Oh, no, I didn’t forget – I just got busy. But I’m going on vacation in a few days and look to be even busier, so let’s finish this up with, courtesy Google Maps, an actual aerial view of the town of Hurricane, Indiana:
Most of you Noble County residents will recognize this place – or at least, you’ll know about where it is. I don’t honestly recall how I chose it as the location of Hurricane; maybe it’s because I pass by often, or maybe it’s because there aren’t a lot of buildings in the area (you can make out a home in the woods, along the roadway). Hurricane Books and Bait would be at the northeast corner of the intersection, with a convenience store (which I haven’t named – suggestions?) at the southwest corner. The Hamlin home is about a block to the south and three blocks to the west of the intersection, near the end of a street that, of course, doesn’t really exist.
But now that you know where Hurricane is, how did it come to play a role in Storm Chaser?
According to legend, Hurricane was established in the 1920’s just after a hurricane roared ashore from the Atlantic with such force that its effects were felt in the Midwest. One of its founders confidently predicted the town would someday grow into a major Indiana city, but by then the pattern of highways and railroads through the area was pretty much set – and the coast to coast highway Route 6 missed Hurricane by just one mile.
In fact, the arrival of the Hamlin clan in 1938 made an appreciable spike in the town’s population (which was set at 714 in the 2010 Census). “Woots” Hamlin, a Kentucky coal miner, came to Indiana in the hopes that the cooler climate would improve his health (he died later of black lung disease). With him came his wife and nine children: He named his boys Jefferson and Abraham in a symbolic attempt to pacify still strong feelings dating back to when Kentucky was a Civil War border state.
Abraham Hamlin eventually was sworn in as an Indiana State Police officer and built a home in Hurricane, where he met his wife-to-be, Elsa. Their son, Chance, followed in his father’s footsteps as a Trooper … and with him our story begins.
Today Hurricane consists mostly of single family homes, with no industries. Businesses consist of a convenience store, an antique store, a bed and breakfast, a coffee shop, and an unoccupied storefront that was once the famous Hurricane Restaurant, but most recently held a bookstore and a bait and tackle shop.
Residents say Hurricane’s best export is its small town atmosphere.