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

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

Get Reacquainted with Local History

Maybe you were born and raised here, or maybe you’re looking to visit. Getting reacquainted with local history is something easy that anyone can do, without driving hours away.

Fort Knox II

Fort Knox II was built in 1803, three miles north of Vincennes on the Wabash River. The fort’s location is outlined with short posts and interpretive markers which tell the story of the site.

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park

The park features a massive granite memorial which commemorates the conquest of the Old Northwest Territory. It is the largest national monument outside of Washington, D.C. The Memorial is located on the site of the former British Fort Sackville which was captured by Colonel George Rogers Clark and his army of 170 frontiersmen and Frenchmen.

The moment of the fort’s surrender on February 25, 1779 marks the birth of the United States north of the Ohio River. Docents are available to give tours during hours of operation. The park’s Visitor Center is handicap-accessible and features exhibits, a gift shop and a 30 minute movie presentation . *Unfortunately the monument is not handicap accessible.

Grouseland, President William Henry Harrison Mansion

Grouseland is the home of William Henry Harrison, then governor of the Indiana territory, later ninth president of the United States. Built in 1803-1804, it was saved from destruction and restored by the Francis Vigo Chapter of the DAR in 1911. Grouseland was the focal point of the social and official life of the territory. Now open for tours, it is furnished with pieces from the time period including some of Harrison’s possessions.

Indiana Military Museum

The Indiana Military Museum has one of the most outstanding displays in the Midwest spanning the Civil War through WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm and current engagements.

The newly-opened Annex exhibit space displays feature tanks, artillery and aircraft and the indoor museum showcases uniforms, flags, battlefield relics, captured enemy souvenirs, WWII toys, home front items and vehicles.

Exhibits include an authentic WWII Homefront and WWII barracks from George Field, military aircraft, vehicles, artillery, uniforms, related artifacts and more. The annex is included with museum admission. To begin your tour at the Indiana Military Museum, check in at the brick building.

Knox County Veteran Memorial Park

This impressive monument is dedicated to the veterans of Knox County who served in the civil war through current military engagements.

McGrady-Brockman House

The McGrady Brockman House is the Knox County Public Library’s history/genealogy center and the repository documents from the Old Northwest Territory as well as the Indiana Territory. Housed in the facility are the Library’s Historical Collection, genealogy materials from the Byron R. Lewis Historical library, the Francis Vigo chapter DAR library and original records from the Knox County Records library. The majority of Knox County’s records can be found in the building, as well as extensive published sources on other Indiana and Illinois counties, and on states such as Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, and North and South Carolina, that fed the migration to this area. When Knox County was created, it was not only a part of Indiana but also included Illinois, Wisconsin, Ohio, Michigan and parts of Wisconsin.

Old Cathedral

The current Old Cathedral was built in 1826, and stands on the site of three previous churches. The first was a crude log structure built about 1732, where the first Catholic parish in Indiana was formed. Four bishops are buried in the crypt of the current Cathedral, and the adjoining cemetery is the final resting place of over 4,000 early citizens of Vincennes.

Located behind the Old Cathedral, is the oldest library in Indiana containing ten thousand rare volumes and documents. The oldest document in the collection is a Papal Bull issued by Pope John XXII, dated 1319. The oldest book is a 13th century illuminated manuscript volume on vellum of the Officium Sanctae Mariae. Artifacts on display include prehistoric stone tools, 18th and 19th century maps and paintings, Governor William Henry Harrison’s peace pipe, Shawnee Warrior Tecumseh’s war club, various chalices, Abraham Lincoln’s campaign banner and many other items too numerous to mention.

Old French House & Indian Museum

The Old French House is an excellent example of French Creole architecture. Home of Michael Brouillet, built in 1809, and furnished much as it would have been in that period. The Old French House is operated by the Vincennes State Historic Sites.

 

Old State Bank

The Old State Bank was the Vincennes branch of the State Bank of Indiana in 1838 and is an excellent example of Greek Revival architecture with massive Doric columns and triangular pediment.

Vincennes State Historic Sites

The original territorial capitol was used from 1800 to 1813 while Vincennes was the capitol of the Indiana Territory. It is considered the oldest major government building in the Midwest. A replica of the Jefferson Academy is used to interpret the first college in Indiana, the direct predecessor of Vincennes University.

The Elihu Stout Print Shop is a replica of the building where the first newspaper, the Indiana Gazette was published featuring an authentic Ramage press of the era.

The Thompson birthplace is a small frame house where the author of Alice of Old Vincennes was born. An 1830’s style Log Cabin serves at the Visitors Center.

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