GREENFIELD, Ind. (Oct. 3, 2014)-- This week, Your Town Friday is in the City of Greenfield! You will find the Hancock County community about 25 miles east of downtown Indianapolis. Population is about 21,000. The historic city dates back to 1828 and prides itself on its heritage & friendliness!
Along Main Street in historic downtown Greenfield you’ll find the James Whitcomb Riley boyhood home and museum built in the 1850’s. It’s the childhood home of the famed “Hoosier poet” whose works include “Little Orphant Annie,” “When the Frost is on the Punkin” and “The Bear Story.” The home was built by James Whitcomb Riley’s father, Reuben Riley, who was Greenfield’s first Mayor.
Today, the home is owned by the city and maintained by the parks and rec department, the grounds are beautifully manicured and the inside takes you back to life in the 1850s and 60s.
“You have that sort of opportunity, to preserve the historic value of the house, grounds, building, outside kitchen, house next door with museum, to offer this to people traveling, but also to the local residents that have lived here all their lives and want to be part of the town and part of the city,” said Mayor Chuck Fewell.
Mayor Fewell says it’s a great resource for the local kids as well, “The children at the schools can come and take the tours and learn why it’s important to have heritage in the city you reside.” The mayor says the warm and inviting feeling you get at the historic home is something you’ll find all over Greenfield. He says the vibrant city, economy and attitude draws people in, “When you come in and they open their arms and say ‘Welcome to Greenfield, Indiana’ then you have the attitude that you want to stay here because it’s a pretty friendly place.” The Riley home is open April through the end of October from 11-4, Tuesday through Saturday.
On the outskirts of town you’ll find all of the chain restaurants and shops but if you head into the historic downtown district you’ll find some really unique eats and treats! Right across from the Hancock County Courthouse is the Harbour Live. The coffee shop is not only known for their comfortable family friendly atmosphere and live music, manager Pamela Stephenson says they’re also known for their full coffee bar, ice cream selections and café menu; “Deli sandwiches, chicken salad, it’s fantastic, croissants, soups, breads, desserts, decadents, that sort of thing.” Harbour Live is actually a first of its kind in the area. It opened in conjunction with The Landing, which is a safe haven upstairs for at-risk teens. Director of the program, Linda Ostewig, says “we’ve seen that our young people were struggling in all areas of their life, we thought of a program where they can do recovery.” Linda says the coffee house below not only serves as a great spot for members of the community, it’s a safe place for young people suffering with addictions, abuse, dysfunction and homelessness.
Just a few blocks away is another popular family hangout, Hometown Classic Pizza! Owner Don Johnson says the business has changed ownership and names over the years, but the pizza recipe has been around since 1966. He says taking over the business was very important to him because “when I was 16 I started delivering for this same pizza and it just seemed like the right thing to do. I didn’t want to see this pizza go away,” so he bought the business with his wife!
For the last four years, Hometown Classic Pizza has been housed in a former hardware store, paint shop and coin shop. Today, it features an antique shop, vintage pinball and Pac-Man games and a pool table…in addition to their beer, wine, pizza and other Italian dishes.
“People love the atmosphere, the pizza, it’s top quality food, we serve only the best ingredients, it’s a family friendly atmosphere, almost like a Cheers, people come and stay for 3-4 hours,” said Johnson. "It’s been such a big hit in town that just this past summer they opened another Hometown Classic Pizza location in downtown Shelbyville."