All Tours: 23

Indianapolis had a history of engagement with professional and amateur sports long before hosting the 2012 Super Bowl. This tour will introduce you to some well-known stories and highlight some less well-remembered ones. This tour is primarily…

What is a sacred space? For the following stories, “sacred” refers to places that have been (and continue to be) regarded with reverence by the people of Indianapolis. This includes traditional religious spaces such as churches, synagogues, and…

Since Indianapolis became the Indiana state capital in 1825, issues of illness and health have had an impact on the city and its citizens, in part because of rapid population growth and density. Like a human body, a metropolis may grow and…

The narrative of Indianapolis' LGBT+ community is just beginning to be told in the mainstream. Long hidden behind closed doors, LGBT+ people have become increasingly visible in recent decades. The history of this community is the story of the…

Soon after its founding in 1813, New Albany became a leading center of trade and manufacturing. From the mid-1820s through the Civil War era, shipbuilding fueled the local economy. New Albany builders produced more than 200 steamboats for operation…

African Americans, enslaved and free, had a presence in Floyd County from the beginnings of European settlement in the area. The 1830 census listed 265 black residents. The population grew dramatically in later decades. By 1860 New Albany had the…

What do you think of when you think of art? Who is an artist? Over the course of Indiana’s 200-year statehood, individuals have created artistic works in many different forms. Fashion, sculpture, paintings, literature, architecture, and…

History books are full of stories of the wealthy, the powerful, and the influential—the insiders. History has also taught us influence easily captured can be easily lost. Insiders can become outsiders and outsiders can be absorbed into the ranks of…

The Ohio River has been a constant in the history of New Albany and southern Indiana for centuries. Long before Europeans arrived, native peoples relied on the river for drinking water, for transportation, and for irrigating crops. When Joel,…

Religious institutions have thrived in New Albany for nearly 200 years. This tour highlights several important congregations and other aspects of religious history. The sites featured illustrate the role of religion in southern Indiana since the…

Every downtown had one. They were grand old opera houses and movie palaces, built in the bustle of the city center. In the late 1800s and the early 1900s, these venues served as the heart of entertainment in most communities. Such theaters were great…

The Indiana State Parks system’s origin began in 1916 under the guidance of Colonel Richard Lieber. It has since grown and developed under the influence of visionaries like Lieber and Lucy Pitchler, as well as groups like the Civilian Conservation…

The history of medicine is a popular branch of scientific history and that is very true in the State of Indiana. Across much of the 19th and 20th centuries, several prominent Hoosiers took part in significant movements and practices in the medical…

At the end of the nineteenth century, Hoosiers found themselves with more free time than ever before. Technological advances in industry allowed increased efficiency in manufacturing and farming while transportation innovations connected farmers and…

A government is shaped by its people, and Indiana is a prime example of that. Throughout the state’s over 200 year history, Hoosiers have made this state their own, influencing what this state is and what it can be. Across the state in various…

A place is nothing without its culture, and that holds true especially in Indiana. Hoosiers like Gene-Stratton Porter and James Whitcomb Riley have had huge influences on their respective fields. Indiana Avenue was a central hub for jazz in…

December 11, 1816: one of the most integral days in Indiana history. This is the day that Indiana gained statehood in the United States of America. However, that date alone is meaningless without further context of the events and individuals that…

The Civil War was a defining moment in our country’s history, and its ripple effects were undoubtedly felt in Indiana. Countless Hoosiers participated in the Underground Railroad. Numerous fought on battlefields throughout the country (one of which…

Moving into the 20th century, Indiana residents found themselves searching for ways to occupy their free time. Some were caught up in the chautauqua movement, others joined in on the growing wave of country clubs sweeping the nation, and some simply…

The first Indiana State Fair was held back in 1852 in downtown Indianapolis’ Military Park. It moved to its current fairgrounds site forty years later in 1892. Although it initially began as an attempt to build up agricultural participation and…

One of the key events of United States history in the 1800’s was the expansion of the railroad. It revolutionized transportation, the economy, population progression towards the West Coast, industry, and several other areas. Located firmly in the…

Archaeology’s status as a popular social science has played an important role in providing a window into the past. Here in Indiana, archaeologists have been able to do extensive projects that allow Hoosiers to engage with previous occupants of the…

Education in Indiana extends well beyond big-name universities like Purdue, IU, Notre Dame, Butler, Ball State, and Indiana State. From the collegiate level down to the elementary level, Indiana has a rich history in education. Across the state,…