History

Highlights of the Indiana Society’s Activities since 1896

1896 – 1915: Studied the early history of Indiana, which began with the Mound Builders in southern Indiana and continued through Rene-Robert Cavelier, sieur de La Salle’s (1643-1687) connection with the history of the Indiana Territory.  Collected bible records, described samplers.

1916: Published for Indiana’s Statehood Centennial, Once Upon a Time in Indiana, written by Miss Charity Dye, a member of the State Historical Commission appointed by the Governor.

1914 – 1918: Cooperated with the Red Cross in various projects, sold Liberty Bonds, and provided support for a French war orphan, the daughter of a French officer, during World War I.

1941 – 1945: Furnished a library in the Indianapolis Servicemen’s Center and two recreation halls at Fort Benjamin Harrison, during World War II.

1940 – Present: Presents American flags to each new citizen at naturalization ceremonies.

1947: Provided a historical marker at the site of Fort Ouiatenon, Lafayette, Indiana, one of the first white settlements in the Wabash Valley and in Indiana.  It was the site of the early French post fortified in 1717, won by the British in 1760, then lost it to the Indians in 1763.  It was used as a rendezvous of the Wabash tribes.  Burned by Gen. Charles Scott in June, 1791.

1950: Presented a historical marker to the State of Indiana commemorating the arrival of LaSalle on Indiana Territory in South Bend, Indiana.  He was the first white man to arrive via a portage between the St. Joseph and Kankakee rivers.
To learn more about LaSalle in Indiana:
http://www.in.gov/history/markers/402.htm
http://www.in.gov/history/markers/291.htm

1950: Provided funds for restoration of Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church, Franklin County, Indiana.  Built in 1811, the red brick structure is the oldest church in Indiana still on its original foundation.
To learn more about Little Cedar Grove Baptist Church:
http://www.in.gov/history/markers/93.htm

1957: Installed Whetzel Trace Marker, Waverly, Indiana.  A trail from Whitewater River at Laurel terminated here at the Bluffs of White River.  The Trail was cut in 1818 by Jacob Whetzel – the first east-west road into central Indiana.
To learn more about Whetzel Trace:
http://www.in.gov/history/markers/240.htm

1957: Acquired the David Lenz House during the revival of historic New Harmony, which was settled in 1814, and moved it to a more historically correct location within the settlement.  This Rappite house continues to be maintained and furnished by the Indiana Society.

1961: Installed Old Michigan Road Toll House Marker:  The Toll House, operated by the Augusta Gravel Road Co., c. 1866-1892, built Michigan Road, which in the 1830s ran from the Ohio River to Lake Michigan.
To learn more about the Toll House on Michigan Road:
http://www.in.gov/history/markers/193.htm

1973: Furnished two rooms in the 1850 period: a parlor and a dining room in the Old Michigan Road Toll House and opened to the public.

1973: Compiled a portrait survey, a description of 145 portraits painted before 1850 and owned by Indiana residents for the Smithsonian Institution.

1973: Furnished two American period rooms in the Lilly House on the grounds of the Indianapolis Museum of Art. The rooms featured 18th century Federal and Empire furnishings purchased, lent or donated by the Society to the museum.

1974 – 1984: Compiled and recorded thousands of gravestone inscriptions that were filed with the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library in cooperation with the Junior History Clubs of Indiana for the Indiana Cemetery Survey.

1975 – 1979: Completed two 18th century rooms commemorating the opening of the Northwest Territory by George Rogers Clark in 1876 as a part of the Indiana State Museum Bicentennial Celebration.  One room depicted the type of sitting room Clark might have left in Clark County, Virginia, the other the French mode of life he would have found in Vincennes in 1779.

1976 – 1985: Participated in the Parade of Flags Program which provided students with a view and history of flags used at various times during the formation of our country.

1981: Began an association with the J.F.D. Lanier Mansion in Madison, Indiana (c. 1843).  The Greek Revival dwelling overlooks the Ohio River. The Indiana Society continues to provide furnishings and assist in renovations to the present.

2002: Completed the David Lenz House garden restoration with historically accurate vegetables and herbs typical of a Rappite garden of the period.

2005 – Present: Raises funds for donations of artifacts to the David Lenz House in New Harmony, Indiana, the J.F.D. Lanier Mansion in Madison, Indiana, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art.

2009 – Present: Organizes a day when student groups have the opportunity to learn about their ancestry in cooperation with the Indiana History Center in Indianapolis.

2010 – 2011: Erected a replacement barn to the specifications of Harmonist carpentry and added a sprinkling system for the heirloom vegetable garden at the David Lenz House in New Harmony.