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Located in Crawfordsville and founded in 1882, Wabash was one of the earliest colleges west of the Alleghenies and is one of the few all-male colleges left in the country. Three noted men of letters who called the town home in the mid- and late 1800s were Gen. Lew Wallace, attorney and writer Maurice Thompson and novelist and diplomat Meredith Nicholson.
Crawfordsville-Montgomery County Visitors Center: 412 E. Main St., Crawfordsville, IN 47933; phone (800) 866-3973.
THE BEN HUR MUSEUM, E. Pike St. and Wallace Ave., was built at Gen. Lew Wallace's home after his 1885 return from Turkey, where he served as U.S. Minister. Wallace wrote the majority of the novel "Ben Hur" on the study grounds; the book was completed in New Mexico. Displays of memorabilia chronicle Wallace's roles as a lawyer, state senator, Civil War general, scholar and writer. Wed.-Sat. 10-4:30, Tues. and Sun. 1-4:30, June-Aug.; Tues.-Sun. 1-4:30, Apr.-May and Sept.-Oct. Admission $2; ages 6-12, 5Oc. Phone (765) 362-5769.
HENRY S. LANE HISTORIC HOME, Pike and Water sts., is a renovated Greek Revival house built in 1845 by Col. Henry S. Lane, governor of Indiana and a U.S. senator during the Civil War. Lane was instrumental in bringing about Abraham Lincoln's presidential nomination. The colonel lived in the house until his death in 1881. The house is filled with Lane's furnishings and collections. Guided tours are available. Tues.-Sun. 1-4, Apr.-Oct.; otherwise by appointment. Admission $3; ages 6-12, $1. Reservations are required for guided tours. Phone (765) 362-3416.
THE OLD JAIL MUSEUM, 225 N. Washington St., is a restored 1882 county jail with a circular set of cellblocks that can be rotated by the turn of a crank. This arrangement enabled the sheriff to check on each of his prisoners without moving from his desk. The sheriff's living quarters contain prehistoric, American Indian and pioneer artifacts' period costumes, tools, toys and works by local artists. Guided tours are available. Wed.-Sat. 10-4:30, Tues. and Sun. 1-4:30, June-Aug.; Wed.-Sun. 1-4:30, Apr.-May and Sept.-Oct. Free. Reservations are required for guided tours. Phone (765) 362-5222.