Metamora, Indiana is a canal town from yesteryear. There are shops in the original buildings as well as buggy rides, canal rides, and train rides.
The town of Metamora lies in the southeastern corner of Indiana, only a few minutes drive from Cincinnati, but far enough away to go back in time. There, one can experience history by taking a short train ride or a ride on the canal in an authentic canal boat. One can see the sights from a horse drawn buggy, shop in buildings that are original to the town, or just sit along the bank of the canal and feed the ducks. Before leaving, visit the grist mill and see the corn being ground into meal.
Metamora, Indiana was founded in 1838 by David Mount and William Holland. It was plotted originally with forty-two lots and, in 1853, John McWhorter did the last platting. The town never grew beyond this platting and was never incorporated.
The right of way for Main Street was two hundred feet wide. This was to take into consideration that the Whitewater Canal was to be built to run through the town and bisect Main Street. The canal operated until 1865 when the Indianapolis-Cincinnati Railrad laid a track bed on the tow path. Thus the railroad became the major source of transportation for the area. Even so, the town did not die. The railroad provided a station in the town and fast reliable transportation. The locks at Morgan and Metamora provided hydraulic power to the grist mill. And in 1821, the Brookville Road, now U.S. 52, provided mail service to Indianapolis and Cincinnati. During the canal days, Metamora had a population of two hundred; but now is about one hundred twenty-five.
Metamora's busiest season is the months of May through December. During this time, one will find fifty to sixty shops open through the week and nearly one hundred on the weekends. Shop owners will place a flag on the outside of their shops to indicate that they are open for business. It will also let the patrons know that it is not a private residence.
Shopping in Metamora is a treasure hunter's delight. One will find antiques of all sorts, as well as handcrafted items that cannot be found elsewhere. There are candy shops offering homemade fudge and ice cream. There are restaurants to sit and relax and enjoy a home-cooked meal. After eating, one can sit in the shade on the many benches and watch the ducks swim in the canal. Be aware, however, that the ducks have the right of way!
If seeing the town the easy way is one's idea of fun, there are horse-drawn buggies available for a ride around the town. For a minimal fee, one can enjoy a beautiful day, pleasant company, and breath-taking sights. Canal rides are also available on an authentic canal boat pulled by friendly horses. Before ending the tour of the town, be sure to see the only wooden aqueduct left in the United States.
Metamora offers quaint but modern Bed and Breakfasts or Inns to continue your stay. At the end of the day, one can relax and enjoy the quiet after all the tourists have gone for the day. On Sunday mornings, one might like to worship in a church that has a hand pumped pipe organ.
One can finish, or begin for that matter, with a walking tour of Metamora. Here one will visit the historic landmarks and buildings of yesteryear. The tour begins with the Grist Mill and visits such sites as the Odd Fellows Building, Blacklidge General Store, Masonic Hall, Duck Creek Aqueduct, Christian Church, the old Cobbler's Shop and Blacksmith Shop and ending with the Farmers Bank--the only bank in town built in 1923.
The canal town of Metamora is truly a step back into history. With so much to see and do, one will find that one trip is not enough. There will be something new and exciting with every visit.