The Wilkinson family house has a small yard with waterfront. Steps lead down the side yard. The back yard has a deck.
Inside, the basement has a workshop for woodwork and welding. The craft room includes a built-in table and shelves. The bathroom has a sink, toilet, and bathtub with shower.
On the first floor, the foyer leads into the dining room. The kitchen has a built-in desk and an island. The living room is next to the powder room. The office is on the back side of the house. The master bedroom has an ensuite bathroom. The laundry room is near the porch, which has French doors. The garage includes a game room.
Stairs lead up to a landing. Ryder and Thatcher shared this room, which has a windowseat and a white bunk bed. This bedroom shares a Jack-and-Jill bathroom with April and June's room, which has a large closet and a pink bunk bed. May and September's room has fancy windows and a white bunk bed, plus a green ensuite. The family room includes several couches and chairs, along with left and right dormers.
Markle Mill Dam and Markle House are historic sites. The house was for sale as described here.
Markle House is a historic building.
In T-America, the carriage house includes a display on horse-drawn transportation. The driver's apartment above the carriage floor has been fully restored to show period living conditions.
The outhouse is still functional, but with improved facilities and a display on toilet history.
The back yard includes an accessible deck.
Just inside the house lies the pink bathroom. The gift shop will go in this pink parlor. The living room will house the lobby and reception desk. It has windows on both ends and a historic fireplace. These doors lead to the dining room. Here will be an exhibit about Frederick and Sarah Markle, the Markle House, the Markle Mill Dam and its gristmill. The kitchen has been fully restored to period condition, with a display on cooking techniques of the time. Several cookbooks of period recipes and methods are available in the gift shop.
Stairs lead up to the second floor. This gray room will hold an exhibit about Indiana wildlife, the importance of mill ponds and other constructed waterways. The black bathroom is on the second floor. This brown room will house an exhibit about low-head dams, gristmills, and sawmills in history and in modern times. It has an old woodstove. This brick room used to be a nursery. It will become an exhibit about drowning deaths and water safety. It has an old brick fireplace.
Markle Mill Dam becomes part of a historic park. People used to fish from the spillway. Ruins of the gristmill form a historic site. This is among the most dangerous low-head dams. It dates back to 1817.
Ryder Water Park has a visitor center. The reception desk is right inside the door. Beyond the gift shop you can see the classroom. The nature center includes an exhibit hall and a quiet room.
This blue reception desk marks the entrance to the recreation center. The changing room has benches, shower cubicles, toilets, and lockers. The indoor swimming pool has a water slide.
Outdoors, this pool has a waterfall. This slide curves around the hot tub. A rafting river provides a leisurely view. The splash and wading pool is only a few inches deep. The sprayground is molded around real boulders. The Messy Play Area includes water, mud, sand, and gravel to explore.
See a map of the new lake. Read about how to build a good fishing lake.
A marsh filters water from the feeder streams before it flows into Lake Refuge. This reduces pollution and silt, while creating habitat for ducks, herons, and other wildlife. Volunteer naturalists survey the development of wildlife in the marsh.
Lake Refuge has many coves, cuts, and points that create a very long shoreline. Plantings of fast-growing riparian trees such as willows add visual cover for privacy. Quite a lot of people can use the lake at the same time without making it feel crowded.
Instead of a dam with a dangerous spillway, the lake has a nice wide levee that is usually safe to walk along and to fish from. A gravel trail runs along the top of the levee and has benches along the way. The emergency drainage features for flood control lie underwater for safety and let out into a floodplain below the lake. That area is set aside as a wildlife refuge, not for building or farming.
Below this parking lot, you can see the boulders that line the banks in some areas for stability and easy access.
The east end of the levee has a parking lot with bicycle racks, a pavilion, picnic tables, water, garbage cans, and a site map.
The west end of the levee has another parking lot with these benches shaded by tree sculptures.
Each parking lot has a restroom building with one accessible dottie and two standard dotties.
A bridge crosses a feeder stream toward the lake, making an excellent place to fish for species that like moving water. In the foreground stands a monument to Ryder Wilkinson. Docks provide additional fishing space.