Amish Country Northern Indiana
Home > Explore the Area > Area History

Area History

Elkhart County was one of the first areas settled in Northern Indiana, and it was organized by an act of the Legislature in 1830. A little town called Dunlap was originally selected as the county seat, but after some political wrangling, Goshen was designated the county seat in 1831. Our history lives today in the achievements of those who paved the trails, plowed the lands and built and cities and towns before us.

Amish Children

The Amish

In 1841, four Amish men and their families set out from Pennsylvania to northern Indiana. They settled on land just east of Goshen and Middlebury. That same year more families arrived, and the first Amish child in Indiana was born Feb. 2, 1842.
Learn More

Historic Communities

Historic Communities

Railroads ruled in Elkhart's early history now celebrated at the NYC RR Museum. In 1874, a B&O Railroad route paved the way for Nappanee. And in Goshen, the county seat, a beautiful historic courthouse anchors a charming downtown. Learn More

Historic Neighborhoods

Historic Neighborhoods

Elkhart County's historic neighborhoods tell rich stories about this area's people, heritage and businesses. It's easy to imagine the economically and culturally diverse population that settled here.
Learn More

Historic Downtowns

Historic Downtowns

In downtown Elkhart the 1848 brick home of the city's founder flanks the north end of Main Street. A fortress-like police booth stands on Goshen's courthouse square as a monument to the days when John Dillinger was the bane of Indiana bankers. On Nappanee's Main Street, US 6 or the Grand Army of the Republic Highway, the rhythms of Amish life easily mesh with modern day America. Learn More

Historic Sites

Historic Sites

Take a walk on paths along rivers and raceways where mills once stood. Pose for a photo in front of rustic Bonneyville Mill. Its huge millstones still grind flour. Drive across the same iron bridge Dwight Eisenhower crossed with an army convoy back in 1919.
Learn More

Nearby Destinations

Keep Informed

Sign-up for E-News Today!