Surrounded by cornfields in southern Grant County, Fairmount is an unexpected treasure. Located just 10 miles south of Marion, the town boasts a quaint village atmosphere. With a historic downtown lined with shops and restaurants, it’s worth a visit this holiday season.
Fairmount’s long and varied history goes back to the 1830s, but it was the area’s prosperity during the gas boom of the late nineteenth century that shaped its current historic charm.
Fairmount has parlayed the attention brought by two famous native sons — actor James Dean and “Garfield” creator Jim Davis — to help build momentum for the community. The town boasts two historical society museums highlighting the lives and achievements of Dean and Davis, as well as an annual festival in their honor, bringing in thousands of heritage tourism dollars for local businesses.
Community pride continues to grow as new and interesting shops join long-established businesses. In the past year, the state Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) partnered with local officials to fund improvements to the downtown streetscape, including new sidewalks and benches, traditional-style street lighting, colorful banners, and attractive planters.
A variety of businesses occupy historic storefronts in the town’s National Register-listed downtown. The Timber and Thread carries hand-crafted furniture and a line of women’s clothing. The Candle Shed & Company offers farmhouse décor alongside a wide assortment of candles, and Minerva’s Treasures carries a line of vintage ready-to-wear items. Other businesses along the three-block commercial district include mainstays like the Main St. Barber Shop and a no-nonsense vintage-packed store simply called “Antiques.”
Shoppers can take a break to refresh themselves at one of several local eateries. The popular Grains & Grill restaurant offers diverse fare that would be the envy of any big-city establishment. The Bad Dad Brewery is another favorite, carrying a unique blend of locally crafted beers. The Branch, an upscale coffee shop and café, occupies space that once housed the DMV License Branch.
Take a break from traffic jams and crowded shopping malls and spend a day in historic Fairmount. It’s a trip nearly guaranteed to recharge your holiday spirit.
For more information, contact Paul Hayden, director of Indiana Landmarks’ Northeast Field Office at 260-563-7094, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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