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Serving: IN

Unusual wishing well still stands along highway

Todd Schmicker wishing will in middle of field
EYE-CATCHER: You’re expecting to just see corn and soybeans along this stretch of road and then you catch sight of a decorative wishing well. What is its story?
Spotted…in Indiana: If you drive along U.S 35 near Star City, you may have noticed this wishing well.

If you drive along U.S. 35 near Star City and Winamac in Pulaski County, maybe you’ve seen the small, unique wishing well standing by itself near a tree. If you haven’t noticed it, maybe that’s because you keep your eyes on the road, which is a good thing. Perhaps you can catch it out of the corner of your eye!

Todd Schmicker of Winamac took an interest in this wishing well. It’s the only thing left of what was once a farmstead. After doing some research, Schmicker said it was once the Phillips farm, which belonged to three generations before being sold. The house and buildings have since been torn down.

Why was the wishing well left untouched? According to neighbors, it became a local icon, and because it didn’t require leaving out much land, the new owner left it for the time being.

Schmicker says it’s not uncommon in the area for older homesteads to eventually be sold and become part of larger farms. When he purchases a farm, he honors that heritage by referring to it by the name of the family who farmed it.

The wishing well speaks to a time of smaller farms when more Hoosiers lived directly on the land. The trend is toward larger farms now, but remembering our heritage helps people know what brought agriculture to where it is today.

If you spot something unusual, send a picture. Large format, digital, horizontal pictures, even if taken with a cellphone camera, usually work. Email it to: [email protected]. Include details about the object, plus your mailing address. If used in print, you will receive a gift card.  

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