Archive for the ‘historical’ Category

Free Presidents Day Events at Conner Prairie, Feb. 17

February 11, 2014 Leave a comment
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park. staff photo, (c) 2012, all rights reserved.

By Lynelle Mellady
Conner Prairie Interactive History Park

Is meeting a U.S. president on your bucket list?

Conner Prairie Interactive History Park is offering the public the chance to interact with several presidents and first ladies from America’s past, and all for free on Presidents Day.

In celebration of the holiday, Conner Prairie, Indiana’s only Smithsonian Affiliate, will open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Feb. 17 with free admission to all.

Visitors won’t just get to meet these famous figures, but also sing with George Washington, box with Andrew Jackson, strut in an 1860s fashion show with Mary Todd Lincoln, learn about grave robbing from Benjamin Harrison, compete in a Revolutionary War version of capture the flag and much more.


Most activities are ongoing throughout the day, except where noted.

  • Compete in a carnival-style shooting game in Teddy Roosevelt’s favorite Wild West and safari expedition settings, using safe marshmallow guns. Can you hit the targets?
  • Warm up in an old-timey boxing workout then square off safely in the ring – like gentlemen – with Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren.
  • Compete in the Revolutionary War version of capture the flag. Guests on two teams, the Americans and the British, will strategically and safely battle it out.
  • Decorate and sign a card to celebrate George Washington’s birthday with a surprise party at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
  • Learn about Franklin D. Roosevelt’s goal to bring electricity to rural America then electrify a 1930s farmhouse. Enjoy a fireside chat with FDR at 1:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
  • Scrutinize Ulysses S. Grant’s Presidential Cabinet of Curiosities. Which outrageous, historic and odd items are real and fake?
  • Learn the do’s and don’ts of 1860s fashion with Mary Todd Lincoln. Try on period clothing, decorate paper dolls, and strut in a 19th-century fashion show at noon.
  • Discover more from Belva Lockwood and Edith and Woodrow Wilson about women’s suffrage, participate in the fun by making your own speech, parade signs and sashes, and vote on various topics. Rally in a parade at 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
  • Sing patriotic songs with Lady Liberty and Washington at 12:30 and 4:30 p.m.
  • Meet Abraham Lincoln, ask him questions or seek his advice at 2:30 p.m.
  • Other activities include trying on presidential facial hair, learning about embarrassing presidential moments, discovering a president’s connection to grave robbing, decorating a clothespin to look like Abe Lincoln and much, much more.

Treat yourself to lunch and enjoy deli sandwiches, hot dogs, corn chowder, pretzels, hot chocolate and more. Visitors are welcome to bring their own lunches as well. After lunch, visit the Conner Prairie Store, open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. to find souvenirs, toys, books, Indiana-made items and more.

Join us for free on Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for a Presidents Day celebration you won’t forget.

For more information, call 317-776-6006, visit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter @ConnerPrairie.

Celebrate Black History Month in Downtown Indianapolis

January 29, 2014 Leave a comment
Sankofa Black Heritage Festival

Sankofa Black Heritage Festival, Feb. 8.
Image provided by the Indiana State Museum and used with written permission.

By Amanda Dorman
Indianapolis Downtown, Inc.

February is Black History Month and whether you want to celebrate by enjoying special live performances, educational activities or unique exhibits, Downtown Indy offers a great array of options (and many are free). 

Indiana Historical Society’s Black History Challenge

Until Feb. 28, take the Indiana Historical Society’s Indiana Black History Challenge online for a chance to win one of several prizes, including a Downtown weekend getaway grand prize. The first 5,000 entrants will receive two tickets to the Indiana Experience, 30 players will receive four tickets to see the Indianapolis Indians and 15 people will win a pair of opening night tickets to see the Memphis at Clowes Memorial Hall. While you’re at the Indiana Historical Society, explore The Legacy of Civil Rights in Indianapolis exhibit and view original documents and iconic Indianapolis photographs from the 1960s. 

Meet the Artists at Central Library

From Jan. 29 – March 22, the Central Library will house Meet the Artists XXVI, displaying the works of locally-prominent African-American artists. Meet the artists and enjoy an evening of cultural entertainment during the Meet the Artists Gala Reception Feb. 8 from 5:45 – 10 p.m. 

Sankofa Black Heritage Festival

The Indiana State Museum will kick off its annual Sankofa Black Heritage Festival (see image above), Feb. 8, from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. The festival showcases art, history and culture from West African and Hoosier African-American perspectives. Performance-based arts closely align with Black History Month themes that explore the African-American experience, both past and present.

