MUNCIE (Nov. 14, 2014) - When you think of Muncie, maybe you think of Ball State University, the Delaware County Fairgrounds, the birth place of the comic strip Garfield and many notable manufacturers with plants in the city. Perhaps the most well-known is Ball Corporation, started by the Ball brothers back in 1880. The Ball brothers, best known for their home canning ball jars, moved their glass factory from Buffalo, N.Y., to Muncie in 1888.
“They moved their factory during the gas boom, there was a huge gas boom in the late 1800s, it brought industrialists to the area for cheap energy, they built up the manufacturing plant and they decided to stay here,” said Rebecca Gilliam, VP of Minnetrista’s Visitor Experiences.
The large family owned many pieces of land along the White River and built beautiful homes.
“All of the Ball brothers after they got married they built their homes and their wives helped to name all of them. The homes themselves all have several owners but it’s a historic boulevard so folks can come and see the whole boulevard and enjoy taking a peak inside a couple of the historic homes,” said Gilliam.
You can also visit a larger facility that serves the community named Minnetrista. It’s a museum that has over 40 acres of public gardens and nature areas as well as activities, programs and experiences inside.
“We serve the entire community and also the region. We have some galleries, traveling exhibitions, nature area and community events year round. We are a hub, a gathering place,” said Gilliam.
Muncie is currently home to over 70,000 people, but the city draws in thousands of people from all over the world, not only because of Ball State University, but because of their many hidden gems.
Picture this: Thick, rich, melts in your mouth! The chocolate you will find at Lowery’s Candies has been making mouths water for the last 73 years.
“Our chocolate is a higher grade chocolate, it’s a thicker chocolate, we’re able to dip things like bacon and Twinkies and it’ll hold onto that kind of product,” said Charles Joseph, Lowery’s current President.
The candy shop has passed through the hands of his family members since 1941.
“Traditionally we make nut rolls, toffee, dark secrets and old fashion creams, but what we’ve been pushing here lately is that we can put anything you want in chocolate. Several husbands with pregnant wives, they come in with dill pickles and say put these in chocolate. We had a Ball State student come in last year who wanted bacon dipped for her boyfriend,” said Joseph.
Some other popular items are chocolate dipped chili cheese Fritos and red hot Cheetos. Hey, don’t knock it till you try it! And the best part: the quality has never changed. There are no additives or oils in their chocolate.
Now if you fly on over to the other side of town, you’ll find the Academy of Model Aeronautics.
“We welcome thousands every year to our national headquarters which houses a national fly site and the National Model Aviation Museum, which is the world’s largest museum of its kind,” said AMA Director of Communications and Development, Mandee Mikulski.
Inside, the museum has over 10,000 artifacts and you can learn all about model aviation history.
“We welcome children and adults. There’s something for everyone, even a hands-on room where people can come try to fly on a simulator and we can give you info you need to start the hobby,” said Mikulski.
Whether you want to learn, you’re an amateur or you’re a competitive modeler, the nonprofit holds annual competitions, educational programs and fundraising events.
“It’s a way everyone can learn to fly. Maybe not everyone can get their pilots license but everyone can learn to fly remote control and get the experience of flying,” said Mikulski.