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

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

‘History’ Category

Vincennes Rendezvous

The 42nd Annual Rendezvous will be held next weekend on May 26-27, 2018. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the American Revolutionary War period! This year’s theme is the French Marines. All of the old favorites are back including Creek Fried Potatoes, the Amazing Budabi Brothers jugglers and more!

New this year is a French citizen of Vincennes camp who will portray the early French of Vincennes. This will also include some French Marines who were the military force on the frontier. Vincennes founder Sieur de Vincennes was a French Marine officer and a statue will be dedicated in his honor on Saturday at 2pm on the Riverwalk located at 1st and Main Streets.

Battle re-enactments will be held on Saturday at 1pm and 4pm and on Sunday at noon and 3:30pm.

The ever popular candlelight tours of Grouseland and the Vincennes State Historic Sites will take place on Saturday evening.

Two day advance buttons can be purchased at the Visitors Bureau, Chamber of Commerce and local banks. Buttons also serve as a pass for shuttle service to the State Historic Sites and Grouseland during the event.

For more information visit, https://www.spiritofvincennes.org/

Six More Weeks of Winter

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow this morning which means we can expect six more weeks of winter weather.  To help you pass the time we have put together a list of Winter Activities to consider.

Visit 1972 for laser tag, video games, rock climbing, foot darts, and more!  Admission is charged.

Bundle up and hike the trails at Ouabache Trails Park or take a stroll on the Riverwalk.

Take in a production at the Red Skelton Performing Arts Center or other local theater.

Visit the Red Skelton Museum and you’re sure to leave laughing.  The fully interactive Museum explores Red’s life and career as well as American Comedy.

Warm up with a coffee drink at I’Mpressed Coffee Shop.

Take a swim at the YMCA during open swim times.  Membership is required, visit their website or app for swim times.

Feed your creative side at one of the downtown art galleries.  Exhibits are changed regularly and many pieces are available for sale.

Check out a new book at the Knox County Public Library.  Stay and read or cuddle up with the book at home.

Brush up on your Indiana history by touring our local historic sites, George Rogers Clark NHP, Grouseland, and the Vincennes State Historic Sites.  George Rogers Clark has free admission.

Meet a friend at the newly opened Vincennes Brewing Company or Windy Knoll Winery for an adult beverage!  Must be 21 to visit either location.

Tour the Indiana Military Museum for look at military artifacts spanning the Civil War through current military engagements.

Ladies can get some retail therapy shopping downtown at several of the new boutiques and some of their old favorites too!

Stop by the Visitors Bureau, 779 South 6th Street, to pick up 2018 Indiana Festival or Travel guides and explore our great state!

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.

 

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.

 

Mysteries at the Indiana Military Museum

The Indiana Military Museum will be featured on the August 24th episode of “Mysteries at the Museum” on the Travel Channel.  The crew of the Travel Channel visited the museum earlier this year for filming and were interested in some of the smaller items in the museum.  The crew spent half of a day filming at the museum and then shot some additional footage throughout the community.  Check your local listings for show times.

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

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/