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Celebrating 30 Years with Fun, Limericks and (of course) Cake!

LHS Roundtable CakeThirty years ago, the Indiana Historical Society and the Indiana Historical Bureau jointly founded the County Historian Program in Indiana, and on Saturday, May 21, county historians from around the state gathered in Indianapolis to celebrate.

After the morning business and educational sessions, the afternoon was a fun celebration of the county historians and their work. Following a tasty lunch, IHS President and CEO John Herbst congratulated the county historians for their hard work and dedication, and he talked about how the program continues to move forward.

In addition to celebrating the 30th anniversary of the program, we were also excited to honor six county historians who have served continuously in their roles since the founding of the program in 1981!

These dedicated historians are:

  • Daviess County Historian L. Rex Myers
  • DeKalb County Historian John Martin Smith
  • Fulton County Historian Shirley Willard
  • Henry County Historian Richard Ratcliff
  • Vanderburgh County Historian Dr. Darrel Bigham
  • Wabash County Historian Ron Woodward

To round out the festivities, county historians shared fun, quirky and odd stories from their experiences in the field. The resulting stories were entertaining and varied, and included those such as the identification of a skeleton that was brought to a historian’s home, a squirrel stampede and migration, a near-mishap onstage during a presentation and many others. After sharing their stories at their table, they were invited to present them to the entire room in any format they chose, and our creative historians presented several limericks, one dramatization and many theatrical retellings, much to the great enjoyment of the group.

To close out the day, we enjoyed a scrumptious cake (half chocolate and half vanilla) shaped like the state of Indiana and covered in delicious buttercream frosting.

Thank you to all of the county historians for all your hard work and commitment to local history in Indiana!

For more information about the program or to contact a county historian, click here.