The Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites give people thousands of ways to explore Indiana. At all 12 locations, visitors will find stories about the people, places and things that shape Indiana. We welcome everyone, whether you're a Hoosier by birth or a Hoosier at heart.
Hannah Kiefer, Director of Communication
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INDIANAPOLIS — As Hoosiers begin planning their Labor Day weekend getaways, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites wants to offer 12 fun Indiana day trip ideas. The 12-site museum system features inspiring historic places in locations throughout the state of Indiana.
The 12 locations, connecting visitors to Indiana’s past and present, include Angel Mounds, Corydon Capitol, Culbertson Mansion, Gene Stratton-Porter, Historic New Harmony, Indiana State Museum, Lanier Mansion, Levi Coffin, Limberlost, TC Steele, Vincennes and Whitewater Canal. Each site is detailed below.
Angel Mounds, Culbertson Mansion, Gene Stratton-Porter, Levin Coffin House and Limberlost State Historic Sites will be closed on Monday, Sept. 5. For more information on site specific hours, please visit online at indianamuseum.org/explore.
Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best-preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States. Featuring a model museum that works to recreate the lives of these indigenous people, Angel Mounds tells the story of the people of the Middle Mississippian culture who inhabited the area from 1000 to 1450 A.D. Twelve earthen mounds, built for ceremonial and residential purposes, are scattered throughout the grounds encompassing nearly 100 acres. Trails lead through the grounds for biking and hiking. For more information, please call 812.853.3956 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/angelmounds.
Serving as the centerpiece of the Corydon Historic District, Corydon Capitol commemorates the history of Indiana’s first state capitol and the development of Indiana from the territorial period through statehood. The square, Federal-style limestone capitol building, built between 1814 and 1816, was originally intended to serve as the courthouse for Harrison County. Limestone was hauled from nearby quarries to erect the 40-foot square walls. Poplar and walnut logs were cut from virgin forests for the ceiling and roof supports. The building is open Tuesday through Sunday for tours. The Governor Hendricks Headquarters, home of Indiana's second elected governor, is also available for tours. For more information, please call 812.738.4890 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/corydon.
Admire this masterpiece of Victorian artistry nestled on the Ohio River in New Albany. Culbertson Mansion was the home of William Culbertson, who was once the richest man in Indiana. Built in 1867, the three-story, Second Empire-style mansion has 25 rooms within 20,000 square feet and features hand-painted ceilings, carved staircase, marble fireplaces and elaborate plasterwork. Visitors can tour all four floors of the mansion, including the entry hall, the formal parlor, the private family quarters and the servants’ area. For more information, please call 812.944.9600 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/culbertson.
Visit the Queen Anne-style rustic Cabin at Wildflower Woods to discover the inspiration behind the work of Gene Stratton-Porter, an American author, early naturalist, nature photographer and one of the first women to form a movie studio and production company. The nearly 150 acres is also made up of woods featuring hiking trails, formal gardens and a restored 99-acre wetland and prairie. For more information, please call 260.854.3790 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/gsp.
Historic New Harmony
New Harmony was first a spiritual sanctuary that later became a haven for international scientists, scholars and educators. Today, New Harmony is a vibrant community where festivals, concerts and plays are held throughout the year. For more information, please call 800.231.2168 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/newharmony.
Indiana State Museum
The Indiana State Museum, located within White River State Park in Indianapolis, is Indiana’s museum for art, science and culture and offers a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn, and take pride in Indiana’s story in a global context. For more information, exhibits or to schedule a Museum INvasion Tour, please call 317.232.1637 or visit online at indianamuseum.org.
The 1844 home, located on the Ohio River in Madison, is one of the best examples of Greek Revival Architecture in the Midwest. The mansion exhibits many original Greek Revival features including its square plan, the full façade porch on the south elevation, the Corinthian columns on the south portico, the Doric pilasters that appear on several locations on the exterior, the massive exterior entablature and dentilated cornice, the ornamental anthemia, the ornamental pediments over the windows and doors, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor. On the interior, horsehair brushes were used to paint the walls and decorative plaster moldings, which were then covered with a high gloss varnish as they were in 1844. The wallpapers and carpets are all reproductions of those available for purchase in the 1840s. For more information, please call 812.273.0556 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/lanier.
Levi Coffin House
Nearly 2,000 slaves passed through the two-story, eight room brick house on their way to freedom. The Fountain City home, once occupied by Quaker abolitionists Levi and Catharine Coffin, was constructed in 1839 in the Federal style and served as a station on the Underground Railroad. The site will soon feature a new two-story interpretive center that opens in December 2016. The site is open June through August for visitation. For more information, please call 765.847.2432 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/levicoffin.
In the early 1900s the Limberlost Swamp, stretching more than 13,000 acres, was described as a “treacherous swamp and quagmire, filled with every plant, animal and human danger known — in the worst of such locations in the central states. Today, the land of the Limberlost is where author Gene Stratton-Porter studied the natural wonders at her doorstep. For more information, please call 260.368.7428 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/limberlost.
Visit T.C. Steele State Historic Site and enjoy guided tours of Steele’s studio and home, stroll through Selma Steele’s restored gardens and discover the ever-changing views of scenic southern Indiana. Take a pleasant drive to a perfect destination located in Belmont, midway between Bloomington and Nashville. For more information, please call 812.988.2785 or visit online at
Explore where cultures clashed and blended to form the Indiana Territorial frontier long before statehood. Sights to see include the original territorial capitol, considered the oldest major government building in the Midwest, a replica of the Jefferson Academy (1801) used to interpret the first college in Indiana, the Elihu Stout Print Shop, home of Indiana’s first newspaper and The Thompson birthplace, where the author of “Alice of Old Vincennes” was born. For more information, please call 812.882.7422 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/vincennes.
Travel back in time and discover how this 1840s feat of engineering changed Indiana from a pioneer outpost to the Crossroads of America. The State of Indiana assumed management of a 14-mile section of the Whitewater Canal in 1946 that, today, operates a horse-drawn canal boat and the grist mill. Visitors can take a leisurely 25-minute cruise on the Ben Franklin III. During the cruise, they pass the Duck Creek Aqueduct, a covered bridge that carries the canal 16 feet over Duck Creek. It is believed to be the only structure of its kind in the nation. The town of Metamora is full of many exciting retro experiences from soda shops and dinners to nostalgic gift shops. For more information, please call 765.647.6512 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/whitewater.
Museum members may visit many of the sites for free. For more information, please call 317.232.1637 or visit online at indianamuseum.org.
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The Indiana State Museum is located in White River State Park in the heart of downtown Indianapolis. It is Indiana’s museum for science, art and culture, offering a place where you can celebrate, investigate, remember, learn and take pride in Indiana’s story in the context of the broader world. Even the building is a showcase of the best Indiana has to offer in architecture, materials and sculpture. Easy and convenient parking is available in the attached underground garage.
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