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As a museum, we are the keepers not only of facts and objects, but also of stories – and it’s part of our mission to share those stories with you. The purpose of this blog is to share the stories of our staff, volunteers, history, artifacts and more. Be sure to check this space for updates, and follow us on social media to learn even more about who we are and what we do across the state of Indiana.



Culbertson’s legacy of benevolence continues on today

By Kelsey Cook Visitors to Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site learn all about the benevolent actions of William S. Culbertson – a man who used his wealth and influence to better the community.  Though once considered to be Indiana’s wealthiest man, it’s his benevolence and care for his community that left the most lasting impression. Philanthropy and charitable giving are both forms of benevolence, but being a benevolent person goes beyond that. As... Read More
Posted by Julie Schaefer at Thursday, February 15, 2018

Discover a masterpiece of Victorian artistry at Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site

By Kelsey Cook  When driving through downtown New Albany, Ind., visitors will find streets that are lined with beautiful historic homes, located right along the banks of the Ohio River.  One of these homes near the end of Main Street is Culbertson Mansion – one of the 12 locations associated with the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites.  The home, which began construction in 1867 and took two years to complete, is listed on the National Register of Historic... Read More
Posted by Kelsey Cook at Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Volunteer shares stories of her ancestor at Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site

By Kelsey Cook  Visitors arrive to the Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site expecting to learn a lot about the Underground Railroad and the important role that the Coffin home played in so many freedom seekers’ journeys to freedom.   But, if the y are lucky enough to visit on a day that Eileen Baker-Wall is volunteering, they will leave the site with an even better understanding for what freedom seekers went through before, during and after their time at the... Read More
Posted by Kelsey Cook at Friday, January 26, 2018

Rock on: GeoFest returns to Indiana State Museum

Staff Report Each year, rock collectors look forward to one of their favorite Indiana State Museum events: GeoFest. Gems, fossils, rocks, minerals, jewelry and more all will be on display to browse and purchase at this unique event Feb. 16 through 18. About 20 different vendors from around the nation will participate. Both younger and more seasoned rock enthusiasts will enjoy special programming to explore geology by making their own geodes or jewelry, seeing fluorescing minerals,... Read More
Posted by Julie Schaefer at Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Sixty-plus Hoosier artists to showcase at Indiana Art Fair

Staff Report  From black-and-white photography to insects displayed in glass, the Indiana Art Fair offers an opportunity for guests to browse the offerings of more than 60 different Hoosier artists and engage with them about their unique art styles. The Indiana Art Fair is Feb. 10 and 11 at the museum. Art on display and for sale will include traditional art such as photography, paintings or jewelry, as well as some more unusual offerings – including pressed flowers, ceramics... Read More
Posted by Julie Schaefer at Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Rare documents signed by Lincoln to be displayed at Indiana State Museum

Staff Report  In honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Jan. 15, visitors to the Indiana State Museum will not only receive free admission with donation of a canned food item for Gleaners Food Bank: They will also have an exclusive opportunity to see copies of the Emancipation Proclamation and 13th Amendment signed by Abraham Lincoln.  The Emancipation Proclamation announced the freedom of slaves in Confederate-held territory, and the 13th Amendment ended legal slavery... Read More
Posted by Julie Schaefer at Monday, January 8, 2018

Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site shares stories of the Coffins, freedom seekers

By Kelsey Cook  Just 90 minutes east of Indianapolis in Fountain City, there is a simple red house that sits in the middle of town.  It’s an eight room, Federal-style brick home that initially appears similar to any other house built in the area during the 19th century.  Inside, however, visitors today will discover the secrets and stories of the many freedom seekers who stayed at the home during their journey on the Underground Railroad.  The Levi and... Read More
Posted by Kelsey Cook at Thursday, January 4, 2018