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Museum Happenings November 2023

With only two months to go, the year is quickly coming to a close. The chill of November has settled here in Indiana, with a chance of snow ever looming in the forecast and the scent of smoke rising from chimneys in the air on crisp cool evenings.


Many events are behind us, yet a few remain in 2023. The Society greeted a tour group for tea in the Clark House to lead off festivities for the month of November. Now is the time for reviewing budgets and planning for all that 2024 has to offer. New board positions have been assigned, and the framework is set for a productive new year.

Jonathan Bogert sharing the history of the Clark House with the tour group.

The 5K seems like it took place ages ago at this point. The weather could not have been better and there were more runners than the previous year, so the race served as a nice way to end the year for fundraising. All results and photographs are available on our website. Now the fundraising committee members can turn their attention to a new chairperson come January and to event planning for 2024. The calendar from the photo contest is ready for purchase, for those who are interested. Purchasing one is a great way to support the Society and fill your wall with some wonderful Indiana County scenery.


The Society's Annual Meeting was a productive night with an excellent program. Business was as usual, with a brief report on progress made this past year and where the Society plans to go in 2024. Nominating Chair Herb Gleditsch then brought a slate of new officers for a vote. A resounding yes saw three new board members elected. Eric Witmer, Don Lancaster, and Mary Ann Wagner will join the board for regular meetings come January. There will be a proper introduction of new board members in a later blog post in the new year.


Following the business meeting, there was a program on the Indiana County Tourist Bureau honoring their 60th anniversary. Bureau director Laura Herrington and I gave the presentation, with other past board members and directors of the organization sharing stories of their own. Following the program, there was delicious food, courtesy of Jason Beatty from Romeo's. Wesley Wertz did a fantastic job bartending and developed a unique signature drink for the evening featuring edible glitter. There were also various displays tied to the 1960s, Queen Evergreen, and the Tourist Bureau. In addition, the Society provided some clothing from the era for display and were loaned a few pieces courtesy of Molly Ihli. Items from Greg Van Horn were also on display related to the Christmas Tree growing industry to fill the entryway display cases. The evening would not be complete without a proper soundtrack. Thank you to Joanne Lonsdale for loaning a sound system with 1960s music to set the mood for the evening. The Society was pleased to honor this milestone with the Indiana County Tourist Bureau and looks forward to many more.

HGSIC Executive Director Jonathan Bogert and Tourist Bureau Director Laura Herrington

The Lantern tours held on October 21 were a tremendous success. All seventy reserved slots were filled, with additional walk-ins for each tour. Guests were led by tour guides through the borough and learning the unique history behind various structures. There were some excellent questions that will spur more research and help the Society to build a more complete tour in the future. The night would not be complete without cookies and cider, which were furnished by the program committee. Thank you to all who attended. Special thanks to Joe Hildebrand for stepping in at the last minute, as one of our other tour guides got sick and could not join us for the evening.


We were excited to host guests at the Clark House for Trick-or-Treat. The program committee did an excellent job decorating the mansion, with plenty of surprises all around. A slew of cobwebs fill the parlors, along with a few spooky guests. Has anyone noticed the figure gazing down from the tower yet?

Ready to greet trick-or-treaters at the Clark House

This November, the Historical Society celebrates its 85th birthday. A program to honor this milestone is in order for Thursday, November 16, 2023, beginning at 6:00 p.m. The program will reflect on and reminisce about the history of the Society and its many accomplishments over the years. Since its founding in 1938, the Society has had many homes and has had thousands of individuals who have helped make preserving the County's past possible. The evening will also feature light refreshments. Please RSVP by calling the Society or through the form on the website. We hope to see you there.


This month the colonial homestead display comes down after a successful run. If you have not yet seen the display, it serves as an excellent intro to the history of the area. Visitors have until November 18 before the exhibit comes down. The IAA Fall Art Show goes up on the gallery wall this month and will be open for viewing starting Tuesday, November 14, 2023. There is a reception taking place Saturday, November 18, 2023 at 6 p.m. to award the winners in the many categories.


A reminder: the Society will be closed from November 19-27, 2023 for the Thanksgiving holiday and will reopen for regular business on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. This closure allows the Society to take a brief rest from all of the activity. It also gives our dedicated staff and volunteers time to spend with their families. If you are in the area and simply must tour the displays, please contact the Society prior to the closing date and we would be happy to arrange a tour for you.


Mark your calendars for the Annual Christmas Open House! This fan favorite event will take place Friday, December 8, 2023, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and features music, seasonal treats, and carols around the piano in the Clark House. The Clark House will also be decked in seasonal ornaments courtesy of the Evergreen Garden Club. This event is free and open to the public.


At this point in the year, the Society has plenty to be thankful for. Volunteers and committees continue to build upon their past work and plan for a brighter, more exciting year. We could not be able to accomplish half of what we do without our dedicated volunteers and enthusiastic interns, as well as our wonderful members. We are also fortunate to have two historic buildings and a library with more than a lifetime's worth of reading material. The Society wishes to thank all who have contributed this past year and hopes that you and your family have a safe and happy holiday.

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