Welcome to Indiana’s Territorial Past, located in Vincennes and Knox County.

Indiana’s first city is the perfect getaway for history enthusiasts.

Red Skelton Festival

Join us for the Red Skelton Festival on Saturday July 14th at the Red Skelton Museum!  The festival kicks off at 10am and runs until 3pm.  There is family fun entertainment and games throughout the day.  Purchase a commemorative festival button for $5 and receive free admission to the museum all day, Saturday July 14th only.  Saturday evening Red Skelton Impersonator Brian Hoffman will perform in the Red Skelton Theater at 7pm.  Tickets can be purchased at the museum, general admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under.

Lester Square Fitness Initiative

The Vincennes Park and Recreation Department is currently raising funds to bring outdoor fitness equipment to Lester Square Park located on South 10th Street. The project will make outdoor fitness equipment available to all at no charge as well as give parents a chance to exercise while watching their children play.  For more information or to donate visit, http://fitnessinitiative.org/

 

 

New Architecture Tour


The George Rogers Clark NHP has a new tour of the Clark Memorial.  Visit the site to find out what the symbols inside the memorial mean, what stone was used to build the monument, the significance of the marble inside the memorial and much more!  Tours of the site are free but donations are accepted.  The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm.  For more information on the park visit, https://www.nps.gov/gero/index.htm

Spring on Main

Get spring fever during “Spring on Main”, after-hours event and the next “First Friday Art Walk”!  Enjoy craft beer and wine tasting (tickets available to purchase), a classic vehicle cruise-in, live music, food vendors, kids’ games sponsored by Thursday Church, canvas painting and wreath making classes, a photo booth and tours of the Pantheon Theater.  Downtown art galleries Art Space Vincennes, the Northwest Territory Art Guild and the Open Galleries will present exceptional works of art, some is available for purchase.  This event is being sponsored by the Visitors & Tourism Bureau, Willie’s Pub & Catering, First Vincennes Savings Bank and Kemper CPA Group. *All proceeds from the event go to INVin’s efforts toward downtown restoration.

Rendezvous in Vincennes This Weekend

The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous is this weekend!  Hours for Saturday the 27th are 9am to 6pm and Sunday the 28th are 10am to 5pm.  Battle times on Saturday are 1pm and 4pm and Sunday are noon and 3:30pm.  The event will feature an encampment, entertainment, period food, merchant vendors and demonstrations.  For more information call the Visitors Bureau at 800.886.6443.

 

Rendezvous Buttons

The Rendezvous returns for its 41st year over Memorial Day weekend, May 27th through the 28th.  This years event will boast as much food, merchants and entertainment as years past.  Check out the encampment and interact with re-enactors of the American Revolutionary period.  Enjoy music, jugglers, children’s games and more.  The food is always a crowd pleaser, sample foods such as creek fried potatoes or a buffalo burger.  Shop the merchants featuring wares from the period.  Battle enactments daily.  Saturday evening the Vincennes State Historic Sites and Grouseland will have candlelight tours.  Stop by the Visitors Bureau, 779 South 6th Street, to purchase a two day button for $9.  Buttons are also available the Knox County Chamber and local banks.  For more information or a schedule of events please visit, http://spiritofvincennes.org/

Indiana Military Museum

The Indiana Military Museum boast one of the most comprehensive collections of military artifacts in the Mid-west.  The museum is anticipating its busiest year since its move to the downtown location in 2012.  The museum is expecting two important additions to its displays this year.  The USS Indianapolis Nuclear Sub Monument will be arriving by late May.  With the Indianapolis Conning Tower and Sail along with the redevelopment of the body of the sub from black pigmented concrete, the museum will be able to honor the men and women who have served in silent service.  This monument has been sponsored in whole by the Submarine Veterans Association.

The museum will also be completing and dedicating its 2 ½ year restoration project on the M-1917 tank.  The date for the dedication has been set for November 2nd at 6:30p.m. at Highland Woods Community Center.  General Patton’s grandson, George Patton Waters, will be guest speaker for the banquet to be held then.  Governor Holcomb is also expected to attend.  The ceremony has been recognized by the Indiana WWI Centennial Committee and the National WWI Centennial Commission as a significantlyrecognized WWI Centennial activity.

