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

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/

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.