STORY, Ind. – A tiny, historic town in Brown County is going up for sale.
Story, Indiana is a popular tourist destination, crammed in between the Hoosier National Forest and the Brown County State Park. The town itself is a throwback to the late 1800s
Story began as a community in 1851, but the Great Depression nearly shut down the town and forced its residents away.
According to the website for the town’s bed and breakfast, “In the early 1980s two hippies from Bloomington bought and reassembled the old town,” opening up the B&B. The town’s current owner, Rick Hofstetter, bought the town in 1999 at a sheriff’s auction, pouring hundreds of thousands of dollars into it to bring it to its current state.
“This place is now 168 years old and my love affair with it is just a tiny part of that,” Hofstetter said.
Everything in Story has been renovated to serve new purpose. The old general store serves as a restaurant and bed and breakfast, a dairy barn in the back of the property now serves as a popular wedding venue, the remaining houses and rooms are rented out to guests. There’s also a tavern that operates underneath the restaurant. Tens of thousands of people flock to Story each year. It’s a popular spot for festivals and for visitors looking to disconnect from the modern world.
“I think that’s a great thing, it’s nice to step outside of that. We get caught in the rat race at home so it’s nice to step outside of that,” Rommy Wehle said
Though he currently has two younger partners as co-owners, Hofstetter says he wants to sell the property to ensure its legacy. It’s his hope to find a buyer who has the time and resources to keep up with the town and preserve its current state.
“The town needs to be put in protective ownership. Figuratively wrapped in bubble wrap, and protected for future generations,” he said.
While the town is on the open market, Hofstetter says he’s not just looking for “anyone with a checkbook.” Hofstetter says the potential buyer has to have the same appreciation for Story that he does, and the same desire to see it preserved for years to come, adding that any agreement to sell would have “certain stipulations.”
“It needs the protection that it deserves. And that’s really what it is, it’s a transition. Somebody with a little less grey hair perhaps, and an equal appreciation,” he said.