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Step Through the Historic Photograph, and You Are There

Feb. 25, 2010


Indianapolis—The Indiana Historical Society is pleased to introduce You Are There, a programmatic component of the Indiana Experience, a new way to live history that will open to the public March 20, 2010, at the Eugene and Marilyn Glick Indiana History Center. The History Center is located at 450 W. Ohio St. in downtown Indianapolis.

You Are There experiences are three-dimensionally recreated historic photographs that include trained first-person interpreters who interact with visitors and elicit personal connections to the past, allowing visitors to step back in time and become part of that history.

Upon the grand opening of the Indiana Experience, visitors can enjoy three different You Are There settings. At least two will be available at all times, as new scenes will be rotated in on a regular basis.

Current You Are There experiences include:

You Are There 1945: Hoosier Home Front (open through Dec. 30, 2010)
Presented by Kroger

Ernest Zwerner’s grocery store, the Citizens Market in Terre Haute, is back by popular demand after its debut during 2008 prototyping. This bustling Terre Haute business provides a snapshot of life on the Hoosier home front.

It’s 1945, and shoppers can use ration coupons to shop while you talk about the war with Mr. Zwerner, his customer Mrs. Watson and other neighborhood characters. In addition to browsing the bread, milk, meat and canned goods, the visit illuminates firsthand how the demands of war affected everyday activities as patriotic Hoosiers tried their best to conduct normal lives amidst harsh realities overseas.

You Are There 1924: Tool Guys and Tin Lizzies (open through Feb. 26, 2011)
Presented by Jiffy Lube of Indiana, sponsored in part by Church Brothers Collision Repair

This 1924 repair shop in Hartford City allows guests to walk into a day in the life of a small town and its people. The recreated scene includes a perfectly restored 1917 Ford Model T touring car, a circa 1923 Ford Model T delivery truck and a 1924 Fordson tractor.

Visitors can meet George Greenlee, owner of the first Ford dealership in Blackford County, who is storing his cars in the Liniger Brothers plumbing, tinning and roofing shop. They can also talk with Hugh “Scotty” Scott and newlywed Harry Kirkwood, mechanics at the Ford dealership, and may even run into one of the twin Greenlee daughters – Opal and Olive.

Guests can climb into the cars, help the mechanics make some repairs, learn about early 20th-century trades and chat about the automobile craze, small-town life in the 1920s and the Jazz Age.

You Are There 1914: The Violin Maker Upstairs (open through April 30, 2011)
Made possible by a generous gift from Gerald and Dorit Paul

Meet Joseph and Amelia Conrath at Conrath Violin Shop in the Virginia Avenue neighborhood of Indianapolis. It’s 1914, and Joseph is renowned among local musicians as a violin, guitar and mandolin maker. He has been crafting, repairing and selling violins and other stringed instruments since 1889.

When guests stop in the shop, they can try out the different instruments, learn about the materials and tools with which Joseph works and let him demonstrate how he fits a violin to a musician.

An exploration of early American craftsmanship and musical entertainment, visitors can find out what it’s like to be a German-American and small business owner in Indianapolis by talking to the colorful Conraths as well as their customers and associates.

About the Indiana Experience
The Indiana Experience brings both the people of the state and visitors from around the world a uniquely Indiana experience. Interactive and high-technology experiences allow the IHS to share the tremendous archival holdings of the IHS, including 1.6 million photographs, in easy and enjoyable ways.

Regular operating hours for the Indiana Experience and the William H. Smith Memorial Library are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Basile History Market is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and the Stardust Terrace Café is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

IHS members and children younger than five receive free admission to the Indiana Experience. Regular admission cost is $7 for adults, $6.50 for seniors (60 and older) and $5 per child (ages five to 17). Group rates for adults, seniors and students are available. Admission to the William H. Smith Memorial Library, Basile History Market and Stardust Terrace Café is free.

Parking is complimentary for members visiting the History Center, with paid admission to the Indiana Experience, for patrons of the William H. Smith Memorial Library and/or with a $7 purchase at the Stardust Terrace Café or Basile History Market.

About the Indiana Historical Society
Since 1830, the Indiana Historical Society has been Indiana’s Storyteller™, connecting people to the past by collecting, preserving, interpreting and sharing the state's history. A private, nonprofit membership organization, IHS maintains the nation's premier research library and archives on the history of Indiana and the Old Northwest. IHS also provides support and assistance to local museums and historical groups, publishes books and periodicals; sponsors teacher workshops; and provides youth, adult and family programming.

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To receive an electronic copy of this press release, more information and/or images, or to schedule an interview, please contact Amy Lamb, Media Relations Manager, at (317) 232-1878 or alamb@indianahistory.org.