Many know Columbus as the site of the global headquarters for Cummins Inc, a manufacturer of diesel engines, but it is also the home of Tony Stewart, Chuck Taylor, and Jamie Hyneman.
Columbus is regularly in the news for national rankings and awards. To see a list of recognitions, please click go here >
- Tony Stewart, winner of so many high-profile racing events, credits his return to his hometown for his renewed success on the NASCAR circuit. Tony Caraviello of Nascar.com said, "Sometimes, we forget how immensely talented Stewart is," and we couldn't agree more! See a mural of Tony at the downtown Dairy Queen, where the owner was an early Tony fan and sponsor.
- Chuck Taylor, for whom the Converse All Star is named, was a basketball player, salesman, and shoe endorser from Columbus. He played on the Columbus High School Bulldogs team from 1914 to 1918. Until the mid-1970s, the beloved shoe design, nicknamed "Chuck's," comprised 50% of the athletic shoe market.
- Stephen Sprouse grew up in Columbus and went on to become an influential fashion designer. In the early 1980s, Stephen "pioneered that decade's revolutionary idea of mixing uptown sophistication in clothing with a downtown punk and pop sensibility," according to The New York Times. "Sprouse wedded downtown cool with uptown luxury and space-age fabrics," according to New York magazine. Stephen worked with Halston, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Blondie's Debbie Harry, and Duran Duran, among many others.
- Tim Solso, former chairman and CEO of Cummins Inc., was named one of only five "CEOs of the Decade," by MarketWatch, a subsidiary of Dow Jones & Co., in December 2010. The other finalists were Apple's Steve Jobs, Jeff Bezos of Amazon.com, Starbuck's chief Howard Schultz, and Google's Eric Schmidt.
- Jamie Hyneman, co-host of the popular show Mythbusters, graduated from Columbus North High School in 1974. His Mythbusters bio notes he's been a wilderness survival expert, boat captain, diver, linguist, animal wranger, machinist, and cook, to name a few.
- Tim Grimm went to Hollywood to be in movies and on TV, playing alongside the likes of Harrison Ford and Tim Allen, but returned to his roots in Columbus to raise his family. He organizes the Americana Music Series, featuring folk artists from all over, writes music, and performs his folk music throughout the U.S. and Europe.
- Colonel Sanders lived and worked in Columbus for a time before he founded Kentucky Fried Chicken. Find out more here.
Unique to Columbus
- Zaharako’s Victorian Soda Shoppe : One writer described Zaharako’s as “one of those Victorian-era soda fountains that looks like it should be in a museum.” The three Zaharako’s brothers opened the shop, warmly called “The Greeks” by locals, in 1900. When Lew Zaharako, the third-generation owner, died in June 2006, the future of Zaharako’s was uncertain. Then, local businessman Tony Moravec purchased the shop and restored it to its original glory, just as it was at the turn-of-the-century, and also added an ice cream parlor museum. Learn lots more and see photos here >
- 240 Sweet Artisan Marshmallows : Treats crafted in small batches with local, all-natural, and organic ingredients, without any preservatives, stabilizers, artificial colors, or artificial flavors. Customers also enjoy the minimal packaging. Since there isn't an outer box, no resources are wasted. Chef Alexa has been recognized as an Indiana Artisan and their products have been featured in Family Circle, and Martha Stewart Weddings. Visit their website. See photos here.
- Exploded Engine : The lobby of the world headquarters of Cummins, Inc. offers a mini-museum for car enthusiasts. Cummins is a world leader in diesel engine manufacturing. There are vintage cars and former Indy 500 race cars. The centerpiece of the exhibit is an exploded diesel engine by artist Rudolph de Harak. Each piece of the engine is artfully pulled away from the engine block by invisible wires, giving the piece a floating sensation. Learn more and see photos here >
- Chaos I : World-renowned Swiss sculptor Jean Tinguely's aptly-named Chaos I is large and loud. It spins and sputters slowly at first and, then, erupts as metal balls crash loudly down a wire chute. Formerly on public display in The Commons, it was built in 1974 from scrap metal Tinguely located in area junkyards. It is 30 feet high, weighing 7 tons. (Chaos will return, when the new Commons Mall re-opens.) Learn more and see photos here >
- Award-Winning Park : Enjoy landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh's award-winning park design in Mill Race Park, located just steps away from downtown Columbus. Its curving drive follows the line of the river. From the 42-foot observatory, you can view the river as well as the downtown rooftops and steeples. With the spring rains, the entire park can be submerged. Every plant and every fixture in the park is designed to withstand significant floods. Learn more and see photos here >
- People Trail : The 19-mile People Trail system takes you over the river, through the woods, and under the interstate. Along the river, you're likely to see a blue heron in flight. Along the western stretch of trail, you'll notice butterflies inhabiting the wildflower gardens along State Road 46. As you journey westward, two tunnels take you safely under Interstate 65. The trail system takes you through the natural beauty of several parks, past significant modern architecture and through quaint residential areas. See photos here >