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

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

Kick off the Holiday Season this Weekend

Main Street and downtown business windows have been decked for the season in preparation of the Christmas Stroll!  Plan to attend the “Parade of Lights” on Friday night at 6:30pm.  The parade most anticipated entry is Santa himself!  Directly after the parade children can visit with him and have their photo taken at Thursday Church. Downtown merchants will stay open late so you can shop your Christmas list while enjoying refreshments.

On Saturday, have “Breakfast with Santa” at the Old Cathedral Parish Center from 8am to 11am.  Santa will be available to hear the children’s Christmas wish list and for photos.  Bundle up and take a carriage ride with Santa, board at 5th & Main Streets, from 11am to 2pm.  Participating Main Street merchants are offering the annual “Recipe Walk”, visit their store to sample their favorite recipe and pick up the recipe card.

US Mint Quarter Ceremony in Vincennes

The United States Mint will release the 40th quarter in the America the Beautiful collection.  A ceremony marking the coin’s release will be held at the Riverfront Pavilion, 102 North 2nd Street, Vincennes on Tuesday, November 14th at 10am with a coin exchange immediately following.  The Indiana quarter features George Rogers Clark and his men crossing the flooded Wabash.  Clark’s daring surprise capture of the British Fort Sackville is considered one of the greatest feats of the American Revolutionary War.  The capture successfully limited British control of the region and was instrumental in the subsequent establishment of the Northwest Territory and American expansion west of the Appalachians.  This is the second quarter celebrating Indiana released by the US Mint in recent years.

A Coin Forum will be held by the United States Mint the evening before the ceremony on Monday, November 13th at 6pm at the George Rogers Clark National Historical Park Visitors Center.   The park is located at 401 South 2nd Street in Vincennes and features a massive granite memorial located on the former Fort Sackville.  The park is open daily from 9am to 5pm.

 

Weekend Happenings

Kick off the Holiday Season downtown Vincennes! During November’s “First Friday” the Main Street art galleries and downtown merchants will welcome the start of the holiday season on Friday, November 3 from 5:00pm – 8:00pm with the Art Walk and Christmas Open Houses its a perfect time to start your Christmas shopping.  Art Space Vincennes, The Northwest Territory Art Guild, and the Open Gallery will feature new exhibits and offer refreshments.

Fort Knox II is the site for the 19th Annual “Muster on the Wabash”, visitors witness the commemoration of William Henry Harrison’s mustering of troops to the Prophetstown campaign and Battle of Tippecanoe in 1811. Enjoy interactive events, more than 150 period re-enactors of the war of 1812, demonstrations, skits, merchandise and food. The “Muster” will be held on Saturday, November 4, 9:00am – 5:00pm and Sunday, November 5, 10:00am – 4:00pm.

Wrap up the weekend by attending, “On the Air: A Tribute to Bob Hope and the Radio Stars of the 1940’s” Sunday, October 7 at 7:30pm at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. “On the Air” will offer insight into radio’s impact on the public before television became the new medium. Tickets are $10/each and can be purchased at the Red Skelton Museum, 812.888.4184.

Last Chance for the Season

This weekend is the last Saturday of the season for the Farmers Market at the Riverfront Pavilion.  Pick up your favorite fall produce and decor.  The market is open from 8am to 1pm.

The Big Peach’s Fun Festival will wrap up this weekend as well.  Take the kids for the corn maze, bounce house and other fun activities.  Shop a variety of fresh produce, pumpkins, mums and fall decorations as well as jams & jellies, local honey, embroidery items, homemade pies, gift items, and more.

Happy Fall!

Weekend Happenings

The Big Peach Fall Fun Festival continues!  Each weekend in October this family-owned farm market will host a fun festival complete with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, bounce house, and games.  The Big Peach is open daily May through October and offers a variety of fresh produce, pumpkins, mums and fall decorations as well as jams & jellies, local honey, embroidery items, homemade pies, gift items, fudge, and more.

“Fort Fright”, the annual Halloween program of the Vincennes State Historic Sites will be held Friday, October 13 and Saturday, October 14 from 6:00pm – 10:00pm at historic Fort Knox II. The first part of the program is for younger children with fun activities, games and a hay ride. The second part is for older children and adults with haunted trails and dramatic stations following a literary or historical theme.

On Saturday, October 14 the Annual Walnut Grove Festival will be held at Grouseland, Wm. H. Harrison Mansion and Museum.  Saturday, October 14 from 10:00am to 5:00pm. Enjoy food, fun, music and vendors of all kinds.  Just up the road Apple Hill Orchard’s will have their Fall Festival from 9:00am to 5:00pm. Lunch will be served from 11:00am to 2:00pm. Watch the staff press cider, join the apple and cider tasting. Children can enjoy a bounce house and pick out a pumpkin to paint (must purchase pumpkin). Baked goods including donuts, pies and cakes will be available all day.

