Meet Jessica Rosier! Jessica is the Director of the Barker Mansion, an historic home museum, in Michigan City. She previously worked as an interpretive naturalist with the DNR, being stationed at Indiana Dunes State Park for some time. Prior to that she worked for the Minnesota Historical Society amid the pines and lakes of the North Star State. She currently resides in Michigan City with her husband and black lab-beagle mix. They enjoy camping, hiking, and visiting new micro-breweries in their time off.
What brought you to the dunes? I grew up in northern Minnesota and moved to Indiana five years ago due to my husband’s job. We lived in Valpo and Michigan City before I was transferred to a suburb of Indy for my job as an interpretive naturalist with the DNR. We missed the dunes, Lake Michigan, and Michigan City’s laid-back atmosphere so much! We reached a breaking point and did everything in our power to move back up here. Thankfully, the job at Barker Mansion opened up and was the perfect fit for me!
How long have you lived here? We’ve been back in Michigan City for just over a year, praise the Lord!
What is your favorite thing to do in the area? I love walking Lake Michigan’s shoreline and searching for beach glass. It is so calming.
Tell us a secret about the dunes. There is a secret, special area within Indiana Dunes State Park. It’s not on any of the maps. It’s the footprint of the Governor’s Cottage, dating back to 1925. The governor of Indiana had an entire compound within the state park and his front porch is all that remains today. I used to work at the state park and enjoyed coming in early and having a granola bar on the front porch, looking through the trees at the lake.
Give us your top three “hidden treasures” (restaurant, shop, trail, beach, event…really anything!)
a) The falafel wrap at Lemon Tree in Chesterton
b) The state park after the first snowfall of the season is a truly breathtaking way to usher in the winter
c) The chocolate chip cookies at Doughboys in Michigan City – they are only $1 and they are amazing!
What would you like to teach people about the dunes? The dunes area is so much more than a pretty beach. It’s an area steeped in history. An area that knows the struggle between industry and preservation. An area that holds amazing succession and ecology. An area that can give you a great, tough workout. It is one of the most special places on earth.
Anything else? I’d be a horrible Director if I didn’t promote the Barker Mansion in Michigan City. Come see us! We are trying to plan new, diverse events that appeal to all sorts of folks. We’ve done stargazing and beer in the garden, Pokémon Go tours, ice cream socials, scout sleepovers, and more. Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/barkermansion
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