Seymour is a city in Jackson County, Indiana. Its population is estimated at 21,569 as of the 2020 census. For those visiting the area, there are a variety of things to do. Some of these places include the birthplace of singer-songwriter John Mellencamp, Crossroads Community Park, Larrison’s Diner, WonderLab, and more.
Crossroads Community Park
The Crossroads Community Park in Seamour, IN is a 34-acre park that offers plenty of space for families and individuals to play and enjoy the outdoors. The park is equipped with full-sized basketball and tennis courts, a horse shoe pit, picnic shelters, and paved trails. There are also dozens of pieces of equipment for outdoor recreation, including a skate bowl.
There are plenty of things to do at Crossroads Park, including concerts and outdoor gyms. The park is well-maintained and offers views of the nearby rail line. The area has a limited amount of traffic, but it is well-worth checking out if you’re looking for a place to get fit.
The park includes a seasonal P-Patch garden, and it has a community center that hosts many events and recreational activities. The park also features the Crossroads Golf Course, a par-3 nine-hole chip and putt golf course that is great for beginners. In addition, the park has a water spray playground with spouting orcas and squirting clams. It also is home to the Bellevue Youth Theatre.
Seymour is a small town with a lot to offer its residents and visitors. With a population of 3,240 at the 2010 census, it’s known as the Green Gem of Southern Indiana. The town has over 300 acres of park land and 1.2 square kilometers of green space. The city is also a good starting point for exploring the surrounding areas. To find more information, visit the Jackson County Visitor Center, located just a few blocks from downtown. The visitor center includes information about Jackson County’s history and natural resources.
John Mellencamp’s birthplace
If you’re a fan of John Mellencamp, you know his birthplace in Seamour, Indiana. He was born there on October 7, 1951. As a child, he was born with Spina bifida, a condition in which one of the limbs is missing. Mellencamp underwent experimental surgery at Riley Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, but his condition was not completely cured. Still, he persevered.
The musician and singer often returned to his hometown in Seymour, Indiana, to visit family and friends. His family home overlooks a town cemetery. His gravestone is likely to be near his grandfather Speck Mellencamp’s plot. The lyrics of his songs are about reconnecting with his roots.
John Mellencamp has toured the United States several times. His 1994 tour featured “Dance Naked” and “As Long as You Have Love,” but he was plagued by health issues and cancelled the final weeks of the tour. During this time, he began playing small Midwestern clubs as Pearl Doggy. In late 2010, he announced his separation from wife Elaine. The two eventually filed for divorce.
Besides a life as a musician, John Mellencamp has also branched out into acting. His 1992 movie, “Falling From Grace,” is semi-autobiographical. He also co-wrote the screenplay.
Larrison’s Diner is a favorite of many Seymour residents. It’s a small, family-owned restaurant that was opened in 1974. It started as Hart’s Sandwich Shop and later became Larrison’s Diner. The business was operated by two generations of Larrisons. In 1996, Ed and Jan retired and their sons, Kevin and Liz, took over. They now serve traditional American fare for breakfast and lunch.
A popular downtown eatery, Larrison’s Diner has served the community for over 45 years. The building was originally a dairy building, and was built over 100 years ago. In the late 1930s, a man named Ed Auffenberg installed a grill in the building and started selling hamburgers by the sack. George and Dean Hart purchased the restaurant in the early 1940s and operated it until 1974. The Larrison family purchased the restaurant in 1975.
WonderLab in Seymour, Indiana is a science museum for kids that’s just a few miles north of Bloomington. It’s a private, 501 (c) (3) nonprofit organization that was incorporated in 1995 and is a member of the Association of Science-Technology Centers.
The WonderLab offers hands-on, interactive exhibits for kids of all ages. This two-story museum has everything a child could want to explore science. Children can get up close to LIVE animals and explore different scientific experiments. The museum also has a bubble-airium and a Lester P. Bushnell wonder garden, which offer fun experiences for the whole family.
WonderLab, an interactive museum for kids, recently announced a partnership with the statewide Access Pass Program. This partnership will allow low-income families in Indiana to enter WonderLab for only $1 per visit. The museum is open to the public all year, including weekends. It was founded in 1995 by a group of volunteers and has grown to over seventy thousand visitors.
When you’re visiting the hometown of legendary rocker John Cougar Mellencamp, don’t miss a chance to visit one of his restaurants. The town’s restaurants feature classic American cuisine and steakhouse favorites. Appetizers include pickled vegetables and artisan bread. Menu items also feature modern American dishes such as tomahawk pork chop, which is served with roasted peanuts and cider barbecue sauce. Alternatively, you can try a more formal Italian meal, where the staff dress in period-style attire. Whether you’re craving veal Parmesan over spaghetti or chicken and spinach manicotti in a creamy sauce, Seymour’s restaurants have something for everyone.
The town’s promotional campaign emphasized an American heartland theme that echoed the theme of Springsteen’s songs. But Mellencamp says that the town council got tired of the hard sell tactics. He also believes that the frustration level is still high in Seymour, and that many high school students from the town want the excitement of a larger town.
While in Seymour, you can stop by the town’s visitors center to learn more about the town’s history. There are several historical markers about the town’s railroading past, as well as displays about John Mellencamp’s life. There’s also a mural that honors the famed singer. It was painted by Indianapolis artist Pamela Bliss and completed in late 2019. In the mural, Mellencamp appears in two portraits and a FFA jacket. While you’re there, make sure to meet Larry McDonald, who is happy to provide you with a brief history lesson.
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge
Located in southern Indiana, Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is a 7,800-acre tract of wetland habitat that is a prime site for birding. The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset and is primarily used by migratory birds and waterfowl. It is accessible by car from Indianapolis, Louisville, and Cincinnati. Visitors can visit this refuge seven days a week during daylight hours, but camping is not permitted on the property. It attracts over eight hundred thousand visitors annually.
The refuge is open seven days a week and features an electronically controlled gate. During warmer months, visitors may see more animals and birds. The mudflats are home to a variety of species of birds and animals, including the reintroduced yellow-billed cuckoo. Other wildlife that can be spotted are the Kentucky warbler, wood thrush, and summer tanager. The refuge also provides habitat for the Indiana state bird, the cardinal. The habitat is also a good place to watch squirrels that feed on bird food left in bird feeders. The wetlands in the refuge also provide habitat for a large population of woodcock.
Muscatatuck National Wildlife Refuge is a great place to enjoy nature with your family. It’s home to numerous endangered species, including the American Bittern, Least Bittern, and Trumpeter Swan, which migrate to the refuge annually. The refuge also hosts several other species, such as the Sandhill Crane and the Virginia Rail.