Reminder of a mint operation in Elkhart County

Have you ever chewed a stick of spearmint gum? Do you wonder where the mint came from? For several years, mint in various forms was grown extensively in northern Indiana. This photo shows the remains of a mint still on County Road 52, east of County Road 13 in Union Township in Elkhart County. This was once part of the Stuckman mint and onion farm. I took the photo as part of the Union Township historical tour last year given by the Elkhart County Historical Museum. I won’t go into too much detail here, but mint was grown in fields and then through various processes the oil was extracted from it and sold to different suppliers. One fairly common use of mint is in chewing gum, but there are other uses. As noted before, growing mint in this area was much more common than it is today. Agriculture has changed, though, and corn and soybeans (with some exceptions) seem to be the most profitable crops now. I am aware of only one mint grower in the area now and they are located between Milford and Nappanee.

Remnants of a mint still in Elkhart County.

Remnants of a mint still in Elkhart County.


About historynut11

My name is Tim Ashley and I am a newspaper editor/reporter/photographer in Milford, Indiana, and live in nearby Goshen, Indiana. A deeply held and sincere passion of mine is history and learning from the past. I enjoy a wide variety of history topics, but particularly local history, noted American highways (Lincoln Highway and Route 66), railroad history and the Civil War. I believe we can learn much from the past and that past shapes who we are today. I also enjoy visiting museums and historical sites, as well as taking photos of remnants from the past still standing.
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