Madame Walker Presents

Children ages 6 and up and their families are invited to the Lilly Theater at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis for Madame Walker Presents Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. and Feb. 8 at 1 p.m. Learn about African American history in Indiana and see a dynamic theatrical performance celebrating the lives of Madame C. J. Walker and Levi Coffin.

Listen to live music

Art & Soul – a celebration of African-American arts and artists in Indiana – returns to the Indianapolis Artsgarden with performances beginning Jan. 31 and running through the end of March. Catch the Art & Soul Celebration Launch Event with special guests Amos Brown from Radio One and a performance by Toy Factory. Performances will continue throughout the month featuring Tony Styxx, Bashiri Asad, the Metropolitan Youth Orchestra and many others. All Art & Soul events, including the kickoff celebration, are FREE.

Catch a FREE Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra performance at Hilbert Circle Theatre Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m. for the annual Celebration of Black History Concert. Conducted by Kevin McBeth, a 30-year veteran in music ministry, this year’s program includes a variety of classical works, hymns, spirituals and music from prominent African-American composers. Local MC Tony Styxx will also join in the celebration and perform a song from his recently-released album.

The Cabaret at the Columbia Club celebrates Black History Month with Broadway star Chester Gregory in his award-winning show The Eve of Jackie. Catch this performance Feb. 14 & 15 at 8 p.m.

For more Black History Month events, visit:

‘Wine Down on the Farm’ in Cambridge City, Sept. 19

September 6, 2013 Leave a comment
Huddleston Farmhouse in Cambridge City, Indiana

Huddleston Farmhouse in Cambridge City, Indiana. staff photo, (c) 2013, all rights reserved.

By Jen Schmits Thomas
On behalf of Indiana Landmarks

On September 19, 2013, Huddleston Farmhouse in Cambridge City hosts an event that blends wine, live music, art and a locally-sourced harvest spread.

“It’s a priority for us that the dinner uses fresh ingredients from farms in Wayne County and nearby,” said JP Hall, director of Indiana Landmarks’ eastern office
located at the Huddleston site on the historic National Road. “We hold a weekly Saturday farmers market at the property, and we want the meal to reflect our
dedication to local growers.”

At Wine Down on the Farm, artists from the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association (IPAPA) and the Richmond Art Group will be creating paintings available for purchase on the grounds of the c.1841 farmstead. Important historic works from the Richmond Art Museum collection will be on display in the farmhouse. The event takes place from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m.

For the harvest supper, Chef Jen Ferrell will rely on local sources for her smoked pork chops and the herbs, vegetables and cheese featured in her Dijon and dill
potato salad, black bean and corn salad, blue cheese and cabbage slaw, and homemade bread. Dessert will be an ice cream sundae bar with fresh fruits and sauces—all locally sourced as well.

Many of the plein air artists at the event have works featured in the newly released coffee-table book, Painting Indiana III: Heritage of Place, which will be available
for purchase. The book resulted from a partnership of IPAPA, Indiana Landmarks and I.U. Press.

Indiana Landmarks’ Huddleston Farmhouse operates as the National Road Heritage Site with exhibits offering a picture of travel along the byway from pioneer era to the present. The historic farm complex is located on the west edge of Cambridge City, 17 miles west of Richmond and 50 miles east of Indianapolis.

Wine Down on the Farm! is $50 per person ($35 for members of Indiana Landmarks) and must be purchased in advance online at or through Indiana Landmarks’ Eastern Regional Office, 765-478-3172,

Wine Down on the Farm!

Thursday, September 19, 2013, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Huddleston Farmhouse, 838 National Road, Cambridge City, Indiana

$50 per person ($35 for Indiana Landmarks members)

Online at or call Indiana Landmarks, 765-478-3172


Editor’s Acknowledgement: JTPR, Inc.

Farm-to-Fork Feast in Monroe County, Aug. 3

July 16, 2013 Leave a comment
Creekbend Vineyard in Ellettsville

Creekbend Vineyard in Ellettsville.
Photo provided by Indiana Landmarks and used with written permission.

By Jen Thomas
On behalf of Indiana Landmarks

Spectacular views and historic ambiance join the creations of Chef Daniel Orr on the menu for Indiana Landmarks’ Farm-to-Fork Feast in Monroe County on August 3, 2013.  The event is one of four summer feasts staged by the organization to highlight historic places in Indiana.

The Farm-to-Fork Feast begins with a tour of the historic Ben Owens Farmstead in the Maple Grove Road Rural Historic District.  Owned by David and Mary Ray, the impressive Civil War-era farm retains its 1864 brick home, large barn, outbuildings, and dry stone walls, a prominent feature of the Maple Grove Road area.

