Visit Gas City Rich in History and Classic Cool Vibes

Grant County, Indiana is home to several unique communities with their own classic and cool characteristics. Gas City is near the center of the county nestled along the Mississinewa River. Originally a small settlement, this town’s growth was ignited by the discovery of natural gas in the late 1800s, hence the name. When you visit, you’ll experience both popular attractions and fascinating history.

Classic Cool Vibes in Gas City

Gas City Concerts at the Park fill summer evenings with live music. Music lovers bring chairs and blankets to rock the night away in front of the ‘Beaner Linn’ Park Bandshell. These concerts are popular, so arrive early to get a prime spot. Admission is free.

Part of the James Dean Weekend Runs & Rallies during the last weekend in September, the Ducktail Run Rod & Custom Car Show brings its colorful array of custom cars to ‘Beaner Linn’ Park. More than 2,000 classic cars,1972 and older, show off dazzling paint jobs and glowing chrome. Live 50’s and 60’s music provides the perfect soundtrack as you’ll likely see poodle skirts, bobbie socks, saddle oxfords and of course, ducktail hairdos.

Happy Trails in Gas City

In Gas City, there are plenty of places to stroll, power walk, run or even bike. So, grab your shades and hit the trails.

The longest paved trail in Indiana is Cardinal Greenway, which spans 62 miles and stretches from Marion to Richmond. Hikers and bikers can gain access in Gas City at the intersection of SR 22/35 and Water Street, just east of SR15.

Along the Garfield Trail, collect selfies with colorful statues of Garfield, the lasagna loving fat cat, created by Jim Davis. Davis was born in Marion and grew up in Fairmount, also located in Grant County, Indiana. In Gas City, park at the Mill Township Public Library at 135 East Main Street and start your trek. You’ll quickly find Garfield the Glass Blower, a nod to Gas City’s glass industry. Then, located outside of Payne’s Restaurant, designed like a British pub, British Garfield is the “cheeky bloke” who greets you.

Neat Eats in Gas City

If you love BBQ, try Pappie’s Smokehouse. This family smoke house makes flavor-packed classics like brisket, pulled pork and mac-n-cheese. Located right on Main Street, just follow the smokey and sweet smells.

A local favorite is Payne’s Restaurant. A casual restaurant with a British flare, fish and chips are their specialty. Otherwise, choose from breakfasts, salads, soups, sandwiches and hearty entrées. Have you ever tried sticky toffee pudding? Save room!

Gas City’s History

Settled in 1867 by Noah Harris, the town’s original name was Harrisburg. Soon thereafter, local coal miners unearthed natural gas. As a result, in 1892 the town of 150 residents renamed itself Gas City.

Upon its discovery here, natural gas was seemingly in endless supply. It burned cleaner, hotter and more efficiently than coal gas; therefore, its abundance attracted a variety of industries. These included a major tin plate mill, a carriage manufacturer, American Wire & Nail and 21 new glass factories.

As a result, Gas City grew rapidly, attracting thousands of residents to work in factories and to start businesses. A bank, an opera house, hotels and rows of business offices were quickly built. Until homes were completed, workers actually lived in tents and shanties.

Unfortunately, the natural gas boom ended almost as soon as it began. In 1902, pressure in wellheads dropped. Glass manufacturing companies were participially hit hard. While some went out of business, others moved to locations where natural gas was plentiful. Others glass companies stayed, consolidated and used coal gas again or imported natural gas.

Get a glimpse of what life was like during the natural gas boom in Gas City by visiting the Gas City Museum. Artifacts depicting home life and local industry will bring this important time period to life. It is open seasonally, April through November.

Gas City is located near the middle of Grant County along SR 35 at the SR 22 junction. From I-69, use exit 259, State Road 22, Gas City. Marion, the county seat, is only 6 miles from Gas City.

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Grant County

About Grant County

Grant County, Indiana, is home to nifty attractions, outtasight events and rebellious celebrities. Whether it’s saddle shoes, classic cars, vintage bikes, James Dean, or Garfield, we love everything classic and cool. Have a blast just 90 minutes North of Indy.

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