What You Must Do in Morristown, Indiana a.k.a Mayberry! (You won’t regret it)

Usually I get guest post offers about all sorts of exotic destinations. This is not one of them, and I couldn’t resist some variety.  Sometimes the mundane can be pretty interesting…

Have you ever driven through a small town like Mayberry and wondered who in the world lives there or wonder what it would be like? Well, you’re about to find out.

In today’s world it’s almost unimaginable to think of a town existing without a McDonalds, a Wal-Mart, a Starbucks, or a Dunkin’ Donuts nearby. In fact, it’s almost some sort of sin, right? Well, not exactly but it is a bit odd these days which is why when I tell friends about my hometown of Morristown, Indiana, many don’t believe me.

To preface you about Indiana, it’s one of those Mid-western, corn-growing, basketball-playing, good ole’ moral value states where people often say they’ve drove through once or twice only to complete the sentence by saying how boring it was.  But outside of our corn, long roads, Hoosier basketball, and moral values is our inherent need to claim famous people: We’ve got John Mellencamp, Larry Bird, John Wooden, Michael Jackson, David Letterman, Jim Gaffigan, Bobby Knight, Jane Pauly, and Abraham Lincoln (even though that’s still being discussed…, let it go, Illinois!)

Just east of Hwy 9 & 52 is the no stop light town of Morristown, Indiana. Population: 1,218. You might be wondering what is different about this small quaint little town. Well…

We don’t have Andy Griffith, but we do have a Town Marshall named Henry (Did I mention he substituted at our high school?), a famous restaurant known as the Kopper Kettle, a town drunk who can be found riding his moped, a Three Day Fish Fry event where kids race soap box derby cars better known as Derby Days, a graduating class of about 54 students on average, and a coffee shop called the Bluebird where the local farmers meet up everyday at the “round table” (kind of like “The View” before it was “The View”). While all this is true, it’s sort of hard to believe these days.

I had the privilege of growing up in a place where everyone really does know your name (oh yea, Cheers bartender Woody Harrelson went to school in Indiana), and if they don’t they’ll find out, they will.. Gossip Girl doesn’t have a thing on this Town Gossip! So if you’re one of those city slickers who drives through small towns but has never really experienced one, take a second to stop by Morristown or another small gem. You won’t regret it!

What You Must Do in Morristown, Indiana

  • Coffee at the Round Table- The Bluebird Restaurant is a small town restaurant where eating fried chicken and discussing town news is nothing but common. Sit with the men that meet at the round table daily to feel like a certified townie, but be ready to answer the question “Who the heck are ya?” So needless to say in Indiana places like Mayberry really do still exist.
  • Eat at the Famous Kopper Kettle– The Kopper Kettle is Morristown’s claim to fame. Seriously, someone always knows someone who has been to the Kettle. Some of the past visitors have included Henry Ford, Rosemary Clooney, Herbert Hoover, and Richard Lugar. Order the fried chicken and buttery goodness known as the mashed potatoes!

  • Come to Derby Days (Last Weekend in July)– It’s a hometown parade along with a Three Day Fish Fry Event. Don’t Miss the Boys & Girls Soap Box Derby Race on the big hill (a.k.a the only hill in Morristown)! It’s small town life at its finest.

  • Friday Night Game- Almost every Friday night you can find the large Indiana high school gym filled with locals. Whether it be for a Friday night volleyball game (no, we don’t have football) or a heated basketball game with a county rival. It’s worth experiencing!

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12 thoughts on “What You Must Do in Morristown, Indiana a.k.a Mayberry! (You won’t regret it)”

  1. Wonderful! I’m twenty something (chuckle!) and can affirm that all is true, having lived in this great Mayberry of a town for going on 17 years. But it’s greatest asset is it’s neighbors. They really get to know and care for each other (and I’ve lived in many places where that is not true.)

  2. I love this! I come from a small town myself. And I have to say, even though a town like this might seem mundane to us Americans, I bet it seems pretty exotic or at least quaint to foreigners visiting our country from vastly different cultural backgrounds. After all, it’s probably a lot like what they’ve seen on American TV shows (if they’ve seen American TV shows), like Everwood, Northern Exposure, or as you mention, the Andy Griffith Show. Just goes to show you, every place has something to offer, you just need to know how to look at it.

  3. Adorable! I think that small town America is such a great piece of culture, and too often overlooked. Mayberry might not be exotic, but it sounds so charming and heartwarming!

    (Although in this day and age one could argue that no starbucks or walmart is exotic in and of itself!)

  4. I always like getting pulled back home. Though I lived there for 6 years and the only thing to really change is they moved my baseball field. I spent my adolecent years there and will always say that’s where i “grew” up. But a list of to do can’t be completed with out a trip down to the ol’ rope swing in the Big Blue River, a stick to the roofof your mouth Jackett Hive burger, dirt hills @the cannery, and of course watching the school kids ride around the town on the firetruck after a big sports win.The thing however is other than about 6 cities in Indiana all Indiana towns are Mayberry.

  5. Ron aka rangeron

    When I was growing up in the 1960’s news from Morristown or about Morristown was BIG. I lived near Eden in Hancock County, everywhere else was Big 🙂 .
    I have been to the Kettle and basketball games there!
    Nice Indiana town.

  6. Hate to correct you but fish fry days-there are only 2! It is officially named “The Morristown Lions Club Fish Fry and Derby Days. Usually held the last weekend of July. However, this may change since the school is starting so much sooner these days!

  7. Hellooooooooo, to all you locals in Mayberry / ( Morristown ) that is. Us City Slickers are quite frankly tired of being just that !!!! We have been studying your Town for over a year & a half now. & we’ve decided on following through with our plans there. We will be bringing quite a bit of talk & hype there, real soon. We have Designed a Plan to help boost your local economy. We are excited & are sure, all of you will be as well. This is an idea that is based on enjoying time with your Friends & Families, & we are looking forward to meeting with all you. We can’t wait to be part of those Breakfast / Lunch conversations @ The Kopper Kettle. We are getting really close to our Launch dates and wish we could share our secret with you. You will all know soon enough, once our Construction process begins. Thank you for taking the time to read this, & letting us share our excitement with you.

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