Plein air artists whose work appears in the new coffee table book, Painting Indiana III: Heritage of Place, will be painting at the Owens Farmstead during the event. Guests can watch Vivian Gladden, Margaret Hanke, Tricia Hillenburg, Wyatt LeGrand, Ron Mack and Larry Rudolech painting landscapes and buildings on the site. The book, published by IU Press, Indiana Landmarks and the Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, will be available for sale at the event.

The main event takes place among the grapevines of Oliver Winery’s Creekbend Vineyard on a hilltop overlooking the Bean Blossom Creek Valley. The first grapevines were planted in the 1960s by Bill Oliver’s father, long before the property began growing grapes for Oliver Winery in 1994.  Since then, Creekbend Vineyard has expanded to approximately 75 acres, with a nineteenth-century brick farmhouse and historic barns.

The family-style dinner will feature a menu crafted by Chef Daniel Orr of FARMbloomington, who draws much of his produce and meats from his family’s historic Gibson County farm. Highlights include an assortment of farmers market vegetables stuffed with Capriole Farm goat cheese, yellow tomato gazpacho, grape and grain salad, and a choice of pork tenderloin or venison marinated in Oliver Creekbend red wine and smoked over vineyard vines. Dessert will be Ile Flottante, a meringue floating in crème anglaise, with fresh berries. Each course will be paired with an Oliver Creekbend wine.

The event is sponsored by Indiana Landmarks, with support from Pell Roofing & Siding, Odle McGuire Shook Architects, and Golden Hands Constructon. Indiana Landmarks, a statewide nonprofit organization, saves and restores historic places and uses preservation to revitalize neighborhoods and communities.

Farm-to-Fork Feast

Aug. 3, 2013, 5-8:30 p.m.

Dinner at Oliver Winery’s Creekbend Vineyard, 7508 N. Woodall Rd., Ellettsville
Pre-dinner tour at the historic Ben Owens Farmstead, 4595 N. Maple Grove Rd., Bloomington

$65 per person; $50 per person for Indiana Landmarks members

Reservations required;

INFO: or contact Tommy Kleckner, 812-232-4534

Editor’s Acknowledgement: JTPR, Inc.

Red Skelton Museum Grand Opening, July 18

Red Skelton Museum in Vincennes, Indiana.

Press Release
Vincennes/Knox County CVB

The grand opening of the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy in Vincennes, Indiana, is scheduled for Thursday, July 18, 2013.

Red Skelton is the native Hoosier actor, entertainer, and comedian who endeared himself to a generation of Americans in the 1950′s and 1960′s with his comic TV skits centered around an unforgettable cast of characters including Freddie the Freeloader, Gertrude and Heathcliff (two seagulls), Clem Kadiddlehopper, San Fernando Red, George Appleby, Deadeye, Cauliflower McPugg, and others. The Red Skelton Hour aired on national television for 672 episodes over 20 seasons.

Here’s the schedule for the grand opening activities, July 18-20:

Thursday, July 18, 2013
Grand Opening Celebration.  Three ticket prices:

$100 – VIP includes reception with appetizers and wine prior to the show, commemorative pin and premier seating and dessert reception after the show and self-guided tours of the museum throughout the evening

$50 – Patron includes commemorative pin, priority seating and dessert reception after the show and self-guided tours of the museum throughout the evening

$30 – General Admission includes general seating and dessert reception after the show and self-guided tours of the museum throughout the evening

Evening Time Schedule

5:30 Special Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

6:00 PM Museum open for tours…Tours will continue until 10:00 PM except during the show time.

6:00 PM-VIP ticket holder Cocktail reception with Lothian. Skelton Includes appetizers and wine for VIP ticket holders

7:00 PM Theater doors open for seating.

7:30 PM- Birthday Celebration begins in the beautiful Red Skelton Theater, performers include Red’s close friend, actor Jamie Farr of M*A*S*H fame, Red Skelton impersonator Tom Mullica, and musical guests Sally Harmon and Frank Gruner and of course, Lothian Skelton.

8:30 PM- Dessert reception on the outside circle patio on the walkway side of the building

8:30 PM- Museum tours continue until 10:00 PM

Friday, July 19, 2013
Senior Day- free entrance to museum for anyone over 60 years old.  Will include special events for seniors including taping a video blog of “Red Stories” that people can add to the collection.

Saturday, July 20, 2013
Family Day All Kids 18 and under get in free when accompanied by a parent.

Special kids events in the Museum featuring hands-on activities about comedy, humor and laughter.

The Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy is located on the campus of Vincennes University, at 20 Red Skelton Blvd., in Knox County in southwestern Indiana. For more information, contact Anne Pratt at 812-888-2105, or email


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