By Curt Burnette
One of the many wonders of the digital age is the Internet search engine. Recently, I utilized one of these search engines by typing in the word "Limberlost" to see what kind of results would be returned to me. Of course, there were many entries regarding the Limberlost Swamp and Gene Stratton-Porter, but what really caught my interest were the many different places and things that had the word "Limberlost" in their names.
There are certainly a number of things in Adams County that incorporate Limberlost in their names, especially in the Geneva area. Limberlost Construction, Limberlost Apartments, the Golf Club of the Limberlost, and the newest, the Limberlost Diner in downtown Geneva, are all examples. On the east side of Decatur, near Stratton Park, can be found the street called Limberlost Trail. And there are several places similar to these in the Rome City area where Gene built her second cabin. But there are also Limberlosts in other Indiana cities. There is a Limberlost Drive in Carmel and one in Goshen, and a Limberlost Lane in West Lafayette. A business in Indianapolis has the name of Limberlost Consulting, Inc.
Other places in our region of the country with businesses or places having Limberlost in their names would include The Limberlost, a restaurant in Houghton Lake, Michigan, and Limberlost Farms in Atlanta, Michigan' also in Michigan look for Limberlost Road in Three Rivers and Limberlost Lane in Allegan. That covers examples in Indiana's neighbor to the north. In our neighbor to the west, Illinois, Camp Limberlost has been located near Bloomington since 1931. And to our south will be found the Limberlost Chalet in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.
Farther afield in the U.S., in Tucson, Arizona, there is a neighborhood called Limberlost, containing Limberlost Drive, Limberlost Circle, and Limberlost Place, and such businesses as Limberlost Pre-school and Limberlost Studio Apartments. In the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, one can hike along the Limberlost Trail. In 1920, a woman bought 100 large hemlock trees int he land the trail runs through to preserve them from logging, and her husband named it the Limberlost Forest after A Girl of the Limberlost.
Use of the Limberlost name doesn't end at the borders of our country. In Canada, the province of Ontario seems to be particularly Limberlost crazy. A company from there, Beaver Homes and Cottages, has a model called Limberlost. Limberlost Road can be found in London and Huntsville, Ontario. Near Huntsville is the Limberlost Forest and Wildlife Reserve, and if you wish to stay in the Limberlost Lodge, go to Thessalon. But if a person should really want to travel afar while still lodging in a place called Limberlost, book a room at the Limberlost Hotel in the seaside town of Wilderness, South Africa.
Well, there's a taste of how Gene Stratton-Porter spread the name of the Limberlost around the country and the world. And, by the way, with the world in mind, I believe I might have to contact the Guinness Book of World Records. I wonder if there is a category called: greatest usage of the word "Limberlost" in a single newspaper column. If the record is under 39, I am the new world champion!
Source: This article was first published in the Berne Tri-Weekly (now the Berne Witness) in January 2015.