Indiana's Original Capitol

Welcome to Corydon Capitol

WHERE STATEHOOD BEGAN

Indiana’s transformation from a territorial outpost to a functioning modern state was a deeply dramatic and fascinating time in our nation’s history. Here, you can explore Corydon’s colorful beginnings where Hoosier statesmen carefully built the foundations for the state we know today.

Old Constitution Elm photo

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.

Capitol Building
Corydon Capitol

History comes to life in Corydon

The Corydon Capitol State Historic Site commemorates Indiana’s first state capital and follows the development of Indiana from a territory to a state.

Capitol Building

Discover Where it all began

Tour the original state Capitol building, which served as Indiana’s government center from 1816 to 1825, and see a copy of the 1815 Census that helped officials prove the territory’s population—a requirement for statehood.

See Indiana's most important tree

Take a walk to see the preserved trunk of the Constitution Elm. It’s believed to be where the original 43 delegates to the Indiana Constitutional Convention gathered on a hot June day to draft the state’s first constitution.

Constitution Elm
Herb Garden

Explore an Heirloom Herb Garden

Medicine in the early 1800s was different from what we use today. Some remedies were made using plants we grow in our herb garden. Lamb’s Ear was said to have antimicrobial properties and the soft leaves were used as bandages to prevent infections.

Corydon Capitol Interior

Oh yeah, these walls can talk

Capitol Building Interior

The original Capital building

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

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.

Govenor's HQ
Porter Law Office

The Porter Law Office

Judge William Porter helped defend Corydon when the Confederate soldiers under General John Hunt Morgan took control of the town. While Porter was too old to serve in the Union Army, he was a supporter of the North during the Civil War and chose to fight alongside the Harrison County Home Guard. Judge Porter and his descendants lived in the Governor’s Headquarters from 1841 to 1975.

The First State Office Building

Davis Floyd, a local politician, built the First State Office building in 1817. The brick portion on the left side of the picture is the original building. This building served as the headquarters for the state auditor and treasurer. There was once a vault in the cellar that held the state’s money that was accessible through a trapdoor that has since been covered.

1st State office Building
Membership

Become a Member Today!

With an entire capitol to explore, including special programming and members-only guided tours, a membership opens up a whole new world of possibilities. Make it a trip-tastic getaway! What will you see today?

explore our membership plans

Plan Your Trip

  • Hours & Tickets

    Wednesday – Sunday
    10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

    Closed Mondays*, Tuesdays, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.

    Open *Martin Luther King Jr. Day (FREE), *President’s Day (FREE), *Memorial Day, *Labor Day.

    Open for preregistered programs only on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

    Call site for local Spring and Fall Break hours.

    If you plan on visiting the site during the months school is in session, Tuesday through Friday, please call ahead. Due to a number of school group visits, guided tours may be limited. Please call ahead to find out if your visit may be impacted.

    Purchase Tickets
  • Group Rate

    For groups of 15 or more, adult tickets are $5, and youth tickets are $3. Group tickets must be purchased in person.

  • Discounts

    Special discounts are available for educators and education groups, military, Access Pass holders and more. View all discounts >>

  • Tours

    Due to COVID-19 and social distancing requirements, we are offering special timed, indoor tours for a maximum of 10 people daily, Wednesday through Sunday. Cost for these tours is included with site admission, but pre-registration is recommended by calling the site. Topics include:

    Wednesdays

    Regular guided tour
    10 a.m.
    Porter and Griffin family history tour

    12 p.m.
    Regular guided tour

    2 p.m.
    Porter and Griffin family history tour

    4 p.m.

    Thursdays

    Regular guided tour
    10 a.m.
    Harrison County history tour

    12 p.m.
    Regular guided tour

    2 p.m.
    Harrison County history tour

    4 p.m.

    Fridays

    Regular guided tour
    10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.

    Saturdays

    Regular guided tour
    10 a.m.
    Porter and Griffin family history tour

    12 p.m.
    Regular guided tour

    2 p.m.
    Porter and Griffin family history tour

    4 p.m.

    Sundays

    Regular guided tour
    10 a.m.
    Harrison County history tour

    12 p.m.
    Regular guided tour

    2 p.m.
    Harrison County history tour
    4 p.m.

  • School Groups

    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 >>

  • Commercial Photography And Videography

    If you are a photographer looking to book a shoot at Corydon Capitol State Historic Site, please review our commercial photography policy and application process. Learn more >>

Children Under 3 Admission: Free
Youth (Ages 3 - 17) Admission: $4
Adults (Ages 18 - 59) Admission: $7
Seniors (Ages 60+) Admission: $6
Members Admission: Free

LOOKING TO BOOK A FIELD TRIP?

Help bring history, science, art and education to life for your students with a one-of-a-kind field trip experience. All state historic sites support Indiana Academic Standards, and feature a variety of academic topics. Call 812.738.4890 to schedule your visit to Corydon Capitol.

Learn More in Our Educator Program Guide

 

202 E. Walnut St. Corydon, IN 47112

Visit Today

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.