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Life’s Better Here in Allen County

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ALLEN COUNTY, Ind. (WPTA21) - There are plenty of small communities in Allen county, and one of those communities is hoping a combination of location, parks, and a growing downtown will draw others to the area.

Heading northeast from Fort Wayne on State Road One, you'll find the town of Leo-Cedarville, which is hoping to become a destination of its own. The town is located on a wide stretch of the St. Joseph River and the Cedarville Reservoir. That means fishing, boating, kayaking, and water skiing are activities you can find right in Leo. The town also has its popular Riverside Gardens park.

Those with the town of Leo-Cedarville say they want to invest in the town. The downtown area went under a complete renovation, leading to the opening of shops and businesses.

Business owner Alison Nehls says there's been plenty of support. She also says Leo's sense of community makes the town stand out. Her family experienced a tragedy, and she says her neighbors didn't hesitate to come together and help.

While the town of Leo-Cedarville was incorporated around 25 years ago, south of Fort Wayne, you'll find a restaurant that's 150 years older.

Nine Mile Restaurant was founded in 1837--when Highway 27 was just a dirt road.

The current building was built in 1850, and other than a restaurant, Nine Mile has been a stagecoach stop to a grocery store.

Like the building's uses over time, Nine Mile's menu also features a little bit of everything, from ribs, fish, sausage rolls, and gizzards.

Owners Joe Strack and Barry Liggett say the versatile menu and their hands-on involvement are key to Nine Mile's longevity.

Historic Nine Mile Restaurant and a newer community in the town of Leo-Cedarville--both playing a part in making life better in Allen county.

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Gabe Prough

Gabe Prough is the Weekend Evening Meteorologist for ABC21. A northeast Indiana native, he joined the StormTrack weather team in December 2019.

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