Indianapolis Reviews Travel

Indy Guide: James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home

I live and play in Indianapolis every day of my life and I still sometimes stumble on “what to do” when guests come to visit. All of a sudden, I’m racking my brain and trying to remember what things I do on a regular basis. And then my life seems pretty boring because, of course, my favorite concert, sporting event, festival, party, etc isn’t happening that weekend and I’m scanning Trip Advisor for entertaining activities in my own city.

Thankfully, Trip Advisor does not often disappoint and I am quickly reminded of all the wonderful places in Indianapolis that I have not yet explored. My brother came to visit me last week, so naturally, I planned a museum crawl. We had a very strict schedule to keep in order to get to all three locations on the hour (they were all scheduled guided tours!) before closing time.

We made it to one.

Riley Home, Indianapolis, The Love Bungalow

But it was a great one! The James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home is located in the historic Lockerbie neighborhood of Indianapolis. It is the country’s only late-Victorian preservation and a National Historic Landmark. Who is James Whitcomb Riley, you might ask? Why, only one of the most famous American poets to ever exist, of course! He hobnobbed with Presidents and celebrities and traveled the nation sharing his poetry with the masses. And he was from Indiana, which is cool.

And he had a cool house. We arrived and were initially a bit lost. We tried knocking on all the doors until we were redirected to a next door visitor center. After becoming acclimated to the surroundings, we were welcomed and shown a brief video about Riley’s life and legacy. And then we moved to the house. AND WHAT A HOUSE! Our guide (aka the most precious person ever) shared that the house was locked the same year Riley died and everything in the house has been meticulously kept exactly as it was in 1916. We’re talking original carpets, gas lights, artwork, etc. SO BEAUTIFUL!! I was captivated and felt swept back in time to one of my favorite (I think) eras.

James Whitcomb Riley home, The Love Bungalow

Long (very long) story short (the tour took at least two hours): I learned alot. And I loved it. And I now have such loftier goals for the craftsmanship in my future mansion. And I would definitely recommend a visit to both locals and visitors. And, that’s all. 🙂 Just go. You’ll thank me (and there’s a Groupon!).

Anyone else have any cool, underlooked tours in their hometown?

Lindsay Sig

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