Settled in 1828, Howe was the first white settlement in LaGrange County. It was a quite a practical site as the first rustic frontier settlement: it was conveniently near the river for fish, the woodlands and nearby marshes for game, and the prairie for plots of maize. It was named after John B. Howe, a local attorney. The community became the center of trade for settlers in a fifty-mile radius.
While times have changed since then, Howe is still a practical town. Residents have the best of both worlds: a traditional, friendly town to call home but in close proximity to nearby cities like Elkhart and South Bend. Our realtors invite you to come and take a look and see why early settlers were attracted to the area. We can help you find a home that was built from the mid-19th century to today.
Howe is located at the intersection of State Road 120 and State Road 9. It is approximately three miles south of the Indiana Toll Road (I-80/90) and five miles north of LaGrange. While driving through town, you may see the Amish go by in their buggies and hear the clip-clop of their horses. We know you’ll like this area because it’s progressive yet steeped in tradition. Give us a call to schedule an appointment. We’d be happy to answer your questions and show you homes in the area. We know the real estate market here, so let us help you find the home that is perfect for you.
Two food businesses in town are located in historic buildings. Iannarelli's Italian Restaurant, serving dishes made with recipes that are authentic and handed down through the family, is located in a house that was built in 1845. The owners like to remind people that it was built just three years after a young Abraham Lincoln married Mary Todd, three years before the California gold rush, and sixteen years before the Civil War. Happiness Is Ice Cream is located on the square in downtown Howe. The building that houses the shop dates back to the early 1800's. It was a carriage, buggy, and blacksmith business. This ice cream shop knows how to serve ice cream. The banana splits are so big, they’re practically a meal in and of itself.
Shoppers can visit numerous specialty stores located in Howe and other nearby towns. Yoder’s Department Store is where locals and visitors find a unique blend of quality, hard-to-find items, or Cuddle Corner, which features the softest fabrics in town. And they can go to The Outlet Shoppes at Fremont, which is a 30-minute drive from town. Many popular stores have an outlet store where shoppers can find household goods, clothing, toys, and much more.
Howe is a historic town where the buildings around the park are mostly the original structures with some added updates. The buildings on the east side of the park have been renovated. There’s an impressive art gallery in the Kingsbury House, a structure that was originally built as a hotel in 1864. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful paintings, sculptures, photography, blown glass, and pottery by artists from Michigan and Indiana. The park is also an active place, especially during the warmer months when there is a farmers market every week and various events such as a weekly classic car show.
There are also many fun things to do in LaGrange County. Menno-Hof is the perfect place to start a visit in Amish Country. Multi-image presentations and historical sites offer a glimpse into the life and history of the Amish and Mennonites. Shipshewana Flea Market & Auction is the largest flea market in the Midwest. LaGrange County Barn Quilt Trail takes visitors through the gently rolling countryside to view colorful quilt-pattern murals that adorn historic barns, family homesteads, and public spaces. And visitors can feed the buffalo at Cook’s Bison Ranch.
One-third of the workforce in the Howe area is employed in the “nature” industries of agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting whereas one-fifth of the workforce is employed in manufacturing and about an equal number are employed in construction. The remainder of the workforce works in educational services and other service-based fields.
Howe was the site of the first places of commerce in LaGrange County: grist mills, saw mills, general stores, and places of business for frontier tradesmen. Greenfield Mills has been producing flour since 1846 and has been owned and operated by the Rinkel family since 1904. It is reportedly Indiana's oldest commercial water-powered mill. It also houses a generator producing electricity for about a dozen homes.
The mission of the Lakeland School Corporation is to educate and prepare all students for career and life success. There are three elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school in the corporation. The elementary schools include Grades K-5. The schools are committed to providing quality instruction aligned to the Common Core and employ extra skill reinforcement through the SWOOP literacy program. Lakeland Middle School educates Grades 6-8. The students continue to study the basics as part of a rigorous, comprehensive curriculum. The high school houses Grades 9-12. Students are encouraged to take challenging courses, explore opportunities to connect to the community, and to become involved in many activities.
The Howe Military School, the town's most famous attraction, was founded in 1884. This co-educational private boarding school for Grades 7-12 provides an environment of military structure, Christian values, and educational rigor that helps students feel cared for while demanding respect, self-discipline, and academic growth.