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Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Story Inn - Brown County, Indiana

At a time when the Federal Government was giving away land grants to help encourage settlement of the West, Dr. George P. Story acquired a parcel land in Indiana through such a grant. It is here that Dr. Story founded the small town of Story, Indiana in 1851. In its heyday the town was home to two general stores, a non-denominational church, a one-room schoolhouse, a blacksmith, a grain mill, a sawmill, slaughterhouse, and a post office. Dr. Story himself actually built most of the structures in the town.

The Great Depression was not a good time in Story's history. Farmer's could no longer make a living farming the land around Story, and left town to seek employment elsewhere. By 1940 the population of Story had decreased by fifty-percent.

As the town of Story reeled from the bad luck the Depression had brought it, taxes on the property went unpaid. Eventually the State of Indiana foreclosed on the property, with part of the land going to create what is now Brown County State Park, and Hoosier National Forest. These parks surround what is now left of the town.

In 1988, Rick Hofstetter and Frank Mueller purchased the town at auction. They went on to create The Story Inn, incorporating the original buildings of the town still standing on the property.

At the center of the Story Inn stands the General Store. The General Store has been renovated, and the first floor of the store is now an upscale restaurant, with a reputation for outstanding food. The cellar of the building is now home to "The Story Still", a tavern filled with Story memorabilia. On the second floor of the building, directly above the restaurant are four cozy and unique traditional bed and breakfast guest rooms.

This is where the story of The Story Inn gets interesting. Many consider "The Blue Lady Room", one of the four guest rooms above the restaurant, to be haunted. Many believe her to be one of the wives of Dr. Story, and her presence in the room has been documented in guest books left in the room over the years. There is a blue light located next to the bed, and it is believed that leaving this light on will summon her to the room.

Located directly behind The General Store is a turn-of-the-century barn. Surrounding The General Store are several buildings that were once homes and businesses, they have now been renovated into guest cottages.

Perhaps the most interesting of the cottages is The Old Mill Loft, located above Story's 19th century grain mill.

Dr. Story's house remains today, sitting on the hill, overlooking the town that he built. His home now houses two guest cottages, one on each floor of the house.

For more information on The Story Inn, you can visit the inn's website at http://www.storyinn.com/.

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