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Churubusco

 

Churubusco, a small town with a big name, is located just ten minutes north of Fort Wayne, Indiana, on U.S. 33. Named after the 1847 battle of Churubusco, Mexico, during the Mexican War, the bedroom community has about 2,000 residents. Rural Churubusco encompasses parts of three counties, Whitley, Noble and Allen, with the town itself located in Smith Township, Whitley County. Chief Little Turtle, or Mishikinoqkwa, and members of his Miami Village were known to hunt and camp in the Churubusco area in the late 1700s. It is reported that the Chief loved to fish in the waters of Blue Lake near Churubusco.

 

Turtle Town

 

Churubusco is most noted for its famous turtle tale. In July 1948 several men in Fulk Lake in rural Churubusco spotted a giant turtle. After several write-ups by local newspapers, the story went worldwide on the wire and Churubusco was soon dubbed “Turtle Town.” The turtle was called “Oscar” after Oscar Fulk, the original owner of the lake. Thousands of motorists clogged the small gravel roads leading to Fulk’s pond, hoping to catch a glimpse of the turtle. Gale Harris, the owner of the property at the time, employed divers, inventors of  high-tech “turtle catchers,” and eventually drained the pond, exhausting his financial resources, but to no avail. Oscar was never found. Although the turtle was never captured, the story lives on through Turtle Days Festival in June. The first festival was held in 1949 and continues to this day. The Turtle Days Board of Directors offers a year-round festival guide at www.turtledays.com.

 

Points of Interest

 

  • The town has a large community park that includes four ball diamonds, a water/splash park, a skate park, tennis and basketball courts, an outside pavilion, a recreation and events building, walking trails and a soccer field.

 

  • Blue Lake, a 239 acre site located a mile northwest of Churubusco, offers lots of lake fun with boating, skiing and fishing. A public boat access dock is located on the southwest side, and there are several public campgrounds available on or near the lake.

 

  • The Churubusco Public Library, located at 116 N. Mulberry Street, offers a wide range of resource materials and events for both children and adults.

 

 

Manufacturing

 

The largest employer is C & A Tool Engineering, which employs nearly 500 people in its headquarters on U.S. 33, as well as in over a dozen other buildings scattered throughout the town limits. Other manufacturing firms include BRC Rubber & Plastics, Inc., Sure Tool & Engineering, Inc., Aquatek Water Conditioning and Pro Systems, LLC.

 

Chamber of Commerce

 

Churubusco has an active Chamber of Commerce that sponsors several community events each year. For a list of the events or information on the Chamber, go to the Web site at http://churubuscochamber.org.

 

Educational

 

The Indiana Chamber of Commerce has recognized Smith-Green Community Schools –which includes Churubusco Elementary School and Churubusco Jr.-Sr. High School - as a “Best Buy” for many consecutive years. The school corporation is responsible for the education of about 1,280 students every year. Superintendent Steve Darnell works with a 5-member board of elected school trustees. The school board meets the first and third Monday of each month. The town has two nursery and/or pre-schools – the Churubusco Community Child Care Center and the United Methodist Preschool.

 

Local Government

 

A three-member town council is responsible for town policies and regulations and meets regularly on the first and third Wednesday of each month. Another elected official, the town clerk-treasurer, also serves as utilities clerk in the town’s government center on South Main Street.

 

Emergency Services

 

The police department is under the direction of Town Marshal Chad Fulkerson. Fulkerson, three full time officers and several part-time officers provide round-the-clock security, resulting in a very low crime rate. The police department also is located in the town’s government center.

 

The Churubusco Smith Twp. Fire Department was started in 1887 and is manned by about 30 experienced volunteers. They are on call 24-7 and operate out of the fire station on South Line Street.

 

The Whitley County EMA team was established in 1975 and operates with a staff of around 10-12 experienced paramedics and medical technicians.

 

The emergency teams who serve Churubusco have been recognized for their service at the county and state levels.