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 plan their summer break away from the hustle, bustle and day-to-day responsibilities of their normal lives, the Indiana State Museum and Historic Sites is offering 12 fun day trip ideas for multigenerational adventures. The 12-site, statewide museum system features inspiring historic places in locations throughout the state.
“Our 12-site, statewide museum system offers wonderful, quick summer getaways for families,” said Christine Johnson, vice president of marketing for the museum and historic sites. “Many of these sites offer the chance to explore Hoosier history in picturesque settings like Madison, New Harmony and Rome City, 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, the Indiana State Museum, Lanier Mansion, Levi and Catharine Coffin, Limberlost, T.C. Steele, Vincennes and Whitewater Canal. Each site is detailed below.
Angel Mounds State Historic Site
Angel Mounds State Historic Site is nationally recognized as one of the best-preserved prehistoric Native American sites in the United States. Featuring a 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 a summer event listing, please call 812.853.3956 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/angelmounds.
Corydon Capitol State Historic Site
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 a summer event listing, please call 812.738.4890 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/corydon.
Culbertson Mansion State Historic Site
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. Completed in 1869, 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 tour information, please call 812.944.9600 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/culbertson.
Gene Stratton-Porter State Historic Site
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 tour 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 information on events, exhibits or to schedule a Museum INvasion Tour, please call 317.232.1637 or visit online at indianamuseum.org.
Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
The 1844 home of James F.D. Lanier, located on the Ohio River in Madison, is one of the best examples of Greek Revival Architecture in the Midwest. James F.D. Lanier was a local lawyer and banker who became one of the most important figures in Indiana’s history during the 19th century. He helped save Indiana’s finances at least three times, most notably during the Civil War, when he loaned the state over $1,000,000. His grand residence – the Lanier Mansion – includes a dramatic spiral staircase, a portico with 30-foot Corinthian columns and beautiful furnishings from the 1840’s. Today, the home is the “Crown Jewel” of Madison’s National Historic Landmark District. For tour information, please call 812.273.0556 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/lanier.
Levi and Catharine Coffin State Historic Site
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 now features a new two-story interpretive center that opened in December 2016. The site is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For tour information, please call 765.847.1691 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/levicoffin.
Limberlost State Historic Site
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 tour information, please call 260.368.7428 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/limberlost.
T.C. Steele State Historic Site
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 tour information, please call 812.988.2785 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/tcsteele.
Vincennes State Historic Site
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 and a replica of the Jefferson Academy (1801) used to interpret the first college in Indiana. There is also the Elihu Stout Print Shop, home of Indiana’s first newspaper and the Old French House, home of French fur trader Michel Brouillet, which presents an excellent example of a French Creole cottage built by French settlers in the area. For visitor information, please call 812.882.7422 or visit online at indianamuseum.org/vincennes.
Whitewater Canal State Historic Site
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. The town of Metamora is full of many exciting retro experiences from soda shops and diners 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.