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Tania is currently the Founder & Editor-in-Chief of The Hudsucker, and Senior Editor at the Nashville, Tennessee based PopCulture.com. With past writing and editing credits with Womanista, Quietly, the International Women's Media Foundation (IWMF) and NBC Newsvine, she is currently a member of Indianapolis based, Society of Professional Journalists — one of the oldest organizations in the U.S. that promotes and represents journalists. She is an avid Indianapolis Colts, Elvis Presley and baseball fan as well as a lover of pancakes and fine cheeses, film, and music. Tania is a Hoosier at heart with a passionate wanderlust for always traveling and giving back to those in her community. She is currently studying at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. Follow Tania on Twitter: @westlifebunny.

USPS Celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial: The Town Behind The Stamp

{Image Credit: United States Postal Service/AP}

In what was reported last week, the U.S. Postal Service is using an Indiana native’s photograph of a sunset amid a lush northern cornfield for a stamp honoring the state’s bicentennial. 

The image on the stamp of clouds streaming above a northern Indiana cornfield and a delicate sunset off in the horizon was taken on a dirt road off Indiana 15 in the Kosciusko County, hailing from a 2012 photograph captured by 25 year-old Milford, Indiana native, Michael Matti.

The postage stamp marks its grand arrival as numerous events and activities are planned around the Hoosier state during 2016 to mark its 200th anniversary of statehood. (Indiana became the nation’s 19th state on December 11, 1816.) While the USPS hasn’t yet set a release date for the Indiana stamp, Hoosiers and stamp collectors alike can check back with the official United States Postal Service website later this month.

At the time of snapping the image, Matti wasn’t thinking about stamps or state birthdays. He was simply driving home from a friend’s house in Milford, Indiana when he spotted the perfect scene. The graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion saw an opportunity and ended up standing on his car’s roof with a tripod to take the now famous shot of a cornfield with the sun setting behind it.

Matti capturing a sunset just south of Milford, Indiana on the old 15. {Image Credit: Michael Matti}

In 2014, Matti was a guest writer for The Hudsucker and shared with our readers the importance of travel. As someone who has grown in his profession and shared beautiful images from his journeys over the years, we are extremely proud of Matti and congratulate him for this historic achievement! As the news first reported by AP spread last Thursday like wildfire among Hoosiers and Internet users, many were wondering the exact whereabouts of this gorgeous image. As fans of Matti from over the years, we recall the image first shared in his Travel Adventure Blog from over four years ago.

With Indiana celebrating its bicentennial this year and a growing curiosity of this small, remote town in northern Indiana, it’s the perfect opportunity to share with fellow Hoosiers and enthusiastic travelers the charisma and delight of Milford, Indiana. Though a relatively remote town, it is a big honor for one with rich roots, first established in 1836, and incorporated in 1880.

If there’s one thing you should know about this state famous for the Indy 500, it’s that everyone is incredibly hospitable and lends a helping hand when given. The soul of a place like Indiana and those residing in small towns like Milford finds so many relishing in the natural beauty of a state that is simple, yet ever charming. Both encouraging and enlightening, there is a ton of culture to discover in small-town America.

Boasting a little more than 1,500 residents within 1.12 square miles, Milford is filled with an estimated 613 households and 406 families. While it doesn’t scream tourism, the town enjoys a leisurely pace with its historic streets with mom-and-pop-shops, showcasing turn of the century architecture.

The quaint town with homey neighborhoods and vast farms is also home to Maple Leaf Farms, Inc. (not to be confused as an affiliate with Canada’s Maple Leaf Foods), the world’s largest producer of ducklings; and the printer and publisher, The Papers Incorporated whose largest publication is Auto & RV—a publication circulated in Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Wisconsin and Tennessee.

While Milford might seem more industrial and for the working class, it boasts many small businesses and professional offices, growing into a fine example of a close community where many live and work. There is a developing nightlife in and around Milford, with members of the community shopping at their local favorites on Main Street. From authentic Mexican or Chinese cuisine, to famous and comforting homemade fare, it’s worth a drive to eat in this pleasurable hamlet. If you’re craving dessert with your significant other, stop by Milford Scoops and try their 18 unique flavors! If you want to dine out and experience the allure of those hometown feels, check out 20th Century Restaurant. As a staple in the community for over 30 years, this restaurant serves up a storm with its diner appeal.

Sunset captured at Waubee Lake, near Milford, Indiana. {Image Credit: Michael Matti}

After dining, many choose to stroll along Waubee Lake, a small freshwater lake located a little more than three miles from the Milford Junction and situated on the border of Shady Banks, Indiana. Like other lakes in the area, Waubee is a glaciated body of water lined with vacation homes and year-round residences. While part of the upper west shore borders farm land and void of residences for years, many are now plotting homes of mansion appeal along the lake shore.

Celebrating events throughout the year, the Town of Milford hosts various festivals, complete with rides, food vendors and a large variety of live entertainment. From cultural to recreational, this northern town thrives in meeting the needs of their community residents in order to embrace the diversity and richness that makes Milford what it is.

Milford might be the epitome of a small town with its familial appeal, but it evokes the best of what Hoosiers are as a culture. Small towns like these are immense assets to the state with a vibrant, beating heart, full of traditions. Though hidden away between other towns and lowly populated, Milford and similar places like this across the state are among Indiana’s greatest strength. Even if it’s shying from city lights and metropolitan attractions, it doesn’t take a genius to realize small town charm with small businesses and archaic architecture is a blessing to all those who dare to grace such a village.

As an image captured by Matti and preserved for history, this town within the Kosciusko County reinforces the honesty and allure of how big cities aren’t the ones that produce creative and outstanding works—the individuals do. And being awakened to that unparalleled charm for years to come is inspiring!

The grace and beauty of a fiery sky in the country. {Image Credit: Michael Matti}

* * * * *

If you would like to visit Milford, Indiana and see the town that stamped quite an impression on USPS history, check out the Town of Milford, and plan your visit through Indiana’s Kosciusko County or via Visit Indiana.

To celebrate with Indiana this year, visit the Indiana Bicentennial Celebration for more information on how you can take part in the year-round festivities.

For more information on the photographer who helped make national history for his home state, check out Michael Matti’s official website and connect with him on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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  1. USPS Celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial: The Town Behind The Stamp | westlifebunny - January 4, 2016

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