New Historical Markers in 2012!
The Indiana Historical Bureau will be accepting new applications for state format historical markers in 2012.
Information about criteria, deadlines, procedures, and costs will be available on the Indiana Historical Bureau web site by February 27, 2012. If you would like to be notified by email when the materials are ready, please subscribe for updates.
If you do not have access to e-mail, contact Dani Pfaff, 317-232-6276, for more information.
Jacob Whetzel Historical Marker Replaced
Ron Hamilton, County Historian of Shelby County, recently enlisted the help of local historians, county fourth-grade students, the Shelby County Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau to replace the Whetzel Trace historical marker that once stood four miles north of Shelbyville on State Road 9.
The marker commemorates the building of one of the earliest roads through central Indiana, the Whetzel Trace, created in 1818. The trace was a narrow wagon road cut through dense forests by Jacob Whetzel and a party of axmen which began near Laurel in Franklin County, went through Rush, Shelby and Johnson counties, and ended on the bluffs of the White River near Waverly in Morgan County.
“In a way, Jacob Whetzel was like Shelby County’s Daniel Boone,” Hamilton says. “While this area still belonged to the Indians, he helped blaze a 60-mile-long, east-west road through thick forests. Other pioneers used the trace until the Michigan Road and Lawrenceburg Pike were built by 1830.”
Hamilton took the lead in the project to get the Whetzel marker replaced. He visited area schools and talked to fourth-grade Indiana History classes in an effort to educate them on the importance of the road and possibly enlist their help in getting the marker replaced. He noted that the first sign, provided by the Shelby County Historical Society and Indiana Historical Bureau, was installed and dedicated on Nov. 11, 1951.
Report submitted by Ron Hamilton.
Right: Local contractor Randy Smothers helps install the new Whetzel Trace Historical Marker.
2011 was a great year for youth involvement in the Historical Marker program. In addition to the fundraising and advocacy efforts reported above, the Indiana Territorial Line marker looks as good as new thanks to a group of St. Joseph county 4th graders (see them in action
), and Park Tudor (Marion County) students continued their marker repair efforts, as well. Are you an educator, scout leader, or mentor looking for a history-related service project? Individuals and groups from every county and every skill level can participate in the Adopt-a-marker program. For reminders to get involved once the weather is warm, join our Marker SOS