Tucked away in the rolling hills of Dubois county in Southern Indiana, Jasper, a small German town located on the winding Patoka River, remains true to its ethnic roots. Even now, more than 150 years after Bavarian and German immigrants, draw to this pastoral area because its dense woods reminded them of their homeland, a large majority of Jasper’s population is of German descent.
These are just a few of the many attractions, all within walking distance, in the downtown with its historic courthouse and traditional Indiana courthouse square surrounded by businesses and stores, some of which have been in the same family for a century or so.
Travel to the Jasper Train Depot on the Patoka River, not too far from the downtown. Built in 2004, the depot is a replica of the original building which once stood nearby from 1908 to the late 1969s.
Make sure to visit the nearby mill with its big wheel that turns to the current of the Patoka River. Like the depot, the mill is a replica of the mills that have stood at this spot since the days when Abraham Lincoln and his father would bring their grains to be milled.
Learn the area’s history at the Dubois County Museum.
Can’t get enough spaetzle? Stop by one of the city’s German restaurants. There’s the Schnitzelbank with its extensive German menu (and waitresses wearing dirndls). Be sure to time your visit for when the glockenspiel, housed in the restaurant’s clock tower. plays on the hour and the half hour.
Heichelbech’s Restaurant & Bar which has been in business for more than 60 years and, using family recipes, serves such fare as weinerschnitzel and jaegerschnitzel.
If you’re there in August be sure to attend the Strassenfest, a beery-y good time festival that celebrates the area’s German heritage with music, food and fun. Or celebrate a traditional German Christmas at the city’s annual O’Tannenbaum Festival in early December.
Hit the greens at Sultan’s Run Golf Course.