As America celebrates Presidents’ Day each year in February, Indiana proudly claims its own Presidential connections with corresponding attractions that stay open all year long. These five historic sites are great for learning about the three Indiana Presidents.
Step back in time at the Lincoln Pioneer Village & Museum. Walk through 13 Lincoln-era replica cabins and a museum that houses hundreds of fascinating artifacts that celebrate the 16th president’s early years spent in Spencer County.
Head south to learn about the early years of Abraham Lincoln. The 16th President spent 14 of his childhood years from 1816 to 1830 right here in a Spencer County pioneer community near Santa Claus. Today, guests can learn all about it at the Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial, which includes a museum, a living historical farm and the final resting place of Lincoln’s mother, Nancy Hanks Lincoln.
The nearby 2,000+ acre Lincoln State Park proposes the chance to walk in Abraham’s footsteps by exploring campsites, scenic trails, lakes and a nature preserve. The park is also home to the Lincoln Bicentennial Plaza and Lincoln Amphitheatre, which hosts an annual concert series as well as a play about Lincoln’s life in Indiana.
Grouseland, the former home of 9th U.S. President William Henry Harrison, sits 60 miles to the northwest in Vincennes, the earliest capital of the Indiana Territory. Currently undergoing historic restoration, the Georgian/Federal-style brick home housed the Harrison family during their time in Vincennes during the early 1800s. Harrison’s first child, John Scott Harrison, was born in the house in 1804 and would later become the father of Benjamin Harrison, making him the only man in American history to hold the title of both son and father of a United States President.
In Indianapolis, the Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site offers a revealing look at the life of the 23rd President through guided tours of his residential home, preserved in authentic period style with many original artifacts and furnishings. Benjamin and his wife, Caroline, built the house in 1874-1875. After serving his Senate and Presidential terms, Benjamin continued to live in the home until his death in 1901. He’s buried nearby in Crown Hill Cemetery.
Lest the VPs feel left out, the (Dan) Quayle Vice Presidential Learning Center in Huntington honors the nation’s second in commands, especially the six that hail from Indiana.