Destination Indiana: Columbia City

Destination Indiana

COLUMBIA CITY, Ind. (WANE) – Dubbing itself as the “Gateway to Opportunity,” Columbia City in Whitley County features a little something for everyone. The town says it welcomes everyone for a weekend or a lifetime.

Some may have taken that gesture literally. In downtown Columbia City, the haunts await you in a 19th-century jailhouse. The Columbia City Haunted Jail is located at 116 E Market Street.

“The jail was built in 1875. It’s a really old second empire-style building. You are seeing a building that’s on the list of Indiana’s haunted places. And we’re ranked number five nationally by USA Today.” said Paul Herrington, owner of the Columbia City Haunted Jail.

From the end of September through the start of November, the jail serves as a haunted house. So, enter at your own risk. Click here to learn more.

During the summer months, you can get your nostalgia eats at an old-school drive-in restaurant.

The owner of CJ’s Drive-in off East Business 30 explains it as, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.” And that rings true for a decades-old Coney sauce.

“We’ve had the same recipe since the 50s. It hasn’t changed. So, I kind of think that’s the most important part of us. We still hang the trays on the windows, and try to keep it as old-fashioned as possible,” said Abby Liebing, owner of CJ’s Drive-in.

Abby said she loves seeing kids’ faces when they put the trays up, or they’re handed a root beer in a glass mug. CJ’s also serves homemade fries, hand-cut every morning. Click here to learn more.

Back in downtown Columbia City, a sweet treat shop took the classics and made it modern for everyone. Moo-Over offers plant-based ice creme.

“I really love ice cream, but ice cream does not love me. I really saw a need in the community for more non-dairy ice cream, explained chef and owner of Moo-Over, Julie Hurd.

Hurd transformed an old pizza shop into Moo-Over. She said she believes it’s the only place in the state of Indiana making plant-based ice creme from scratch.

“There’s so many kids that can’t have ice cream, And we first opened up in November, that was one of the first things I got from families that would come in, “My daughter has never had ice cream before. This is her first time.” That was my moment. Yes! That’s what I’m here for,” said Hurd.

Click here to learn more about Moo-Over.

Learn more about Columbia City by clicking here.

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