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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PROGRAMS & EVENTS
Jul 10, 2023 9:00 am - 12:30 pmCamp Info
Life of our Pioneers
Jul 11, 2023 9:00 am - 12:30 pmCamp Info
The Natural World
Jul 12, 2023 9:00 am - 12:30 pmCamp Info
Jul 13, 2023 9:00 am - 12:30 pmCamp Info
The Pen is Mightier than the Sword
Jul 14, 2023 9:00 am - 12:30 pmCamp Info
Oh yeah, these walls can talk
The original Capitol 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.
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.
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
Wednesday – Sunday
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
2023 Monday open dates:
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Jan. 16 (FREE)
- Presidents’ Day, Feb. 20 (FREE)
Closed Mondays, Tuesdays, Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Timed, indoor tours are available Wednesday through Sunday at 10 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4 p.m.Purchase Tickets
Walk up tour tickets are subject to availability. Purchasing online or by calling the site is recommended to ensure tour registration.
Visiting on a free day? Specific site access and tour space will be limited. Please contact the site in advance of your visit to learn more and reserve your space.
If you plan on visiting the site during the months that school is in session, Wednesday 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.
For groups of 15 or more, adult tickets are $5, and youth tickets are $3. Group tickets must be purchased in person.
Special discounts are available for educators and education groups, military, Access Pass holders and more. View all discounts >>
We’re proud to participate in the annual Cultural Pass May through September. Registration is required for a Cultural Pass tour. Call the site to reserve your spot on our guided tours.
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 >>
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 >>
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
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.