In the late 1800s, huge natural gas fields were discovered beneath Kokomo, Indiana. The gas supply was thought to be infinite. As a result, manufacturing boomed in the city, particularly in the glass and automotive industries. During our stay in the area, we visited five Kokomo attractions that reflect those two industries. We learned why the glass and automotive industries, in particular, became prevalent in Kokomo.
A tornado swept through Kokomo, Indiana, just days before our visit. Sadly, the tornado destroyed homes. It leveled a Starbucks. It uprooted towering trees in Highland Park. Fortunately, it didn’t touch Old Ben’s home. Old Ben, the World’s largest steer, as well as a giant sycamore stump, are on display behind glass in the Highland Park visitor’s center.
Who takes over two years to build a mansion, lives in it for fewer than five years and then leaves town? Monroe Seiberling did. We visited the Seiberling Mansion in Kokomo, Indiana, which now serves as the Howard County Historical Museum, and learned the fascinating stories of the home and those who lived there.
As field superintendent in Indiana’s new natural gas industry, Elwood Haynes needed a way to get from gas field to gas field. So he invented a horseless carriage. There were several automobiles being developed around the country at the same time, but Haynes called his vehicle “America’s first,” and the title stuck. Haynes also invented Stellite in the early 1900s. Stellite was world’s strongest known metal alloy. The Elwood Haynes Museum in Kokomo, Indiana, tells the story of Haynes, his inventions and his contribution to history.