‘History’ Category

President’s in Knox County

In honor of President’s Day, Knox County acknowledges the Presidents who graced us with their presence.  William Henry Harrison was governor of the Indiana Territory and later the 9th U.S. President. His home, Grouseland, remains open to the public in Vincennes. It is said that President Abraham Lincoln stayed in two different homes in Vincennes around the 1840’s.  Local attorney, Cyrus Allen was a personal friend of his and Lincoln was a guest at the Allen Mansion, now Gardner-Brockman Funeral Home.  Vincennes Mayor, Abner T. Ellis, hosted Lincoln while he was in town campaigning for Henry Clay.  Today the Harmony Society occupies the Ellis Mansion.  In June of 1936, Franklin D. Roosevelt visited Vincennes to dedicate the George Rogers Clark Memorial.  In July of 1966, Lyndon Johnson came to the Memorial for a celebration designating the site as a member of the National Park Service.

Vincennes’ own Red Skelton had contact with many Presidents throughout his career.  The Red Skelton Museum has a special exhibit highlighting those events open until March 31st.  There will be a reception on Monday, February 20th from 5pm to 7pm.

Catch the Holiday Spirit this Weekend

This weekend is jam packed full of Christmas fun!  Friday night starts with the First Friday Art Walk downtown.  Admire works of artists at one or all four of the participating galleries.  The Parade of Lights kicks off at 6:30 and ends bringing Santa into town.  There are several opportunities to get a photo with Santa over the weekend.  Experience Christmas at Grouseland as it would have been when the Harrison family lived there.  The festivities continue on Saturday with Breakfast with Santa, a recipe walk, live nativity scene and giant tree lighting.  For a complete list of times and events visit our website at, http://www.vincennescvb.org/events/2016/12/02/#first-friday-art-walk-christmas-shopping-downtown-galleries-shircliff-gallery-vincennes


Summer Junior Ranger Series

The Summer Junior Rangers Series starts this weekend at the George Rogers Clark NHP.  “Three Forts Day”, one of five events of the 2016 Junior Rangers Series will be held on Saturday, June 18 and Sunday, June 19. On Saturday, from 11:00am – 4:00pm and Sunday, from 11:00am – 3:00pm, children of all ages will see life as it was for a French marine unit and a Spanish militia unit, learn of the three different forts built inside what is now George Rogers Clark NHP, how the forts were constructed with 18th century tools and so much more! Prizes will be awarded for participation. Upcoming events in the series are as follows; Ranger Career Day on July 23, Native American Culture Day on August 20, Natural Resources Day on  September 17.  Participate in 1 event, get a Junior Ranger Patch; participate in 2 events, get a Junior Ranger Badge and participate in 3 events, get a 2016 Junior Ranger T-Shirt. For more information please contact Ranger Jason Collins at 812.882.1776, ext. 207.

Rendezvous Photo Contest

Are you an aspiring photographer or just enjoy it as a hobby? If so the Spirit of Vincennes is having the Rendezvous photo contest again this year. Cash prizes will be awarded. Last year’s winning photo, below, was taken by Josh Neukam of Boonville. For more information or to register call the George Rogers Clark NHP at 812.882.1776 ext. 210.

Rendezvous Buttons are now available

The Spirit of the Vincennes Rendezvous is right around the corner on May 28th and 29th and two day buttons are now available.  Get your buttons today at the Visitors Bureau, 779 South 6th Street.  This is year is sure to be one of the best events yet.  There will be battle enactments, encampments, entertainment, food and merchant vendors.  New this year, is an evening battle on Saturday at 8pm.  Grouseland and the State Historic Sites will host candlelight tours on Saturday evening as well.  For a complete list events visit http://spiritofvincennes.org/


Voyage to Vincennes a PBS Special

PBS recently visited Vincennes and put together an episode titled Voyage to Vincennes.  It’s  a really nice piece highlighting Vincennes history and a few of our treasures.  I encourage you to view it by clicking on the link below,



Preserving Historic Places Conference is Coming to Vincennes

The Preserving Historic Places Conference hosted by the Indiana Historic Landmarks will be held in Vincennes on April 27th through the 29th.  This conference will highlight Vincennes historic gems such as George Rogers Clark National Historical park, the Basilica of St. Francis Xavier, Grouseland and more.  Educational sessions include community revitalization, preservation technology and social media strategies to name a few.  For more information or to register visit http://www.in.gov/dnr/historic/4463.htm

It’s sure to be a conference that you wont want to miss!


Anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sackville

Plan to attend the Battle of Fort Sackville Anniversary
The Annual Battle of Fort Sackville Ceremony will take place at the George Rogers Clark Memorial on Thursday February 25th, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. Mr. Perry T. Hammock, Executive Director of the Indiana Bicentennial Commission, will be the speaker. Following the ceremony at noon, there will be a luncheon at the Vincennes Fortnightly Club. Mr. Hammock will again speak. The lunch will be catered by Pea-fections and is $13.00 per person.


Reservations can be made by calling Dennis Latta at 812-726-5333. Reservations should be made by Tuesday evening.


Following Clark’s Footsteps

Join the staff of the George Rogers Clark NHP this Saturday February 20th as they follow the path Clark and his small army marched as they entered Vincennes.  Participates can join the 5 mile or 10.5 mile routes.  Park Rangers will provide interpretation along the trip.  For more information visit http://www.vincennescvb.org/events/2016/02/20


History comes alive during Memorial Day weekend

Every Memorial Day weekend, Vincennes is host to one of the premier Revolutionary War reenactments in the Midwest: The Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous.

For over thirty years, local community members have put on this annual two-day event that features hundreds of merchants, artisans, entertainers, and colonial reenactors who bring the Revolutionary War to life on the French Commons.

There will be artillery demonstrations, battle reenactments, fife and drum corps marching through the grounds, a stage filled with music, and even a cozy corner under a tree to hear lectures to learn more about the time period.  Many mercantile craftsmen demonstrate their skills from their tents, roaming entertainers will tickle your funny bone, and the smell of locally cooked food will tempt your belly.

Local civic groups provide fare for the event, cooked fresh on the grounds over an open flame. Popular items include beignets, turkey legs, buffalo burgers, and sausage stuffed mushrooms.

The grounds will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday. For only $9, you can purchase a button in advance good for admission for both days, available at the Vincennes/Knox Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The Vincennes history experience doesn’t have to stop with the Rendezvous.  Vincennes Van Go will take visitors to area historical sites, including the George Rogers Clark Memorial, The Old Cathedral, and William Henry Harrison’s home Grouseland.

On Saturday evening, visitors can tour Grouseland and the nearby state historic sites by candlelight, and then kick up their heels by joining in on the Grand Ball.  Live music and dancing take place on the grounds right outside the former President’s mansion.

You can follow the Spirit of Vincennes Rendezvous on Facebook, as well as on Instagram and Twitter, @rendezvous1732.  For even more information, visit http://spiritofvincennes.org .

Submitted by guest blogger Haley Lancaster