Primary Source: January News from the Indiana Historical Bureau

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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.
Randy Smothers installs Whetzel Trace 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 mailing list! 
BSU Basketball
January is Arcadia Publishing month at the IHB Book Shop.  Is your hometown featured in the Images of America series?  Your favorite sports team in the Images of Sports Series?

Educators' Corner

Don't forget George Rogers Clark Day, February 25!  Visit IHB on the web for resources to incorporate George Rogers Clark  and The Fall of Fort Sackville into your curriculum.


Martin Luther King Day is next week.  Don't miss these offerings from the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.
Learn more about Indiana's Martin Luther King connection:
Robert F. Kennedy on Death of Martin L. King state format historical marker
Landmark for Peace statue, Indianapolis


Or, more properly, IHB Asks.  Last month, we asked Facebook users whether they used the Historic Marker Database.  Unsurprisingly, few of our followers had "never heard of it."  But, bloggers at Historic Indianapolis had trouble stopping to get a look at one of our markers along a busy street later in the month, and so we were inspired to share with our readers these great places for information about markers of all sorts:
IHB's Find a Marker is the best place for reading the  text (some with annotations) of Indiana state format historical markers and getting more information. relies on user submissions and includes local, regional, and state markers.  Any format is accepted so long as the text is about history.  And for the marker hunters among you, GPX files for every state and county are available for download into your GPS unit! is a bit more whimsical in its approach to markers, including among its "waymarks" everything from city welcome signs to statues of Jim Davis' Garfield in Grant County, IN.

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