Monday, January 15, 2018

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum - Sample Chapter - Sample Chapter Indiana's Fascinating Museums - Southeast Edition

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Indiana's Fascinating Museums - Southeast Edition
Indiana's Fascinating Museums - Southeast Edition
The Jefferson County Historical Society is located in heart of the National Historic Landmark District of downtown Madison, Indiana. Madison is well known for its preserved 19th century architecture, railroad history, and its beautiful riverfront on the Ohio River. It was once a busy steamboat port, and was the terminus of the Madison and Indianapolis Railroad, the first railroad in Indiana. Located at the corner of 1st and Vine Streets, the Jefferson County Historical Society Museum uses hundreds of photographs, artifacts, documents and displays to interpret the history of Jefferson County, Madison and surrounding communities.
Jefferson County and Madison
The Indiana Territorial Legislature formed Jefferson County on November 23, 1810, making it one of the oldest counties in Indiana. The county's name derives from the second President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson. Surveyors platted the county seat on April 1, 1809, naming it Madison, after the Father of the Constitution, James Madison. The first land sales took place in May 1808 and the first lots sold in 1811. Settlement in the new area went quickly after this.
Incorporation and Growth
Madison incorporated in 1809, seven years before Indiana became a state. Its location along the Ohio River caused it to become an important town in the early state's history. The state's first major highway was the Michigan Road, commissioned in 1828. Construction began that year and the road was completed in 1834. The Michigan Road, later to become State Road 29, ran from Madison, Indiana to Michigan City on Lake Michigan in the north, passing through Indianapolis. US 421 today follows the route, though sections of the original road still exist. In 1836 the Madison & Indianapolis Railroad was completed, connecting the growing city with the new state capital. Therefore, by the 1840's, Madison was connected to the northern part of the state by road and rail. Jefferson County Historical Society Museum

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Visitors to Madison will enjoy a day spent perusing the sprawling 10,000 square foot museum. Museum staff has prepared an excellent layout using well-written descriptive signage to allow visitors to browse through the museum and learn the regions rich history. Madison and Jefferson County played a major role in the early state's development. The city served as a river port that allowed area farmers to ship their products to the faraway markets down the Mississippi River. Visitors will find extensive, well-designed displays describing the industries, transportation and agricultural roots of the area. The museum, located across the street from the Lanier Mansion, serves as the ticket counter for the museum. All tours of the mansion begin at the museum.
1895 Vintage Railroad Station
This gem is located between the museum and the Lanier Mansion. Admission to the museum includes a visit to the passenger depot. Inside the depot, visitors can see the station much as it appeared in 1895 when residents and visitors used the train to travel around the state and country. The highlight of the station is a train layout/diorama depicting Madison and the famous Incline and Cut.
The Caboose
On the far end of the museum grounds visitors can see what the inside of a caboose was like. Museum staff will, on request, provide a short guided tour of the inside.
Jefferson County Historical Society

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Originally chartered in 1850, the Jefferson County Historical Society became the Lanier Memorial Museum after Charles Lanier deeded the property to them in April 1917. The Society maintained the mansion as a museum until they deeded it to the State of Indiana in 1925. The Society changed its name to the Lanier Memorial Museum Society after Charles Lanier donated the Colby House/Colonial Inn for use as a museum and meeting place. Members changed the name back to the Jefferson County Historical Society after dedicating the new Lanier Memorial Museum in 1928. In 1986, the Society purchased the 1895 Vintage Railroad Station and opened their new museum in the building in 1991. Continued growth saw the Society break ground on the current 10,000 square foot museum in 1998. At almost two acres, the museum includes the display rooms, a 1,600 square foot public meeting room and museum store.

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
Jefferson County Historical Society
615 W. First St.
Madison, Indiana 47250
812-265-2335
http://www.jchshc.org/
http://www.facebook.com/jchshc

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