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Museum Happenings June 2023

Updated: Jun 5, 2023

May flowers have given way to summer events at the HGSIC. Local authors are chronicling the community’s history, and public interest is higher than ever. This month, the hard work of our volunteers helps to further beautify the Society’s grounds, as well as provide a number of events for our members to take part in. The work is constant and often unglamorous; however, the principle behind it is rewarding, allowing volunteers to play their parts in preserving local history.

May concluded with another successful Victorian Ladies Tea. The afternoon saw a number of new faces at the event, in addition to the growing list of regulars. Thank you to all the volunteers who helped with baking the wonderful assortment of pastries and assisted with the event throughout the afternoon. As usual, Mary Jo Bowes put together a wonderful program and managed to find superb actors to enhance the experience. If you missed this event, tickets are already on sale for the Fall Ladies Tea set for September 9, 2023.

Another buildings and grounds workday took place last month for mulching and general cleaning of the exterior decking and doors of the Clark House. The historic house is plagued by heavy automotive traffic and needed attention to prevent damage to various painted surfaces. Ron Kuzemchak has also been a tremendous help lately for removing excess cardboard on a regular basis. It takes an entire committee to manage the Society’s grounds, with additional help of the Evergreen Garden Club and Johnston Nursery and Landscaping to keep it beautiful during the growing months.

With the release of Dr. Kevin Patrick’s new book, he is taking part in several speaking engagements, one of which is set to take place at the Historical Society Thursday, June 8, 2023, at 6:30 p.m. Patrick’s book, Near Woods: A Year in an Allegheny Forest, is filled with intimate pictures of the woods, capturing vivid images of the wildlife and landscape. The pages are filled with plenty of historic imagery and references, as well as old maps showing the ever-evolving relationship White’s Woods and the community have had over the years. The author also contributes his own hand-drawn map of the space, providing yet another lens through which to view the “near woods” space.

This month, after countless hours of meticulously assembling its many parts, the circus is officially up. The exhibit features a massive sideshow tent, an opening parade of cars, and information related to the circus in Indiana County. Visitors can also learn about the creator of the model, Paul McGregor, who was a prominent county citizen during his lifetime. The grand opening will take place on June 17, 2023 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and will feature various fun activities and circus characters. Visitors can view the display during regular museum hours until the end of July. To read more about the history of this display, read our previous blog post.

The Society will be hosting the second annual Murder Mystery Dinner in collaboration with the Indiana Players, Inc. on Sunday June 25, 2023 starting at 5:00 p.m. Tickets are $35, with a discounted price for members of the Players and HGSIC. The evening will feature dinner and a show, as well as a chance to win some excellent prizes. Guests are encouraged to don their best 1950s attire, with a chance to win prizes for being the best dressed. There will also be a chance to win some other fabulous prizes with a 50/50 raffle and for those who correctly guess the murderer. All proceeds will go toward the continued operation of both organizations.

Our volunteer force has grown in the last couple of months, with the most recent additions being Laurel and Willa Black. Both are assisting Bill Black with his efforts organizing the second floor of the Clark House and are doing an excellent job cataloging various items from the collection. Laurel is a retired IUP English professor and has also lent her skills to reviewing newsletter articles before they are published. Don Lancaster has also been hard at work scanning items and entering incredibly thorough descriptions into our cataloging system. This will make finding information much easier in the future.

The summer is off to a busy start at the Historical Society! Solve a mystery while stepping back in time or relive the magic of the circus coming to town. The Society will never run out of work to do, whether it is regular maintenance on our buildings or an extensive cataloging of the library’s massive collection. All of this is made possible and powered by the incredible work of the Society’s volunteers who give their free time to preserve their community’s history and make it a better place.

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