Press Release              Event Date:  May 14, 2018


For further information contact Mary Chrastil, 260-982-0672



Historical Society Hosts Program on New Canoe Park and Eel River Lore


On Monday, May 14, the Historical Society’s monthy program will feature the Eel River, highlighting its historic contributions and its most recent benefit to the community, the new North Manchester Canoe Park.  The 2-part program will host Jennifer Hotchkiss, Director of the North Manchester Parks and Recreation Department, and local historian John Knarr.  The program will be held in the Assembly Room at Timbercrest Retirement Center, 2201 East Street, at 6:30 p.m.  It is open to the public at no cost and will be enjoyable for audiences of all ages. 


The Eel River is a major asset for our town, and one that North Manchester has sometimes underutilized in the past.  North Manchester will soon open the new canoe launch on the Eel River.  The park will encourage town and county residents to take advantage of a wonderful natural resource.  It should also help attract tourists to Wabash County, as well as making North Manchester an even more attractive place to live.


John Knarr will start the evening with a brief presentation on the importance of the Eel River to early town residents.  Knarr has been a popular presenter at past Historical Society programs and in programs for other local organizations.  He edits and writes the NMHS newsletter, and has done significant original research on North Manchester-related topics such as the Thomas Marshall family. 


Jennifer Hotchkiss has been Director of the North Manchester Parks and Recreation for four years.  She oversees Warvel, Halderman and Frantz Parks, the Town Life Center Park and the Strauss-Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center.  Parks and Recreation will also be responsible for overseeing the new canoe park.  A graduate of Whitko High School and Huntington College, Jennifer has 17 years of experience working in parks and recreation.  She has been involved in the planning process for the canoe park, and will be available to answer questions about the planning process and hopes for the future of the park.

It’s very exciting for North Manchester to focus again on the potential recreational and economic gifts that the river offers.  We wouldn’t be here, in this spot, without the Eel River.  Join us on May 14 to hear why the river was so important to our early settlers, and how it is reclaiming its importance today.