Primary Source: December News from Indiana Historical Bureau

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December 2011

On Friday, December 9, IHB staff participated in the Indiana Statehouse's Statehood Day activities.  Over 600 students attended, and additional students were entertained at the Indiana State Museum and Indiana Historical Society. 
IHB displayed the original blue and gold state banner adopted by the 1917 General Assembly as part of the commemoration of the state's 1916 Centennial celebration, after a competition sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The winning design was by Paul Hadley of Mooresville, Indiana. (It became the "state flag" in 1955, by General Assembly vote).
Hoosier 4th graders were very impressed, especially by the real, hand-applied gold on the banner.  IHB staff were impressed by the students' exhaustive knowledge of Indiana's emblems.  From the State tree to the State pie, they got all the answers in our State Symbols quiz correct.  Didn't know we had a State pieLearn more about Indiana emblems.
An engaging and moving ceremony followed morning activities and included the "What Indiana Means to Me" essay contest winner, Jacob Parrish, reading his essay.  If you missed the festivities, the Department of Education filmed the ceremony and it will soon be available on their media page.
Friday's ceremony in the Indiana Statehouse, photo courtesy of WIBC.

Hughes volunteers

Marker Volunteer, Marianne Hughes

Marianne Hughes was born in Indiana and graduated from Bloomington North.  She was recently profiled for her military service in the New Castle Courier Times.  For the first 13 years of her marriage to husband Larry they drove trucks and traveled the United States.  They would try to see something historic on each trip. 
In 1985, they traced the Oregon Trail by motorcycle.  Marianne was offered the Curator of the Henry County Historical Society position in 2001.  The Henry County Cemetery Commission was formed to offer cemetery signs and she offered to drive to Indy to pick them so they wouldn't have to pay for shipping.  That is  how Marianne met staff at IHB. 
Office Manager, Matt Allison, explained how difficult it was to get pictures of some of the Historical Markers during inventories, and Marriane offered to help.  She and Larry were asked to go down to the southern part of the state and invited some friends who ride with us on motorcycles.  Her friends enjoyed the hunt, even if they weren't too interested in what was on the signs.  She's been helping, in good and bad weather, ever since.
Marriane says, "I love to read the signs and see what was so important there that someone thought there should be a reminder.  I keep bugging Paula to get more to do."  She continues to recruit friends, she already has the paperwork done and ready to go for next year's inventory!  If a Sunday is warm enough, she and Larry go on the hunt. Occasionally, a sheriff drives by and asks what they are doing.  Once, the locals told them that a sign should have been on a certain corner, but was nowhere to be found.  Instead, they found pieces of car parts--there had been a wreck and the sign was hit.  The sheriff confirmed that and helped them locate the marker.   
Marriane has been an IHB volunteer for 6 years.  She loves history and genealogy, and is also a member of Daughters of the American Revolution.  "We love doing this, we get to ride and enjoy the Indiana countryside and also have a feeling accomplishment," she says.
As you travel the state, you can hunt for markers, too!  Our 2012 marker inventory will start when fair weather returns, but in the interim, consider checking the Historic Marker Database entries for accuracy when you find Indiana Historical Markers, and remember to update us if you notice damaged or missing markers
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Historic Photos cover

Holiday Sale

Did you miss out on that limited-availability Black Friday deal for someone special?  There are still many 40% off clearance titles in stock, and until Dec. 31, everything else in the Shop is 20% off.  We suggest Historic Photos of Indiana or another of our photo books for all of the Hoosiers in your life.

Educators' Corner

We hope you enjoy the holiday break.  When you return in January, don't miss the opportunity to incorporate the War of 1812 into your history lessons! 
Not familiar with the War of 1812 or certain where it fits in?  PBS has produced an excellent film on this "small but bitter" war, which is viewable online and comes with educational materials, essays, and extra scenes that go a little deeper. 


Last month, staff member Aimee got a question about how to find reenactors and battle reenactments in Indiana.  As we are in the midst of or anticipating commemorative activities for the Civil War, War of 1812, bicentennial of Indiana statehood, and other major historical events, she thought the general public might be interested in the answer.
Indiana has a number of living history groups, events, and festivals.  For the casual observer, try  You will find a rather exhaustive list of food- and heritage-related festivals here, many of which have living history demonstrators among their vendors and entertainment.  
If you are looking to become involved in a reenactment organization, I’d recommend joining Living History Worldwide to see what’s available in the Midwest and nationally.  It’s a social networking organization, like Facebook, for reenactors. 
Society for Creative Anachronism and Regia Angolorum are very active in the area, and for the medieval/renaissance enthusiast, they are represented annually at the Fisher’s Renaissance Faire.    
If you are interested in the late18th and early 19th century,  The Tippecanoe County Historical Association hosts the popular Feast of the Hunter’s Moon and Mississinewa 1812 is a major War of 1812 reenactment that occurs annually.  Mississinewa 1812 also provides links on their website to  reenactment organizations, events, and festivals of interest. 
For Civil War-related events, visit our website for a listing of sesquicentennial events.  In addition, Conner Prairie interprets this period and often hosts reenactments.  The 30th Indiana, based in Ft. Wayne, is active in both civilian and military pursuits and I've knowns its members to be very forthcoming with demonstrations and event information.
If you belong to a living history or other group and have events and programs relating to the Sesquicentennial of the Civil War, please contact us, as we would love to share your offerings with Hoosiers.