Transforming Indiana from a territorial outpost to a functioning modern state was a deeply dramatic and fascinating time in our nation’s history. From Corydon’s colorful beginnings, Hoosier statesmen carefully built the foundations for the state we know today.
Activities to enjoy:
202 E. Walnut St.
Corydon, IN 47112
Corydon Capitol State Historic Site is located on the town square. Find the state historic site by traveling south on State Road 135 from I-64, then take State Road 62 (also known as the Ohio River Scenic Byway) about 1.2 miles to State Road 337. Parking is available at the historic downtown square. There is also parking located at the Harrison County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Tuesday – Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Corydon Capitol is closed Mondays, with the exception of Monday holidays, including Memorial Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day. It is open Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and Presidents Day, but closed on Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Eve.
Guided tours last 45 minutes and include tours of the old capitol building, Gov. Hendricks' headquarters and the Coburn-Porter Law Office. Visitors also are encouraged to explore the Constitution Elm monument, the beautiful square/gazebo area and the garden behind the Hendricks' House.
Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites members receive FREE admission and a 10 percent discount in the gift shop.
Purchase tickets in person at the Carriage House (202 E Walunt Street).
For groups of 15 or more, adult tickets are $5, and youth tickets are $3. Group tickets must be purchased in person.
Field trip admission is free for pre-scheduled, accredited schools and homeschool groups of 10 or more Indiana K-12 students. Call 812.738.4890 to schedule your visit.
Academic topics covered include early Indiana statehood, civics, government, law and pioneer life.
Learn more about field trip and school program offerings in the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites PreK-12 Education Program Guide. View guide >>
We hope to see you at our upcoming events. Visit our calendar for a list of events happening at all 12 Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites locations.
Saturday, February 23, 2019
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Feasting on History
Visitors will enjoy a themed period dinner using ...
Sunday, March 10, 2019
2:00 PM - 3:30 PM
Histor-tea: Dressing the 1816 Lady
Celebrate Women’s History Month during this...
Consider hosting your special event at Corydon Capitol State Historic Site. Please fill out our inquiry form to receive information.
WHERE STATEHOOD BEGAN
Corydon Capitol State Historic Site commemorates Indiana’s first state capital and follows the development of Indiana from a territory to a state. Vincennes, the first territorial capital, was left on Indiana’s western edge when the Illinois Territory was created, and in 1813, the capital was moved to Corydon, a more central location for Indiana’s population at the time.
In June of 1816, 43 delegates met in Corydon to draft the first state constitution. Much of their work was done under the shade of a large elm tree. The trunk of the tree, now known as “Constitution Elm,” is still standing. The first state election was on Aug. 5, 1816, in which Jonathan Jennings was elected governor.
In November 1816, the first General Assembly of 29 representatives, 10 senators and the lieutenant governor met in the new capitol building. On Dec. 11, 1816, Indiana was formally admitted as the 19th state. Corydon remained the state capital until the government moved to Indianapolis in 1825.
The square, Federal-style capitol building, built between 1814 and 1816, is located in the heart of downtown Corydon. Workers hauled limestone from nearby quarries to erect the 40-foot square walls, and logs were cut from virgin forests for the ceiling and roof supports.
After the government moved to Indianapolis, the building was used as the Harrison County Courthouse. When the present courthouse was completed in 1929, the old capitol building was restored and opened as a state memorial in 1930.
The Governor’s Headquarters, a brick home built in 1817, was the home and office to William Hendricks, Indiana’s second elected governor, from 1822 to 1825. The building is one of nine original buildings from the time Corydon served as the state capital. The other buildings are the First State Office Building, Cedar Glade, Posey House, Westfall House, Branham Tavern, Adams-Payne House and Harvey Heth House.
PORTER LAW OFFICE
Built in 1819, the Porter Law Office is where dozens of future Indiana lawmakers studied and read law. Judge William Porter, who also served as speaker of the Indiana House of Representatives, made this building his office for nearly 40 years. The Porter family and their descendants lived in the former Governor’s Headquarters for 135 years.
FIRST STATE OFFICE BUILDING
The recently-renovated First State Office building, built in 1817, was home to Indiana’s first state auditor and treasurer. It is said that the money for the young state of Indiana was kept in a vault in the cellar. The building is now used to host programs and is available as a rental facility.
BATTLE OF CORYDON
Corydon is home to Indiana’s only Civil War battlefield. The Indiana Homeguard engaged Confederate General John Hunt Morgan and his raiders on July 9, 1863, in a 30-minute skirmish on the outskirts of town. The battle site is open daily from dawn to dusk and features a restored 19th century cabin and monuments.
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