Fall Fun is in Full Swing!

Plan to attend Autumn on Main Street on Friday October 6th.  Enjoy live music, food, beer and wine tasting, art and a car show. This event is being held in conjunction with the “First Friday” Art Walk that includes the three Main Street art galleries. Exclusive works of art will be on display and available to purchase. Participating galleries are Art Space (521 Main Street), the Open Gallery (329 Main Street) and the Northwest Territory Art Guild (316B Main Street).

Beginning this Saturday the Big Peach will have their Fall Fun Festival!  Each weekend in October this family-owned farm market will host a fun festival complete with a pumpkin patch, corn maze, bounce house, and games.  The Big Peach is open daily May through October and offers a variety of fresh produce, pumpkins, mums and fall decorations as well as jams & jellies, local honey, embroidery items, homemade pies, gift items, fudge, and more.

Talk an afternoon walk with Master Naturalist Terri Talarek King on a “Fungi Frolic” at Ouabache Trails Park, just north of Vincennes, Indiana.  Keep an eye out for the many shapes, colors, textures and forms of fungi – both strange and beautiful – on this slow trail walk. They may be on trees, logs, stumps, on the forest floor – who knows where! Learn how a mushroom happens. Recent or current rain makes for even better discovery. Magnifying lenses are a plus. Meet at 2:00 pm Eastern time at the Sacajawea Shelterhouse (back of the lower park loop). The walk will be using Trail 7, which has some steep slopes. All ages are welcome and families encouraged. “Fungi Frolic” is part of the Second Sunday Nature Exploration walks at Ouabache Trails Park for 2017.

Sieur de Vincennes

The significance of the French influence on Indiana is that Sieur de Vincennes was commissioned to build a trading post on the Wabash River.  About 1730 he found a perfect place where many Indians crossed the river, the old buffalo trace.  This area became increasingly important to New France in keeping their connection to Louisiana open and keeping the British and their Indian allies out.

The Piankeshaw Indians also followed Sieur de Vincennes down the Wabash River and lived next to his trading post.  The fort that surrounded his house and barracks was completed in 1732.  His first daughter was also born that year making them the first family of this post.  Sieur de Vincennes is also responsible for the first European settlers coming here to settle.  The first Catholic parish in 1734.

The Fort he built was the beginning of the city that would be named in his honor.  The city of Vincennes, would become the site of Fort Sackville where Hamilton surrendered and where the George Rogers Clark Memorial is today.

A local group is raising funds to erect a statue in honor of Sieur de Vincennes.  Postcards like the photo above and prints of the early Wabash River are being sold at the Visitors Bureau and other locations.  Individuals wishing to make a donation should be made payable to the VHAS-Statue and mailed to the Vincennes Historical and Antiquarian Society, P.O. Box 487, Vincennes.

 

Weekend Happenings

Begin your weekend on Friday morning by walking with a George Rogers Clark NHP Ranger down the Riverwalk.  The walk begins at the GRC Visitors Center at 10am.  Hear stories of George Rogers Clark and William Henry Harrison, landscapes and more.

On Saturday shop the Farmers Market for local produce, baked goods and more.  The market runs from 8am to 1pm at the Riverfront Pavilion.  The Vincennes State Historic Sites have a new exhibit on display at the Old State Bank, “Art for the Nation, WWI.”  The exhibit is open on Saturday from 9am to 1pm.  Wrap up the day with a concert at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center. Rheas of Life, Family of Musicians will perform at 7:30pm.  The concert will also feature special guest appearances by Diana Steckler-Sacino, Melissa Merida, Dave Parman, Susie Jackson and Angela Cooper.  Tickets are $10/person and may be purchased by calling the Red Skelton Museum at 812.888.4184 or at the box office.

Vote for Vincennes!

Please take a minute to cast your vote for the Vincennes sites in the Visitindiana.com “Best Indiana Historic Destinations” online contest. Voting remains open through October 27th. https://visitindiana.com/best-of-indiana/cast-your-vote

Three Vincennes sites are listed, the George Rogers Clark NHP, Grouseland and the Vincennes State Historic Sites.

 

Labor Day Weekend Happenings

This weekend is full of activities!  The Indiana Military will host the Salute to Veterans of WWII event on Saturday 9am to 5pm and Sunday 9am to 4pm.  The event includes Authentic camps, military vehicle parade, Living History Interpreters and WWII speakers, battle enactments, weapon demonstrations and more.  Admission to the event is free, parking is $2 per car.  Museum admission is free to WWII veterans, $5 for adults and $3 for children.  Food and merchant vendors will be onsite as well.

Saturday evening the Red Skelton Museum will show “The Clown” at 5pm.  Red starred in the 1953 film.  The event is free.

The Bicknell Heritage Pride Parade steps off at noon on Monday.  The route is on Main Street from 10th to Southside park.  Check our website for complete event listings.

Photo credit, Jerry Brenner