit a destination from any of the lists, they are encouraged to post their photos on Instagram with #The20IN20 for a chance to win a giveaway. Twenty winners will be randomly drawn every other month.

Winners will receive one of the following custom items: beanie cap, golf umbrella, beach towel or stadium blanket. Begin your decade with a true adventure in 2020 by completing at least 20 of our 400 must-see Indiana experiences!

Find out more about The 20 IN 20 at

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