The museum is also offering honorary ownership in track pads, which are necessary to be recast for the WWI tank project.  For $250 a pad, any interested party or organization can purchase one toward the required 64.  With this ownership, the donor will receive a document with serial number and correspondence to the track pad itself. which will be signed by General Patton’s grandson and a photo with George Patton Waters will also be available at the dedication ceremony on November 2nd.

The museum is also preparing for the implementation of its $250,000 grant from the Indiana Office of Tourism Development which will allow 23,000 square feet of the museum’s current warehouse facility to be converted to a permanent exhibit diorama depicting scenes from WWI through the Vietnam War.  As soon as the museum can raise the funds necessary to complete a storage building to accommodate the displaced artifacts, work equipment, and workshop that was currently housed in the warehouse, the restoration project will begin.  It is anticipated that the projected shall be completed within 14 months of that date.

The museum will also extend its hours on Rendezvous weekend – opening at 10:00a.m. and closing at 5:30pm each day.

Submitted by Museum Curator, Jim Osborne

Grouseland

Grouseland is the former home of William Henry Harrison and his family during his term as Governor of the Indiana Territory, 1803-1812.  The two and half story plantation style mansion served as the centerpiece of territorial government and society.  Grouseland houses a collection of artifacts from Harrison’s life and Indiana’s early settlement period.  Harrison went on to become the 9th President of the United States.

Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy

Summertime is Fun Time at the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy!  With over 3500 sq. ft. of fun and laughter, this interactive museum is great for kids of all ALL ages!  Experience Red’s legacy of laughter as you trace his life and career from his humble beginnings in Vincennes, Indiana to his rise to super stardom as a comedian and star of radio, TV and film.  Visitors will pantomime with Red on a green screen, create a virtual clown face, and enter sound effects into some of his radio shows.  Pictures and letters from Red’s personal collection abound in this comprehensive museum. TV’s throughout the museum play clips from Red’s TV shows and movies.  The museum showcases the original costumes Red wore during the 20 year span of “The Red Skelton Show” along with a special exhibit dedicated to his iconic Pledge of Allegiance.  Red was a creative genius and the Red Skelton Museum has a gallery of some of his original paintings, musical compositions, and original stories.  There is truly something for everyone at the Red Skelton Museum of American Comedy.  Whether you are a longtime fan or just learning about Red Skelton for the first time, take some time to visit and spend the day laughing with Red and some of his characters including, Freddie the Freeloader, Clem Kadiddlehopper and Sheriff Deadeye.  Don’t miss the Red Skelton Festival on Saturday, July 15, 2017!

Submitted by Red Skelton President, Anne Pratt

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

Vincennes became the center of the struggle on the frontier between Great Britain and the United States. Fort Sackville, which sat where the Clark Memorial does today, was captured by American Lt. Col. George Rogers Clark in February 1779. The fort’s capture assured the claims of the United States on the Northwest Territory, land that eventually became the states of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and the eastern portion of Minnesota. The battle at Vincennes included about 170 men fighting on the American side, and about 75 on the British side. Despite these numbers, the Clark Memorial today stands as one of the largest monuments on a battlefield in the United States. The memorial also sits on the site of two other forts built both before and after Fort Sackville. French fur traders established a trading post in 1732 to take advantage of the lucrative beaver trade in the area. Almost 40 years after the American Revolution, a new fort was built on the site of the old French trading post and Fort Sackville, today it is known as Fort Knox III.

The memorial building contains seven murals and a statue of George Rogers Clark. It was completed in 1933 and dedicated by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1936. The basement of the memorial struggled with leaks for many years which caused the formation of stalagmites and stalactites, which were remedied by a 2008-2009 restoration project. It now stands as a silent reminder of the accomplishments of Clark and his frontiersmen. The building and the 26 acres around it became part of the National Park Service on July 23, 1966.

Submitted by Park Ranger, Jason Collins