Located in the rural countryside of LaPorte County is Hesston Steam Museum, a unique outdoor museum featuring one of the most varied collections of steam equipment of its kind in the country. The collection includes stationary and traction engines, a steam-operated sawmill, and steam train rides on full-sized and scale model locomotives through 155 acres of natural meadows and forests. The trains range from the "India", a full-size locomotive, to a 14" gauge live steam railroad and a 1 1/2" scale railroad that all run through the woods and over and under bridges. Other restored trains on display include the 1889 Scottish-built locomotive, "The Indian," which was used in the movie Around the World in 80 Days. One of the main attractions is the 0-4-0, a Czechoslovakian locomotive originally built in 1940 for use in Germany. From the threshing machine and saw mill to the antique cider press that makes fresh apple cider in the fall, all of Hesston's displays are authentic working steam machines.
Each year the museum opens with its Whistle Stop Days on Memorial Day weekend. The second weekend in August, Hesston hosts a North-South Skirrnish, which features Civil War-type musket and cannon competitions. Labor Day weekend is the annual date for Hesston's Steam and Power Show, a favorite of thousands each year and recently named one of Indiana's Top 10 Festivals by Travel Agent Magazine. And after Labor Day, there's no place more beautiful to view the fall foliage from than aboard one of the antique locomotives as it chugs through the woods that surround the museum.
Visit the offical web site at www.hesston.org